The premium car market in India it seems doesn't take a break. Every few weeks, there's a new car launched. While Mercedes launched a slew of new cars in the past few weeks, its rival Audi launched a facelift of its luxury sedan the A6 last week. Audi is calling it the A6 Matrix. The name primarily comes from the Matrix LED headlamps borrowed from the A8, but there's more to this A6 than just the fancy lights. There are also some exterior and interior changes on the car and even the engine gets more power than before. Overall, the idea is to increase the features and make the car look and feel more premium. Here are the first drive impressions from media drive in Udaipur.
As is the case with many facelifts in India, the A6 also a sports redesigned front and rear bumpers. The headlamps and tail lamps also are new which makes this A6 look distinct from its predecessor. The Matrix headlamps come with a feature where an in-built camera assesses the surrounding light conditions and thereby adjusts the LED lighting in the car. This means that even though you continue driving in the high beam the oncoming car's driver is not blinded and gets a better view of the road. Another thing worth mentioning are the dynamic turn indicators that sweep in the direction in which the car is going to turn. The car now also has new alloy wheels which are bigger in size. Rectangular twin exhausts are the highlight on the rear and massively increase the sporty appeal on the car.
Audi A6 interiors.
The A6 matrix is a mix of old and new inside. The wood trim and the milano leather takes care of its premium feel. There's also a new eight-inch infotainment system that recognises both voice and handwriting. It comes with a 10 GB of internal memory. The car also sports a 14 speaker Bose surround-sound system. There's a new gear lever as well which is good to hold. The smart key stores adjustment settings from three different drivers which includes seat and mirror settings. If you're on the A6 rear seat there's a lot to look forward to. You can adjust the front passenger seat by a push of a button, there's individual climate control for both passengers with additional AC vents on the B-pillar. The centre arm rests comes with an integrated remote for the multimedia interface. But the thigh support on the rear seat may disappoint you a bit.
The A6 matrix comes with just one variant. It's called the 35 TDi and comes with a two-litre diesel engine that gives a maximum power of 190 bhp which is an increase of 13 bhp from earlier. Audi claims that in spite of this increase in power the mileage has now gone up by 5 percent. You can hear the diesel engine make some noise when you're outside the car but Audi has done a great job in keeping the cabin well insulated. There's a 7-speed Stronic automatic transmission on the car that comes along with paddle shifters which is a great add-on. The car does a 0-100 kmph speed in 8.4 seconds.
A welcome feature borrowed from the A8 on the car is the adaptive air suspension that aids in a superior ride quality. There are four driving modes — comfort, dynamic, Auto and Individual. While comfort gives a plusher ride, dynamic makes the suspension stiffer. Based on your recent driving styles Auto mode decides what's best for you while the Individual mode is the most practical of all. It gives you a desired combination of both great dynamics and required comfort.
Audi has launched the A6 matrix at a showroom price of Rs. 49.5 lakh. That makes the car good value for money considering the features that car comes with. Yes your options are limited as the German car maker has launched just one variant but they're giving what the Indian buyer wants — A diesel and an automatic. And along with eight airbags for safety the A6 Matrix is a good bet in a segment that doesn't have a runaway leader.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars.