Audi also has a variety of drivetrain solutions available. Power flows either to the front axle or to all four wheels. quattro permanent all-wheel drive is optionally available for the 3.0 TDI with 160 kW (218 hp), and will be available for the 2.0 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) shortly after launch. quattro is standard with all engines producing at least 200 kW (272 hp), and can be supplemented with the sport differential at the rear axle if desired.
Four different transmissions are available. The manual six-speed transmission is standard with the 1.8 TFSI and the two 2.0 TDI engines. Audi is now offering a new version designed for various torque classes. Aluminum reduces the weight of the casing; the gear sets and oil have been optimized for minimal friction and thus high efficiency. The eight-speed tiptronic is reserved for the 3.0 TDI clean diesel with twin turbochargers. The seven-speed S tronic is standard with engines producing at least 160 kW (218 hp) and as an option for all others. There are slight technical differences between the versions for front-wheel and all-wheel drive.
All automatic transmissions are state-of-the-art. They are incorporated into the thermal management for the engines and characterized by their high efficiencies. Their lower gears feature short, sporty ratios, while the upper gears are long to reduce revs and fuel consumption. The optional MMI navigation plus forwards its route data to the transmission management system. Drivers can choose between D and S modes or take over gear changes themselves at any time. Paddles on the steering wheel are optional (standard with the 3.0 TDI clean diesel biturbo).
The eight-speed tiptronic is a classic torque-converter transmission. It shifts smoothly, quickly and snappily. Under normal driving conditions, the lockup torque converter connects the transmission directly to the engine. It works with limited slip in certain situations, which in interplay with the integrated shock absorber permits very low engine speeds without vibrations. When the car is not moving, the transmission is disconnected from the engine.
The seven-speed S tronic follows a different principle. Its two multi-plate clutches operate two mutually independent sub-transmissions, which are similar in nature to manual transmissions. They are continuously active, but only one is connected to the engine at any given time. Gears are shifted by switching the clutches. This takes just a few hundredths of a second and occurs with virtually no interruption of propulsive power. When the standard Audi drive select system is in efficiency mode, the S tronic begins to freewheel as soon as the driver takes his or her foot off the gas pedal.
In the version with quattro all-wheel drive, the clutches of the seven-speed S tronic are arranged radially one above the other as opposed to axially one behind the other as in the newly developed version for front-wheel drive. The new transmission, which replaces the multitronic, sets new standards with respect to efficiency. The secrets to this success are a further reduction of friction, the low weight of the components and an innovative oil supply system. A centrifugal force pendulum on the flywheel makes it possible to operate the engine at very low speeds.
Lightning-fast redistribution: quattro permanent all-wheel drive
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive is purely mechanical. During normal driving, the self-locking center differential funnels 60 percent of engine torque to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front. It can also redistribute the power immediately if necessary – up to 70 percent to the front axle or as much as 85 percent to the rear.
The perfect partner for quattro all-wheel drive is torque vectoring, an intelligent software function of the ESC electronic stabilization control. Upon detecting that the front inside wheel (front and rear axle on quattro models) in a turn has been relieved too much, the ESC unit minimally and precisely brakes the wheel concerned. The intervention causes excess torque to flow to the outside wheel. Due to the difference in propulsion forces, the Audi A6 turns slightly into the corner. Self-steering behavior remains neutral longer, and handling becomes more precise, agile and stable.
The optional sport differential (for engines with 200 kW/272 hp and above) actively distributes the engine torque between the rear wheels during dynamic driving. In fast cornering, the system literally pushes the new Audi A6 and A6 Avant into the radius. Management of the sport differential is integrated into the control functions of Audi drive select. The latest evolution is even faster and more sensitive.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.