AUDI A6 HYBRID TEST

Does driving a hybrid change a person? We’d quite leave that question unanswered, yet driving a hybride does change your steering style. All von a sudden, even die leadfeet roughly here shift their attention to die energy flow charts blinking bei the werkzeug cluster, us don’t plot kommen sie pass every car an sight, und we make ja wirklich attempts to maximize fuel economy and battery recharging. Well, hinweisen least weil das a few minutes.

Du schaust: Audi a6 hybrid test

So it was with this A6, through which Audi is returning to ns world von hybridized cars. This writer remembers ns presentation von the A4 Avant–based Duo in Berlin some fünfzehn years ago. Ns diesel/electric A4 Duo mischung worked fine enough, but it lagged much behind Audi’s nonhybrid offerings bei overall goodness, und that conspired through a high preis to death it off quite quickly. Intend Audi hybrids kommen sie stick around much longer now, though, as the company emerged its current gasoline/electric system to arbeit across several vehicle lines. What’s bei the A6 is the exact same powertrain that is offered in the european Q5 hybrid—we’ll gain a diesel version von the crossover in lieu des that one—and ns forthcoming A8 hybrid’s version des the system won’t vary über much.

Improvements fairly than Breakthroughs

The A6 hybride comes as a sedan only, because markets that favor hybrids and those that favor station wagons seem to be support exclusive. Ns car us drove was European spec, but the hybride will undoubtedly be offered bei the U.S. It will differ only slightly when it goes on sale here in 2012. Ns powertrain ist the exact same on either continent: a 211-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder mated through a 54-hp electrical motor. Die combined system output is 245 hp. Contrasted with other hybrid models on ns market, die A6 hybrid doesn’t provide significant breakthroughs. That all-electric range ist a minimal 1.9 mile at city speeds, but ns car kann get kommen sie 62 mph ~ above battery power alone before ns internal-combustion engine kicks bei if sie treat ns accelerator (very) gently. Ns A6 hybrid feels neither fast nor particularly slow. Audi predicts a run to 60 mph bei just over 7 seconds, and we number that’s about right. Audi cases a oberteil speed des 148 mph.

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Power ist routed specifically to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic. Ns automatic’s talk converter ist replaced by an electric motor, however, und coupling und decoupling of the engine from die drivetrain space mostly—but not always—smooth affairs. The four-banger is audible, yet effective sound insulation keeps die noise down. There zu sein no tachometer; it’s been replaced by a "power meter" that reflects how viel precious power you’re discharging (or recouping). Similar to other hybrids, the batteries—a lithium-ion verpackt with a capacity of 1.3 kilowatt-hours and a weight of 81 pounds—recharge wie you elevator off the accelerator und when freundin lightly apply ns brakes, at which point ns car uses ns electric motiv as a generator und to slow ns car. The hydraulic braking system zu sein activated only throughout heavy braking. We found ns feel des the regenerative braking zu be extremely artificial and difficult zu modulate. Even when you touch die brake pedal gently, ns braking force zu sein relatively strong and appears suddenly, a characteristics we assumed had finally been banished native hybriddom.

Of course, efficiency zu sein the point des this car, and the Audi A6 hybride is rated to return 37 mpg combined bei the positive European test cycle. We even managed to get really close kommen sie that figure—according to die car’s readout—in real-world conditions, which, we wollen admit, made united state feel like a far better person. For a wenig while, anyway. Then we decided zu flog the car like we would a consistent A6, punkt which point we managed to almost halve ns car’s suggested mileage.

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The A6 mischung is substantially heavier than die regular A6—about 200 pounds beefier von our estimation. That weight does make it clumsier than a nonhybrid four-cylinder A6. Although ns steering zu sein light and precise, ns damping ist rather soft, and the tires begin kommen sie squeal early. The doesn’t take that viel to reach the limits von adhesion in this A6, und the contrast betwee the A6 mischung and, say, a conventionally powered A6 with Quattro all-wheel drive is severe. In true hybride fashion, this Audi doesn’t like to dance. Us do, und no matt how many hybrids us drive, that’s never ever going to change.


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