It’s not often that the plug-in hybrid version of a luxury car is the one to buy, at least for enthusiasts. Their extra weight and uninspiring powertrains often make them less exciting and enjoyable to drive than their traditional counterparts. However, with the case of the new Audi A6 55 TFSI e Quattro, we actually think it’s the pick of the range.
The all new Audi A6 55 TFSI e Quattro (the most absurd car name we’ve ever seen) is the brand’s latest plug-in hybrid entry, following the Q5 and A8 TFSI e models. Under its hood lies a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine which, when paired with an electric motor, makes a combined 361 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That’s more power than the standard Audi A6 3.0T (354 hp/369 lb-ft), while also having more instantaneous torque, thanks to its electric punch.
According to Audi, 0-60 mph takes a about 5.6 seconds. That’s not fast but it’s not slow, either, and it’s more than enough to easily motivate the big Audi A6. It also gets a pure electric range of 32.9 miles and an all-electric top speed of 84 mph, which is impressive. So it might not be super quick but it has a few other tricks up its sleeve. Still, it’s quicker than the BMW 530e hybrid, which will be its main competitor when it debuts.
Just like the Audi Q5 and A8 hybrids, the Audi A6 TFSI e will have a few different drive modes for its hybrid powertrain. Upon start-up, the hybrid A6 will be in its pure EV mode, where it uses the electric motor as much as possible. Though, mashing the throttle kicks the engine on temporarily, until it can resume driving on pure electric power again. There’s also Hybrid mode, which uses both the electric motor and the internal combustion engine as the car sees fit, for the best fuel efficiency. The last mode is Hold mode and it uses the gas-engine almost strictly to maintain a specific state of battery charge, so it can be used at a later time. Hold mode is designed to be used when you know you have to use pure EV power at a certain time, such as when entering cities with emissions bans, so the driver can save the battery for that time.
The hybrid Audi A6 can currently be ordered for the German market and it starts life at EUR 68,850. That, when adjusted for exchange rates, makes it around $76,000. That makes it very expensive and significantly more expensive than the BMW 530e, which starts at $59,300 in the US. We don’t have any official word on whether or not the new Audi A6 hybrid will come ‘Stateside but we hope it does because its combination of power, performance and efficiency makes it the pick of the lineup.