Audi has gained its position as a dominant player in the premium luxury car segment after being around in the Indian car market since 2007. Along with the A4, the A6 happens to be the big seller from the German car maker. The current generation Audi A6 (C7) was initially unveiled in 2011 globally. The A6 was slowly getting outdated. Globally Audi updated the A6 to the current model in 2014 and unveiled it at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. This model has been recently updated here in India by adding a host of new goodies to it. Audi now calls the New A6 as the A6 Matrix as it now comes with the Matrix headlights as a standard fitment. We drive the midlife facelift Audi A6 Matrix around some enchanting Udaipur roads to find out the actual changes which have happened. Read on to find out more.
Audi A6 Matrix 35TDi Exteriors:
A first look at the Audi A6 Matrix makes you instantly notice the changes on the outside. The A6 Matrix now gets the latest 3D-styled Audi single-frame front center grill. This is the same style grill that is also seen on the New Q3 and the New TT. Along with this, the front bumper and the rear bumper also get totally new designing. A dash of horizontal chrome strip added on the front bumper makes the car look wider when seen upfront. On the redesigned rear bumper, the twin trapezoidal rectangular exhausts are neatly placed at both the edges. The lower end of the rear bumper is in unpainted black finish along with a chrome strip that runs across, separating the painted and the unpainted area. The redesigned front and the rear bumper styling make the A6 Matrix look a lot more sporty, giving the car a low slung stance while adding a touch of aggressive character to the overall look of the car.
The car now comes with an all new design 10-spoke alloy wheels that again help the car look sporty. The A6 Matrix drives on 18 inch tyres. The biggest talking point of this upgrade are the Matrix headlights. These are special LED headlamps that use 19 LEDs in them. They work with the help of a sensor that scans and detects the ambience lighting around and accordingly sets its intensity automatically. These Matrix LED headlamps are controlled digitally by software in the cars ECU, giving a 100 percent glare-free, high-beam light system – the first of its kind in the world. This system intelligently detects the oncoming vehicles and adjusts its high beam automatically in such a way that the light spread is only on the road and does not fall on the eyes of the other drivers of the oncoming cars. Audi first introduced these headlamps on its flagship Sedan, the A8, for the Indian market.
As with the headlamps, the tail lamps also get a total revision on the A6 Matrix. These are a slim design, stretched-style LED tail lights. The boot lid now gets a neat-looking, extended integrated body-spoiler that looks classy. It also gets a horizontal thick chrome strip on the lower part that makes the car’s rear end look wider. The window frames get the blacked-out effect, along with chrome insert frame that runs around them. Due to this new low slung design, the A6 Matrix looks a lot larger in size and reminds us a lot of the A8 Matrix. You also get a sensor-controlled boot opener where you just need to sway your leg under the rear bumper and the sensor down there unlocks the boot. But this works only if you have the remote key on you.
Audi A6 Matrix 35TDi Interiors:
As on the redesigned outside, the cabin of the A6 Matrix also gets a total revamp. The layout remains the same, but the materials used take it to an all new level. You get a dual-tone dash in grayish-black and beige with inserts of wood which feel and looks like real wood. Metal stripping around the cabin, on the AC vents, door panels, and instrumentation look and feel classy. The speedo cluster now gets the next level of detailing with round dials neatly placed on either sides. The center of the cluster gets a LCD Color display, that apart from the MFD readings, also shows the GPS Navigation right there. The driver does not even need to turn his head to see it on the center dash screen which also displays it. This is an especially nice touch incorporated in this upgrade. The wide instrument cluster is very clear to read and looks trendy.
The steering is a four-spoke design with metal inserts on each spoke and leather wrapping on the grip area. The center dash gets an 8-inch wide center display screen. This is an all-color, hi-resolution screen, that can be electrically retracted into the dash if not needed. Audi has updated the MMI interface to the latest generation MMI unit that uses a much faster Tegra 3 CPU in it. This new generation MMI unit along with the usual commands can also take voice commands from the passengers and also accepts hand-written commands via the special scratch-pad installed here. You also get 10GB of internal storage where you can store your favorite music collection. We found the new age Audi navigation system very accurate and user-friendly on the Audi A6 Matrix. On the audio connectivity side, Audi has incorporated the high-end BOSE system. You get a 14-speaker setup, along with a 5.1 channel BOSE surround-sound system. This is one of the best audio units that we have seen in this segment with unmatched sound quality.
