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Test Audi A6 55 TFSI e Quattro: Competing for the plug-in hybrid prize

Let’s start this test differently than you are used to from us: we first highlight a few negatives of the Audi A6 Avant plug-in hybrid. At 405 to 1535 liters, the loading volume is smaller than that of the other Avant models (565 to 1680 l). In addition, the A6 plug weighs more than 2000 kilos – if it were a human, Diederik Gommers and Ernst Kuipers would have raised the alarm due to a too high BMI. But that is simply a consequence of the batteries: the larger the battery pack, the higher the weight.

The list of disadvantages is short, because we can already start with the positive impressions. First some theory about the new A6 Avant plug-in hybrid: a four-cylinder petrol engine with 265 hp works together with a 143 hp electric motor. Their combined efforts yield 367 hp and 500 Nm. The consumption figures make you dizzy: according to the official measurement method of the EU, the Audi does 62.5 kilometers with a liter of fuel. In that case, the electric motor must be used as much as possible, which draws its energy from a battery with a range of 51 kilometers.

The 2.0-liter TFSI is as quiet as an electric motor

The segment in which the Audi A6 Avant operates has been a German-Swedish party for years. Together with the BMW 5-series, the Mercedes E-class and the Volvo S90 / V90, the Audi A6 is the undisputed leading group. The American, Japanese and Southern European brands have either dropped out completely in recent years or only play an extra role. Traditionally, the diesel engine is popular with the target group, but the plug-in hybrid seems to be taking over the role of this endangered engine type.

This target group usually travels many kilometers in pandemic-free times. As a result, comfort is one of the most important pillars in the development of large middle class cars. The plug-in hybrid manages to take the comfort level, which is already high at Audi, to a more distinguished level. It is no longer a surprise that cars with an electric motor are whisper-quiet. But you don’t hear the 2.0-liter TFSI engine either. He revives Soundmixshow times: with his serene tranquility he imitates (with verve) an electric motor. In addition, it contributes to economy, because two of the four cylinders are switched off under light loads.

When the battery is empty and the electric motor gives the pipe to the petrol engine, you will only notice if you have very good ears. We need to dig deep into our memories whether we have ever experienced such a wonderful interaction. Sometimes we have to look in the on-board computer to see whether the electric motor or the petrol engine is working, our eardrums do not notice the difference.

No hands across the roundabout in the Audi A6

Top comfort comes with a comfortable chassis, which is also good in the A6 Avant with its adaptive shock absorbers. The third important part is the safety equipment, which is very complete. With a single lever on the steering wheel you activate a system that combines the forces of the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistant. Even now we can only be positive: the sensors and radars have become increasingly aware of how to do their job in recent years. In the past, the Lane Keeping Assist had great difficulty in keeping the car in the middle of the lane.

Also overtaking is now almost exactly as you would do in a car without helpful systems. As soon as the left lane is clear, the cameras and sensors transmit this to the computer at lightning speed. Just as keeping your distance from the predecessor goes smoothly: even on a roundabout, the A6 stays neatly on track. If the vehicle in front brakes for a traffic light, the Audi does the same. And when traffic starts moving again, you don’t have to do anything either. Can you put the chair to sleep until you get home for the pagers? Unfortunately not, because you are legally obliged to keep your hands on the wheel. A pity, because we had the urge to recline the chair and take a beauty nap on the way home from the office.

Plug-in hybrid Audi A6 Avant runs 1 in 33

These safety systems are of course also available on other Audis, but they fit extra well with a car that is already quieter than a CIA spy on Red Square. With the A6 Avant we also report that the WLTP consumption of 1 in 62.5 is a utopia, although in our test period, if we charge every day, we reach an average of 1 in 33. Those kinds of figures can easily be found. if you don’t have to drive from Terneuzen to Enschede every day.

You pay a hefty price for this silent Audi A6 Avant: 82,520 euros. The lease driver no longer has to beg for addition presents from the government, as in the Outlander era, and can therefore not like a vulture on a bargain hunt. The least expensive Audi A6 Avant (30 TDI), with a price of 65,880 euros, is also on the price. Although you have to do with the 30 TDI with 163 hp and front-wheel drive, while the 55 TFSI e has more than twice as much power and four-wheel drive. Incidentally, the plug-A6 is also for sale as a sedan.


Conclusion

If there is a ranking of the best plug-in hybrids, this Audi A6 will compete for the main prize. The interaction between the petrol engine and the electric motor is one of superlatives. The drivetrain, the seats and the chassis ensure that the Audi A6 Avant with plug is a warm bath for comfort enthusiasts.

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