Audi A6 Avant plug-in hybrid due in 2020
Audi A6 Avant 55 TFSI e quattro offers around 31 miles of electric range and lower tax costs
- Plug-in A6 Avant has 362bhp and does 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds
- Said to manage up to 148mpg
- Has a flat boot floor but batteries take up space
The Audi A6 Avant estate will be offered as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. Called the A6 Avant 55 TFSI e quattro, it will follow the Audi A6 saloon PHEV into showrooms later this year. UK prices and specifications are yet to be revealed, but German-market cars get plenty of standard equipment and a starting price of just under €72,000 (around £62,500 at the time of writing).
Audi A6 Avant PHEV performance
Combining a 2.0-litre petrol engine with a powerful electric motor and a 14.1kWh battery, the car produces 362bhp. Accelerating from 0-62mph takes just 5.7 seconds (a tenth of a second slower than the saloon), and the top speed is limited to 155mph, or 84mph if you’re using electric power only. As with many powerful Audis, the plug-in hybrid A6 Avant gets quattro four-wheel drive and a seven-speed ‘S tronic’ automatic gearbox.
Economy, range and tax costs
Keep the battery topped up and the PHEV will be much more economical than the equivalent petrol model. Audi states that up to 148.7mpg is possible, but you’ll need to do mainly short journeys and use the battery as much as you can to get near this figure. At full capacity, the A6 Avant offers an electric-only range of just over 31 miles. Again, this is a little less than the Audi A6 saloon because of the estate’s extra weight.
Several driving modes allow you to choose between the power sources or use them simultaneously. Recharging the battery will take around 2.5 hours from a 7.4kW public charger, and a lot longer from a standard socket. A companion smartphone app lets you find local public charge points. When the battery is empty, it’s worth noting that you’ll probably see MPG in the low 30s.
The A6 Avant PHEV is aimed primarily at business drivers, who will appreciate the low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) liability. Because its CO2 emissions start at just 44g/km, it’ll be eligible for tax bills of just 10% in 2020/21. Private buyers will be charged £10 less in VED (road tax) than petrol or diesel models, but a starting price of over £40,000 means you’ll still be paying £465 in tax until the car is six years old.
The Audi A6 Avant is a large car but the positioning of the batteries means the plug-in hybrid model sacrifices some practicality compared with petrol and diesel versions. While the latter offer 586 litres of boot space, the hybrid makes do with a meagre 405 litres. This grows to 1,535 litres with the rear seats folded, which is a little way off the 1,680 litres you get in other models.
At least the boot floor is flat, which isn’t the case in the Mercedes E-Class hybrid estate - there’s a prominent step in the middle of the Mercedes’ boot. The Volvo V90 hybrid is better for carrying capacity - it offers 560 litres - while the BMW 5 Series estate doesn’t have a plug-in hybrid option.
Equipment and specifications
Audi has confirmed that European-spec cars will get sporty S line styling and the black exterior trim package, while privacy glass, sports seats, four-zone air conditioning and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit will be fitted as standard. The hybrid also features 19-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension and red brake calipers, plus matrix LED headlights (offering full-beam headlight brightness without blinding other drivers). While it’s not yet confirmed, we expect UK cars to offer a similar equipment list, especially given its potential price, which would make it one of the most expensive A6 Avant models.