Audi has launched several exciting new cars in Hong Kong over the past year, from the chic A1 compact and the halo R8 convertible, to the sleek A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI quattro (HK$857,700) and plush A8L 4.2 FSI quattro limousine (HK$1,769,050) which stretched VIPs to last month's Van Cleef & Arpels store opening in Central.
So, even Audi fans might be forgiven for overlooking the unveiling of the seventh generation A6. First launched as the Audi 100 in 1968, the saloon was updated in 1976 and 1982 until its fourth generation version was rebadged as the A6 in 1994. After updates in 1997 and 2004, the A6 has evolved into a technically sophisticated, autobahn-ready vehicle.
Pitted against the Jaguar XF, Volvo S80 and BMW 5-Series, the latest A6 is 4.92 metres long, 1.87m wide and 1.46m high, with a body that is 30kg lighter than its predecessor, thanks to the use of numerous aluminium components and hi-tech steel used in its construction.
Launched worldwide, with a choice of four diesel and three petrol engines, the A6 is offered in Hong Kong with a three-litre V6 with TFSI fuel injection that revs 300 horsepower and can reach 100km/h in 5.5 seconds via a seven-speed S tronic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive. The engine consumes 8.2 litres of petrol per 100km, emits 190 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre and earns the A6 3.0 TFSI quattro tax-incentive status as an Environmentally Friendly Private Car in Hong Kong. This designation reduces the model's selling price by HK$75,000 to HK698,000.
The A6 3.0 TFSI quattro is offered with taxable extras including a sunroof (HK$10,050), power-assisted door closing (HK$5,300) and a boot lid with electric opening and closing function (HK$4,650). The A6 has been awarded a 5-star safety rating in European crash tests, and is packed with safety electronics, from cruise control and tyre-pressure monitoring systems to Audi Parking Aid Plus, whose obstruction-seeking sensors could prove invaluable in Hong Kong's tight spots. The head-up display (HK$12,300) option keeps the driver's eye on the road by superimposing speed and other key information on the windscreen, while the night vision assistant (HK$18,500) detects pedestrians in the dark within 300 metres, thanks to thermal-imaging camera in the grille that sends black and white pictures to the 7-inch driver information system display.
Other options include MMI navigation plus, with MMI touch (HK$32,000), which forwards route data to the controls for the headlights, automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control, and Audi Active Lane Assist (HK$50,625), which keeps the car on course, the marque says.
Stereos range from the Bose Surround sound (HK$8,500) belting 600 watts via 14 speakers to the 15-speaker, 1,300W Bang & Olufsen sound system (HK$53,500), with 'technology so complex that more than 1,200 parameters' are influenced by users' individual settings, Audi says.