Two new Audi stars which make the most of the sun, and of the earth’s resources, have picked up coveted accolades in the 2014 Auto Express Awards. The all-new A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI and the A6 2.0 TDI SE ultra Saloon have been crowned Best Convertible and Best Executive Car in the respected title’s annual honours ceremony, which took place last night (Tuesday July 15) in London.
In his summation, Steve Fowler, Auto Express Magazine Editor-in-Chief, highlighted the remarkable spread of attributes that have made the A6 TDI ultra an award-winner, and an increasingly firm favourite among private customers and company car drivers alike. “It’s a return to the top spot for the Audi A6 thanks to the brilliant new ultra model. It combines the all important low CO2 and high mpg figures business users crave, along with the quality, comfort and kit they want,” he said. “Audi has managed to produce all that in a car that’s brilliant to drive, too.”
Power for the Saloon and Avant-based A6 TDI ultra variants is provided by a new 2.0-litre diesel engine that complies with forthcoming EU6 emissions regulations. Offering 190PS and 400Nm of torque, and linked to either a six-speed manual or new efficiency-optimised seven-speed S tronic transmission, the advanced unit not only enables the A6 TDI ultra Saloon to cover up to 64.2mpg, but also reduces CO2 by 14 per cent to an impressive 114g/km. This exceptional frugality doesn’t rule out an 8.2-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 144mph as well.
As impressive as the performance and cost-effectiveness of this new ultra model is the fact that – uniquely for a conventionally powered car in the premium sector – it has been achieved without need for any restriction on equipment. Like all A6 engines the new 190PS 2.0 TDI ultra unit can be paired with SE, S line and Black Edition specification, meaning its improved performance can be enjoyed along with alloy wheels of up to 20 inches in diameter, with the popular S line body styling additions and with every other infotainment feature, driver aid and comfort-enhancing option available for the rest of the range.
Plaudits for the A3 Cabriolet
The considerable appeal of the all-new A3 Cabriolet was also enough to secure another Auto Express trophy for Audi. Explaining the rationale behind the decision to rank the A3 Cabriolet most highly in its class, Steve Fowler said: “We Brits love our convertibles and they don’t come any better than the Audi A3 Cabriolet. It looks tremendous – so important in this market – with all the quality we’ve come to expect from Audi. And although it does without a roof, it’s as brilliant to drive as any other A3.”
Taking the recently introduced A3 Saloon as its foundation, the latest A3 Cabriolet Sport features a fast-retracting powered fabric acoustic hood which can open to the elements fully automatically in a little under 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. In the winning version it combines this with an advanced 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine featuring Cylinder-on-Demand technology which is capable of returning up to 57.6mpg (with S tronic twin-clutch transmission), equating to CO2 emissions of just 114g/km, yet offers 140PS and 0-62mph acceleration in just 9.1 seconds.
In addition to the fully automatic acoustic hood, equipment for the winning Sport model also includes 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and sports suspension (which can be ‘de-selected’ in favour of standard suspension at no extra cost), the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, dual-zone climate control, the Audi Music Interface (AMI), a Bluetooth phone interface and DAB digital radio.
Alternative engine options for the new Cabriolet include the 1.8-litre TFSI with 180PS and either front-wheel-drive or quattro all-wheel-drive, the 1.6-litre TDI with 110PS and the 2.0-litre TDI with 150PS, and customers can also choose SE and top flight S line specification in place of the Sport trim level.
Audi A3 Cabriolet Sport and A6 2.0 TDI Ultra