BEHIND THE WHEEL: Audi A6 Hybrid

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2015
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PRO

Comfortable cruise

Good looks

Bang for buck

CON

Reduced boot space

Missing fog lamps

SPECIFICATION

2-litre I4/1.3 kWh

245hp 480Nm

8-speed ZF

0-100 km/h: 7.5s

Top speed: 240km/h

RM 300,000

Long ago when I first heard of the hybrid vehicles, several things that were being pondered on. My very first thought is that since it is supposed to be “green”, technically it will take all the fun away from what a car should be. Right? That made my view on these cars so different. That is till I get my hands behind the wheel of the 2013 Audi A6 Hybrid. This is where the beauty of the economical comes to live. Under the hood lives Audi’s familiar 2.0 TFSI engine that pumps out 211bhp and the electric motor kicking another 54. With both combined it throws a colossal 480Nm of torque through the front wheel. According to Audi, this sub 2-tonne machine is able to hit 100kph from a standstill in 7.3secs.

Speed aside, I have decided to drive this car up the Genting Highlands, while having the dampers in Dynamic. The A6 Hybrid allows us to choose from Dynamic, Comfort, Auto, and Individual. On my way up the winding and twisty road, I was struggling to figure out a way to enter and exit those bends without having so much of an understeer. With the stability control set to sport, the long wheel base machine enters the bends a lot easier, it surprised me. Let’s not forget, Audi mounts their engine closer to the front, hence, a very heavy nose.

With a car that is so quiet while cruising, it is also important to have a cosy interior to lay back and enjoy what the car has to offer. The A6 hybrid’s quad-zone air conditioning which can be easily controlled the just by the MMI, is fully independent. Sadly, BOSE surround sound system isn’t a standard package, but one won’t regret ticking that off the options list. On a plus side, navigation is standard, with Google Earth which is handy. Have something that might melt but have quite a journey to cover before heading home? Throw it in the glove box which has an in-built cooler. These further emphasize the point of being practical.

Comfort. Which is important for a family sedan. The A6 is quiet in anyway, but, how does it react to uneven roads and humps? On comfort mode, it absorbs bumps like it should, but there keeping in mind, this is not those air suspension that you find in a Mercedes S-Class. Sadly though, the battery is huge enough to cause a hump in the boot, where it sacrifices so much litres of space and above all else, Audi’s famous Quattro system has been ticked off.

The A6 Hybrid, running on electric motor is claimed to do 3KM with full charge of battery, provided it is doing 60kmh all the way. That can be rather sleepy, but fret not, the charge from the battery can be used to give the 2.0TFSI a massive boost that it becomes a quiet rocket. Whilst driving back to our HQ, I decided to have a bit of fun to find out how much the Hybrid would trail from a Cayman. Without much of a surprise the A6 was able to keep up which proves that there is no need for more power to keep up with a sportscar in a city like ours.I now understand hybrid vehicles even more and learned to appreciate the ways of it. Technology isn’t perfect but it keeps advancing, and soon, that will change the way car works. That will also change the way we drive. What is next? I will wait to find out. But, as a driver, I truly hope one day technology doesn’t take over the one thing that is crucial, the driving.

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