A prototype for the redesigned, fifth-generation Audi A6 has been spotted again. The car is being developed alongside new generations of the A7 and A8, two models with which it will share much in common.
The A8 is set to debut on July 11. It will be followed later in 2017 by the A7 and then the A6 early in 2018. All three Audi sedans are expected in the United States as 2019 models.
Common to all three is the latest evolution of Audi’s MLB platform for front- and all-wheel-drive vehicles with longitudinally-mounted engines. It promises some weight savings as well as new plug-in hybrid options. The current A6, despite featuring aluminum in its construction, still weighs over 4,000 pounds in some guises.
Audi Prologue concept, 2014 Los Angeles Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
As for the styling, Audi’s Prologue concept unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show points the way. The wide, imposing grille and strong creases are lifted straight from the concept, as are the geometrically-shaped headlights.
The base engine should be a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 delivering 252 horsepower. Above this will likely be a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6, and as mentioned earlier we should also see a plug-in hybrid option. The latter will feature Audi’s “e-tron” badge. Note, the current A6 has a plug-in hybrid option, though only in China. It combines an inline-4 with an electric motor integrated with the transmission and delivers a peak 245 hp.
The good news is that we can also expect new versions of the performance-oriented S6 and RS 6. The RS 6 should stick with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 possibly matching the 605 hp of the current RS 6 Avant Performance. It’s not clear at this point if the RS 6 will be offered as a sedan or if it will make it to the United States this time around, but we have our fingers crossed. As for the S6, we should see it downsize to a turbocharged V-6, most likely the 2.9-liter mill found in the latest RS 5.
2019 Audi A6 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
Body styles for the A6 will once again include the standard sedan you see here as well as a long-wheelbase variant for China. On top of this, there will also be the Avant and Allroad wagons.
We're also expecting the latest in self-driving technology. Audi is promising Level 3 self-driving capability for its upcoming cars. This means they will be able to handle some situations without the driver having to monitor them, which isn't the case for current self-driving technology. For example, the cars should be able to handle parking situations as well as driving in traffic at speeds of up to 37 mph completely on their own.
The A6 is going to have a tough time when it arrives. The BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class have just been redesigned and there are also some impressive newcomers in this segment such as the Cadillac CT6, Lincoln Continental and Volvo S90.