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2020 Audi A6 range to include two plug-in hybrid models

Audi introduces new A6 ‘50 TFSI e quattro’ PHEV; more powerful ‘55’ model due

  • Four trim levels available on 50 TFSI e
  • Both PHEV models use a 2.0-litre petrol engine
  • 50 TFSI e starts from £52,790

The Audi A6 is now available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and a second will follow shortly. First to launch is the Audi A6 50 TFSI e quattro, with the ‘50’ part denoting its power. A more powerful ‘55’ version was announced in October 2019 but it’s not on sale just yet. Both these models will also be offered in A6 estate form.

Audi A6 50 TFSI e quattro: prices, specs and release date

The lower-powered plug-in hybrid Audi A6 saloon is now on sale, with prices starting at £52,790. This gets you the Sport model, with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, sat nav, a rear-view camera, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dials and wireless phone charging. S line is next, at £56,450, and includes sporty styling upgrades inside and out, plus Matrix LED headlights, sports suspension and privacy glass.

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Best hybrid cars to buy this year

Black Edition is another £1,800 more, with 20-inch alloys and a black styling pack, while the UK-specific Vorsprung range-topper piles on the equipment with Valcona leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, a B&O sound system, plus a huge amount of driver assistance tech like adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and all-round crash avoidance and assistance. It’s noticeably more expensive, though, with prices starting at £76,150.

Engine, economy, tax costs and performance

The combination of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and 105kW electric motor give 295bhp and, despite weighing two tonnes, this A6 can still accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds. The top speed is 152mph (84mph when in electric-only mode). Normal driving promises an electric range of up to 34 miles, plus 188mpg and 35g/km. This last figure is particularly pertinent to company-car drivers, who are expected to make up the vast majority of buyers; the low CO2 figure means Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax stands at just 10% in 2020/21.

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As with the other recent Audi plug-in models, you can choose the ‘Hold’ driving mode to save the electric power for use later in a journey. ‘Hybrid’ picks which mode of propulsion to use at any time, while the ‘EV’ driving mode keeps the car in electric mode using only battery power.

Plugging the car into a 7.4kW charger will recharge the battery in around 2.5 hours, while using a standard three-pin socket takes around seven hours. Audi supplies a Type 2 charging cable for a domestic 7.4kW wallbox as standard.

Practicality

It’s common for plug-in hybrids to offer less boot space than equivalent petrol and diesel models, due to the positioning of their batteries. Even taking this into account, the A6 PHEV’s 360-litre boot is nonetheless a little disappointing; conventionally powered A6s offer 530-litres of boot space, and even the Audi A3 and Vauxhall Astra hatchbacks beat it.

Audi A6 55 TFSI e quattro

The second Audi A6 plug-in hybrid will go on sale later this year. Badged 55 TFSI e quattro, it has 362bhp and will cost slightly more, but in many other respects it’s very similar. In 2019 we were told the ‘55’ will hit 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, but given the ‘50’ model is said to reach that threshold in 5.5 seconds, it’s likely to be quicker.

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It’ll have the same 2.0-litre engine and 105kW electric motor, the same quattro all-wheel-drive system and the same seven-speed automatic transmission. The extra power changes the official economy figures to 134.5mpg, 47g/km of CO2 and a maximum range of 33 miles. We’d expect the same trim and equipment levels to be offered on the ‘55’.

Audi A6 Avant plug-in hybrids

Audi has confirmed that the Audi A6 Avant will get both plug-in hybrid powertrains, too. Due to the car being slightly heavier than the saloon, the 55’s acceleration from 0-62mph is quoted as 5.7 seconds and the maximum range is 31 miles. Just like the saloon, there’s a noticeable drop in boot space but at least the boot floor is flat (some rivals have awkward steps in the loadbay to negotiate).

What does it mean for car buyers?

Audi offering two plug-in hybrid powertrains for the A6 probably benefits the company more than consumers, and it seems to confuse things for buyers. We can’t see the appeal of the 55 version, given that the stats for the 50 are so similar and it’s likely to be less expensive. If the reduced boot space of these cars doesn’t bother you and you predominantly use battery power, the plug-in hybrids could offer buyers fuel savings versus a petrol or diesel A6.

Read our review of the Audi A6 for more information or, if you need extra boot space, check out our guide of the best hybrid estates on sale now.

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