Archive | October, 2014

Five Secrets You Didn’t Know about the Audi A6 Saloon

For a car to reveal all it has to offer requires some long-term testing. But sometimes drivers never find out a car’s “little secrets” simply because the opportunity never comes up. Discovering a car’s hidden gems earlier on can lead to better vehicle performance and smarter ownership. So today, We’re going to dig deeper into the little tricks that the Audi A6 3-litre TDI S-Line S-tronic with Quattro four-wheel drive has to offer.

Some tricks make full use of the car’s in-built technology and others simply make your life easier.

Secret 1:  The Virtual Dipstick

Today’s modern engines have done away with some of the mundane weekly checks that our parents used to carry out. Checking the oil being one of them – essential to ensure the engine isn’t going to seize due to a lack of lubrication.

The A6 is quite capable of advising you that it needs a top-up and that you should get it sorted pronto. No sudden stops at the roadside in a panic, just a detour to the garage to get some of that black gold.

Once topped-up the central display will tell you all is well, so you can lose the oily rag and avoid dirty fingers that every dipstick check delivers.

More secrets are revealed when you gain access to the car’s computer such as service intervals information and what pressure the tyres are at and, if you really need to know, the car’s Vehicle Identification Number.virtual dipstick Five Secrets You Didn’t Know about the Audi A6 Saloon

Secret 2: The Self-Suspending Boot Floor

Everyone dreads a flat. Especially when it’s raining and especially when the entire family (including restless kids) are in the car. On this Quattro car, during the test, it was necessary to put the Audi toolkit into use and as usual it was under the boot floor.

Normally, holding the floor up while accessing the kit requires three hands, or at least a shoulder to prop it open. In this case however, the flush fitting handle that lifts the floor up has a little hook on the end of it, which once engaged secures the floor panel to the top boot seal. Simple yet ingenious.

More obvious but worth mentioning are the two gas-struts that keep the bonnet open – no other strut required. It’s the little things that please most owners, right?self suspending boot floor Five Secrets You Didn’t Know about the Audi A6 Saloon

Secret 3: Locking Rear Seats Deter Felons

One advantage of the saloon over the estate version is better security. Any miscreant breaking into your estate car can easily access the storage area simply by clambering over the back seat.

In some saloons, the thief can still get in the boot by dropping the seatbacks. Not so in the A6! That’s because the backrests are lockable so you can prevent access to the boot. That’s clever thinking to protect your valuables. If you want to find out more about this car’s performance check out this Audi A6 Saloon review.

locking rear seats deter felons Five Secrets You Didn’t Know about the Audi A6 Saloon

Secret 4: The Car That Parks Itself.

Self-parking cars are not uncommon. For an experienced driver though, the challenge is trusting the tech to achieve the delicate art of parallel parking. The idea of technology is to make life easier for the user. But to achieve car parking nirvana, you have to learn to trust the tech.

The thing is, this A6 can effectively park itself. It takes an act of will to relinquish the steering wheel but you still need to control the brake and throttle. On the road test, the A6 demonstrated that it was entirely capable of assessing the space available and manoeuvring itself into the gap accordingly.

Subsequent tests revealed so long as the space was of adequate size, the Audi parked itself successfully – no drama or fuss. Although, on one occasion, it wasn’t perfectly straight. Then again, how often do we get it exactly right?car parks itself Five Secrets You Didn’t Know about the Audi A6 Saloon

Secret 5: The Digital Handbook

In the glove box of any new car you’ll find the handbook, which these days are about the size of a hardback version of War and Peace. To get the best out of your car this needs to be read from cover to cover but, in all honesty, how many owners actually do that?

The A6 almost dispenses with this antiquated method of information and instead allows the driver to access a digital handbook on screen. To do this it is first necessary to get to grips with the Audi’s systems before you can get to the guide that takes you through the car’s main controls and systems.

It isn’t meant to replace the handbook (the A6 comes with a printed version), but when those occasions arise the handbook isn’t where it should be, i.e. in the car as opposed to a mouldering drawer in the garage, you can still find out what you need to know, especially in an emergency.

These days we are becoming much more accustomed to in-car technology and 21st Century automotive marvels. It has become much easier to connect your mobile device to stream music and access contacts, it’s just the Audi A6 still has some tricks up its very smart sleeve and it is willing to let you in on the secret.digital handbook Five Secrets You Didn’t Know about the Audi A6 Saloon

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Suzuki SX4 S-Cross – Quality And Value.

Earlier this year Motor Blogger found himself in the Suzuki display at a major trade event. MB came away impressed and, as a consequence, managed to arrange to have the featured car for a whole week – a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross in top-of-the-range SZ5 trim.

