Audi is finally expanding the new A6 executive saloon and estate range from just a sole V6 diesel, with the launch of a 204hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI version. Its arrival takes the entry-level price for the new range down by almost £8,500, to £38,640.
Because Audi is persisting with its baffling new naming strategy, the new version is known as the 40 TDI; the familiar 2.0-litre TDI returns 62.8mpg and emits 117g/km CO2 when running on 18-inch wheels.
That means a Benefit-in-Kind rating of 28 percent, instead of the 34 percent of the launch 3.0-litre V6 50 TDI. As that car carries a list price from £47,116, it means the A6 has instantly become massively more appealing to cost-conscious business car drivers.
There’s also an A6 Avant 40 TDI, which does 60.1mpg and emits 124g/km; that’s priced from £40,470. Audi is continuing with its launch range of Sport and S line models – a more basic SE variant has yet to arrive.
Despite being downsized and down on power compared to the V6 50 TDI, the 40 TDI still runs from 0-62mph in a decent 8.1 seconds, and drag itself up to 152mph. All models come as standard with a seven-speed S tronic automatic.
There’s also a 40 TDI version of the new A7 Sportback, which enjoys a 25g/km CO2 reduction over the 45 TDI to also make it much more desirable to tax-conscious company car drivers.
Audi’s latest diesels, which all meet the stricter WLTP fuel economy regulations, are able to reach such efficiency highs thanks to the standardisation of a mild hybrid system, which Audi calls MHEV.
A belt-driven alternator-starter (BAS) recovers up to 5kW of power as the car slows down, and stores this in a lithium ion battery. It can seamlessly turn the engine on and off at low speeds… and also allows the engine to ‘coast’ when cruising between 34-99mph, again saving fuel.
The amazing all-digital cabin is also standard, and Audi says there’s no difference in kit compared to the posher V6s. As even experienced Audi enthusiasts have yet to work out the logic of the bizarre badging strategy, it means nobody need be any the wiser that you’re in the entry-level A6, rather than a fancier V6.
- Audi A6 40 TDI Sport: £38,640
- Audi A6 40 TDI S line: £42,000
- Audi A6 Avant 40 TDI Sport: £40,470
- Audi A6 Avant 40 TDI S line: £44,100
- Audi A7 Sportback 40 TDI Sport: £47,140
- Audi A7 Sportback 40 TDI S line: £50,040