Audi has incorporated a few features keeping in mind rear seat passenger comfort for the chauffeur-driven executives. The rear passenger can electrically adjust the front passenger seat by sliding it ahead right from behind, as a result extending his leg room and space. The rear passenger can also control the MMI unit from his seat using the provided remote. You get manual sun-curtains for the rear side windows and an electrical curtain for the rear glass too. The A6 Matrix comes with a 4-zone climate control. Needless to say, you get phone connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming, AUX, USB and all the other multimedia frills in here. The front seats are fully electrically adjustable in all the possible ways for you to get the correct comfortable seating position. The Milano Leather upholstery feels and looks very upmarket and the seating is very comfortable. The gear shifter also has an all new design, with the metal dial buttons spread around it on the center console feeling real to touch.
The quality, fit, finish and layout is excellent in here. We loved the finish of the real feel wood and metal inserts. Overall, it adds up to a very comfy cabin area.
Audi A6 Matrix 35TDi Engine, Transmission and Drive:
Audi initially introduced the A6 Matrix with only the TDI Diesel engine option. That’s the one we drove for this review. Later, the TFSI Petrol engine variant was also introduced, which we would be soon driving for our review.
The A6 Matrix 35TDI as it’s called, comes powered with a 2032cc TDi 4-cylinder diesel engine. Audi also has a 3.0-litre Diesel engine version, but that is not yet on sale in India. Engine power for this TDi Diesel setup is improved by 7 percent due to the work done on it for the A6 Matrix. We are told by Audi engineers that this has also improved fuel efficiency by about 5 percent. You get 190PS of power between 3800-4200RPM and a torque of 400Nm at as low as 1750RPM till 3000RPM. The A6 Matrix with this engine can touch the 100Km/hr mark in 8.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 226Km/hr.
Mated to this engine, is a 7-speed S-Tronic (Dual Clutch) transmission. Noteworthy here is the fact that the outgoing A6 came with the slightly less-inspiring Multi-Tronic transmission. This S-Tronic transmission is an intelligent unit that adapts itself as per the driver inputs. On the move, the 2.0 Liter engine feels very spirited, thanks to the heavy torque it generates and the intelligent S-Tronic transmission. You can drive the A6 all day long on the highway at 100-120kmph with the engine will feel so very composed. Shift your foot a bit more and the A6 engine will start to get you more speed, and that too quickly. The gear shift is very smooth and seamless. You can master driving this car very quickly, as it adapts itself as and how you want it to. You also have the Audi Drive Select preset modes, Comfort, Dynamic, Auto and Individual modes to choose from, where the car sets the suspension, steering feedback, engine and gearbox response accordingly. You also get the well known Audi Adaptive Air Suspension included in the package.
Handling is very neat on the A6 Matrix and the steering feedback changes intelligently as per the speed, mode and driver inputs. We felt very relaxed as we drove the A6 Matrix extensively on the highway. The drive quality is excellent and the in-cabin noise damping is very good. Power is given to the front wheels as compared to the competition that have the rear-wheel drive models. The all-wheel disc brakes do their job very neatly, with the brake having just the right sting to it. On the safety front, you get 8 airbags, rear parktronics with camera, ABS with EBD, Hill Descent Control, ESC (Electronic Stabilization Control) apart from all other safety stuff that you can think of.
Audi A6 Matrix 35TDi Verdict:
Just as the A6 was beginning to get outdated, Audi got this much-needed and correctly timed facelift in. The A6 has always been a good seller for Audi globally and here in India. It gets fresh and trendy looks on the outside and a complete overhaul on the interiors too. The features and equipment list is good on the A6 Matrix. It feels good, drives nicely with the potent 2.0-litre TDi engine. Launched at a very attractive Rs. 49.50 lakh ex-showroom price, this Audi A6 Matrix is an excellent buy currently in this segment now.