Interested parties can get this car in one of four grades and trim levels with a choice of two engines: a Fiat derived 1.6L turbo-diesel or an in-house 1.6L petrol unit. Buyers can choose between two-wheel drive or – a must, I reckon – the AllGrip four-wheel option. Suzuki have this 4×4 business sorted I believe and it turns what could be seen as just another regular family crossover in the ever- growing pack of similar offerings into something much more versatile.

MB1 Suzuki SX4 S Cross   Quality And Value.It’s no mud-plugger obviously, but for sure-footed peace of mind in our sometimes challenging winter driving conditions on our ‘craters of the moon’ roads, it is worth stumping up for the extra costs involved. There are four driver selected options available. The car will run normally as a two-wheel front driver in Auto, but this can be shifted on the fly into Sport mode which engages the rear wheels and slightly boosts engine performance (you can feel the extra 500rpm kick in). The AllGrip system diverts 20% more of the 320Nm of torque to rear wheels and when driving around the more difficult stretches of my test route at pace, I appreciated the extra power and grip.

When the going gets tougher or when the dreaded white stuff makes an unwelcome appearance then the beleaguered driver can switch to the Mud/Snow option which enhances traction and stability. Finally, the Lock mode distributes high torque to the rear wheels continually, ideal for extricating the car from deeper snow and the like. It’s a good system, it is easy to use and it works.

Our featured car was fitted with the diesel engine. Setting off, acceleration is a bit pedestrian as you’d expect and, if I’m honest, a tad grumbly in operation but once you get it rolling it’s fine and indeed feels very willing to crack on. When the car was delivered it had achieved 61.9mpg thanks obviously to some smooth driving in 2WD mode. That’s good. In my hands however no car is allowed any slackness or back-sliding – they have to work. The SX4 spent most of its time in the Sport option yet still managed to achieve a splendid 50mpg on average whilst still only coughing up a modest 114g/km of emissions.

mb2 Suzuki SX4 S Cross   Quality And Value.It is really good to drive. Many people have to buy the cars they need rather than the cars they want so isn’t it great when a car that is functional and versatile can also be entertaining to drive. The ride quality impressed as did the lack of roll in corners.

All SX4 S-Cross SZ3 models are equipped as standard with seven airbags, ESP and Tyre Pressure Monitoring as well as Daytime Running Lights (DRL), 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, heated door mirrors, black protective skid plates and black wheel arch extensions. SZ4 adds 17-inch alloy wheels finished in dark grey, Dual Zone automatic air conditioning, front fog lamps, Bluetooth connectivity, rear privacy glass, silver roof rails and silver skid plates.

SZ-T (the one for business and fleet users with BIK of 18%) adds satellite navigation (a bit below par, it has to be said) with DAB radio, polished 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking camera and rear parking proximity sensors and chrome styling package. Equipment for the top of the range SZ5 model we are featuring includes front parking sensors, leather seat upholstery, double sliding panoramic sunroof and HID projector headlamps with AUTO function. There’s a range of eight exterior colours. The aforementioned sunroof (it opens) is a highlight, making the interior bright and airy but if you want to shut out the weather there’s an electrically operated blind.

The boot is big and very adaptable. Inside, I found the seats comfortable, with tons of legroom front and back, and the driving position adaptable. Sure, on the cheaper models there are some plastics but that must be expected; in any case the Suzuki appeared well screwed together.

This car costs between around £14,000 and (for our car) £22,720 and there are deals. For what you get that’s great value. There is a car from another brand that is considered the benchmark in this sector – the small SUV by which all others are judged. In my opinion, the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ5, as tested, is the equal of the other (better looking too) and, crucially, cheaper by almost £3k at the range-topper. Well worth considering.

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Driverless On The Hockenheim Racetrack

At Germany’s Touring Car race finale at Hockenheim Audi will stage one of the most extreme piloted driving demonstrations to date. They will underscore piloted driving potential as part of the programme for the final German Touring Car Championship race at Hockenheim.

There will be a live broadcast on Audi Media TV from 12:45pm on October 19, 2014 when an autonomous car will undertake a two-minute lap time and try and achieve a speed of 149mph.

driverless Driverless On The Hockenheim RacetrackA driverless Audi RS7 Sportback will tackle Germany’s famous circuit at race speed next week to underscore the potential of their piloted driving technology. With the latest Audi developments on board, the concept car will drive autonomously to its physical limits with millimetre precision as an exciting sideshow for the Touring Car Championship (DTM) finale on the 19th.

As its sophisticated sensors guide it around the challenging circuit, the RS7 Sportback piloted driving concept car will be approximately as fast as with a professional racing driver at the wheel. Tests conducted so far indicate that on the grand prix track a lap time of just over two minutes can be expected, and that the technology demonstrator should reach speeds, as mentioned, of up to 149mph.

The performance will be broadcast live and exclusively on the Internet starting at 12:45 pm on Audi Media TV.

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