Audi increases its PHEV range with A6 55 TFSI e

There's been a glut of PHEVs from Audi released over the past few months with the German brand looking to have five such models launched into the market in the second half of the year alone. The A6 55 TFSI e joined Audi's range back in October last year, but now it has been joined by the A6 50 TFSI e.

Following the Q5 TFSI e which was launched back in June, the A8 TFSI e which we covered very recently, as well as the A7 and Q7, Audi is launching the A6 55 TFSI e quattro – which went on sale in November.

Audi reckons that the A6s place in the executive saloon class makes it a great candidate for the PHEV treatment thanks to its suitability as a low-emission, high efficiency commuter, as well as its low benefit in kind and VED. Of course, so far Audi has said that each of its PHEVs is well suited for its particular field, but let's take a closer look at what the A6 55 TFSI e has to offer.

About the A6 55 TFSI e

Under the bonnet – and floor – of the Audi A6 55 TFSI e is the now familiar powertrain combining the brand's 2.0-litre TFSI turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor integrated into the S-tronic gearbox which draws from a 14.1kWh battery located at the rear of the car.

That petrol engine is good for 249bhp and thanks to its boosted nature, a fair slug of torque. Factor in the 139bhp electric motor and the total system output is a healthy 362bhp and 359lb-ft, the latter of which is available from 1250rpm. This combined power pushes the A6 to 62mph in 5.6 seconds and on to the traditional 155mph limited top speed. In EV mode, drivers will be able to reach 83mph and with a featherweight foot, travel a total of 32 miles.

Economy wise, the A6 TFSI e is good for a claimed WLTP 134.5mpg and emissions of 47g/km of carbon dioxide. The latter figure will make the A6 a very tempting car for the business sector within which BIK liability is a key factor. Helping to keep that MPG figure up and CO2 figure down is a 2.5 hour charging time using a 7.4kW input – enough time for a particularly impactful PowerPoint presentation before getting back out on the road.

As with other TFSI e cars, the A6 gets intelligent driving modes to help maximise the felt benefits from the PHEV powertrain. It is set up so that drivers can do most of their regular journeys under electric-only power. They can choose between the three drive modes; EV for all-electric driving, Hybrid for an efficient blend of petrol and electric power, and Hold to conserve the electrical energy available at any given time.

In Hybrid mode the car ensures maximum efficiency and the maximum possible amount of electric driving. It controls the drivetrain so that the last stage of the journey before getting to the destination can be covered in all-electric mode and the battery is charged by the combustion engine where necessary. This, of course, requires that journey to be programmed into the navigation; it won't work for an off-hand trip to the shops. Journey planning is performed by the predictive efficiency assistant, which uses a large amount of information, including navigation, online traffic events, the driver’s style and the vehicle sensors such as the camera and radar.

Audi has stated that a black styling package will be based on the S line specification. This means sports suspension, Matrix LED lighting, tinted glass and black trim details. Inside, S line sports trim seats, multi-zone climate control, a high level of connectivity, a digital instrument cluster and central touchscreen control panel.

Speaking of in-car tech, the A6 doesn't do badly at all. Two touchscreens provide the interfaces by which to control the car's systems, each with haptic feedback and supported by voice control. A standard MMI Navigation Plus package means a 10.1 inch upper display screen (larger than the non-PHEV car's standard 8.8 inch display). A high level of smartphone and over-the-air connectivity also comes as standard, and there is even Amazon Alexa voice control with full Alexa functionality.

Order books for the car were subject to a bit of a delay in opening, but when you finally can order one, expect to pay around £63k.

Audi A6 50 TFSI e joins the range

If you want a PHEV A6 with almost all of the benefits of the 55 version detailed above, but for less money and bit less power, Audi has just announced details of the A6 50 TFSI e. This version of the car gets essentially the same PHEV powertrain, except in '50' guise the total system output is lightly lower.

It still combines with the same 139bhp electric motor and 249bhp petrol engine, but the total system output has been limited to 295bhp and 332lb-ft of torque so the car slots neatly below the 55. That drive is sent to all four wheels via Audi's quattro system.

Performance is every bit as good as its sibling, with the A6 50 TFSI e sprinting to 62mph in just 5.5 seconds and carrying on to a top speed of 152mph. WLTP electric-only mileage is slightly higher at 34 miles, but in the real world there will be little-to-no difference. Top speed on electric power remains 84mph but emissions are slightly lower on the official cycle at as low as 35g/km.

Spec-wise, the interior and exterior options are broadly the same as those for the A6 55 TFSI e, including all of the various connected technologies such as semi-autonomous driving and Alexa voice control.

The A6 50 TFSI e is available to order now from £52,790 on the road.

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