Last year, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class family received a comprehensive ”one billion euros” facelift, which improved a lot of the car features. Nowadays, the E-Class is the most elegant premium car in it’s segment, while Audi A6 and BMW 5-Series still consider that sportiness is the right bet. Well, Audi is now moving forward and, on ocasion of 2014 Paris Motorshow, it’s showcasing the facelift of the A6, which put emphasis on high-tech, beside sportiness. The most interesting thing is that this facelift doesn’t quite look like a facelift, because there doesn’t seem to be much changes – as is the case with the E-Class.
The most important feature of the facelifted A6 is the optional Matrix LED Tehnology for the headlights, along with some minor details (new shades for the painting, new rims and new S-Line exterior kits). It’s kind of odd that, after three years on the market, the facelift of Audi A6 looks more like a slight upgrade… Especially when compared to major improvements of the E-Class facelift related to it’s predecesessor.
At least, this facelift brings big tehnical improvements, with new and more efficient engines. There are three gasoline engines (1.8 TFSI and 179 PS, 2.0 TFSI and 252 PS, 3.0 TFSI and 333 PS) and five diesels (2.0 TDI and 150 or 190 PS, while the 3.0 TDI offers three variants, of 218 PS, 272 PS and 320 PS). All engines are Euro 6 compatible, and there are two kind of automatic transmissions, the 8-speed Tiptronic and the 7-speed double-clutch S-Tronic. Of course, the quattro four-wheel drive remains in the menu, but there is also an interesting innovation – the glass fiber-reinforced polymer springs (saves 4.4 kg of weight).
But let’s not forget the sportier variants, S6 (4.0 TFSI and 450 PS) and RS6, only as Avant (4.0 TFSI, 560 PS). So that the facelifted A6 has a total of 5 gasoline engines and 5 diesel engines. Unfortunately, the hybrid variant isn’t yet announced with a facelift. By comparison, the E-Class offers 6 gasoline variants and 5 diesels, plus a hybrid version – which consumes less than the most frugal A6 TDI ultra (3.8 l/100 km vs. 4.2 l/100 km for the 2.0 TDI 150 PS of A6). In terms of performance, the E 63 AMG is at the same level with RS6, but E-Class remains the king thanks to the E 63 S variant (585 PS).
The interior continues the idea of slight upgrade, as the exterior. The general design remains the same, but the A6 facelift offers new materials and colours, for the exigent clients. It’s now possible for the A6 to be equiped with a night-vision system (which Mercedes-Benz is offering only on the S-Class for now), while the MMI command uses the Nvidia Tegra 30 graphics chip – but, oddly enough, no “Audi Virtual Cockpit”, like in the new TT. Over all, it’s very clear that Audi A6’s public is more engaged into gadgets world than the public of E-Class. In terms of practicality, the A6 Avant offers the same space for luggage, that can vary beteween 565 and 1.680 litres, less than the E-Class Estate (695 / 1.950 litres). But A6 has something that E-Class lacks: the A6 Allroad variant, a luxury crossover-break that continues a very succesfull story.
The new Audi A6 facelift can already be ordered in Germany, from a base price of 38.400 euros, less than the 41.263 euros starting price for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. But, as anyone can imagine, the small difference of money doesn’t matter when someone chooses one of the two models. And, while the Audi A6 facelift is a very competent car, it doesn’t look so evolved as expected – so we’re looking forward to see which one is better, in a future comparison test.