The force seems to be strong with Audi these days. Their design language is simple, uncluttered and effective, while the cars themselves have very little that one can complain about. The new Audi A6 Matrix isn’t an all new car – it just builds on Audi’s already strong mid-level executive sedan segment, making it even stronger by focusing on a few key areas.
Firstly, the ‘Matrix’ suffix isn’t derived from the car’s ability to physics defying stuff in a virtual atmosphere governed by machines. The new Audi A6 gets the same Matrix LED technology found in the A8 limo, the Audi TT, the RS6, RS7 and the R8. The Matrix LED headlamps, besides looking seriously cool, extend the car’s field of illumination; they also cut off the field of illumination from the sides every time an oncoming car is detected, in order to not blind the driver.
The car gets a few other visual upgrades including the new singleframe grille that can be found across all current generation Audis, most of which have been launched this year in India. The look works exceptionally well for the new A6 – it’s a striking looking car, especially in the ‘S’ line trim (the only trim the A6 Matrix will be available in). There’s also a new, redesigned bumper and a fresh set of tailpipes which make this a masterclass in subtle facelifts.
The car feels noticeably smoother too, thanks to the fact that Audi has now replaced the old Multitronic CVT gearbox with their brilliant, dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox which now comes with paddle shifters. Along with this the 2.0 litre TDI gets a power boost from 176 bhp to 190 bhp which is a fairly decent amount of power from a 2.0 litre diesel unit.
The interiors aren’t all new, in fact the visual profile is altered only by the presence of some matte-chrome accents, a new gear knob and a wider, retractable multimedia monitor. However, the system is more advanced and more attuned to voice commands. The multimedia system can also be paired with your phone’s voice command system (SIRI, OK Google) making it even more responsive than before. Along with that you get, what Audi call their ‘Handwriting recognition system’ essentially an easier way to scroll through indexed data, by typing the first letter of the word you seek. The insertion of a SatNav screen between the instrument cluster is also a new and a much sought after option. Things are fairly premium at the back too, (since that’s where most A6 owners prefer to be) with an MMI remote control at your disposal along with a button to push the passenger seat forward. There’s also four-zone temperature settings so you can bask in the exact climate you wish to.
The A6 has always been a smooth car, but the new one feels considerably smoother. The power boost is also quite noticeable since the car is a tad quicker than before, quick enough to not have you lament the comparatively small engine displacement. Even in ‘Dynamic’ mode – which makes the suspension tauter, the ride seems fairly supple, taking me by surprise as I anticipated the mid-pothole thud.
For all the range topping, hi-tech doohickeys the car is layered with (there are dynamic turn indicators and LED tail lamps as well, in case I forgot to mention those), a Rs 49.5 lakh (ex-Delhi) price tag seems like quite the bargain. It’s now one of the best looking exec sedans in the market. The RS6 proves that it even lends itself particularly well to the Avant/ Estate format. Yes, the dash could use some sprucing up, as could the steering wheel which looks a bit dated, but on the whole you’d be getting yourself the sheer, effortless comfort of an Audi and a car that has the word ‘Matrix’ in it – an attribute that should render many a pub argument moot.