BEHIND THE WHEEL: Audi A6 Hybrid
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2015
Bang for buck
Reduced boot space
Missing fog lamps
2-litre I4/1.3 kWh
0-100 km/h: 7.5s
Top speed: 240km/h
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 got 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 just over seven seconds.
I have decided to drive this car up Genting Highlands its dampers in Dynamic mode for obvious reasons. The A6 Hybrid allows us to choose from Comfort, Auto, the already mentioned Dynamic and Individual.
On my way up the winding and twisty road, I struggled 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 as it cannot be fully defeated, the long wheel base machine enters the bends more easily which surprised me. Let’s not forget, Audi mounts their engine closer in front to keep things quiet, hence 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 which is what this car offers. The A6 hybrid’s quad-zone air conditioning can be independently adjusted via Audi's infotainment. Sadly, the BOSE surround sound system isn’t standard but one won’t regret for ticking that options. On a plus side, navigation is standard powered by Google Earth which is extremely handy. Have something that might melt? Throw it in the glovebox as it is quite the cooler.
As important comfort is in a family sedan how does the A6 react to uneven roads and humps? It absorbs bumps well with its adaptive springs but its no Mercedes S-Class. Sadly though, the battery is huge hence cause a swell in the boot which sacrifices boot space and Audi’s infamous Quattro all-wheel drive.
The A6 Hybrid running solely on electric motor claims to do 3 kilometres with a full charge so long it isn't over 60 km/h. That can be rather sleepy so use the battery together with its turbocharged engine and it suddenly becomes a rocket, minus the sound.
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. To my 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 finally buy into hybrid vehicles having learnt its philosophy. Technology has yet to mature but soon, it will change how a car works. That will also change the way we drive. What is next? I can't wait to find out. But, as a driver, I truly hope one day technology doesn’t take over the one thing that is important to us, driving.