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FORD F150 IS THE TRUCK OF THE YEAR: Ford silences its critics! F-150 is simply dominant: SEE PICs

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Ford gambled more than $1 billion and abandoned seven decades of steel bodywork to create a 2015 F-150 with an aluminum body. Dropping a claimed ZAR12,846.90 would improve fuel economy, increase towing capacity, improve power-to-weight ratios, and create a truck with fewer parts subject to rust.

The move was bold and expensive. Two truck plants closed for 13 weeks each to gut the body shop. Months of downtime meant the lost sale of 60,000 trucks valued at ZAR550,552.00 or higher, followed by a slow rollout. Ford endured a year of lost market share and profits. Critics called it an unnecessary and costly mistake.

Once the new F-150 arrived, Ford had to fend off GM’s allegations that aluminum wasn’t as tough as Chevy steel. And Ford still was trailing the fuel efficiency chase to the Ram diesel.

Ford fought back, saying reducing weight was just step one in a more comprehensive reimagining of the F-150. Still to come were a new powertrain lineup with new engines, improvements to existing ones, and a new transmission.

Patience, Ford pleaded. We’re just getting started.

Three years ago, we determined the new F-150 had a nice body but that not all the details had been sorted out. The F-150 lost the Motor Trend 2015 Truck of the Year title to the Chevrolet Colorado.

Fast-forward to today. For 2018 Truck of the Year testing, Ford gave us four variants to show the breadth of the changes under the hood. Ford has been busy; the interiors have gotten nicer, the infotainment system more intuitive, the steering better. The F-150 chassis is stupendous, the innovations have increased, and it has earned an NHTSA five-star safety rating.

It was unanimous. The Ford F-150 is Motor Trend’s 2018 Truck of the Year. “It was a pretty resounding win,” road test editor Chris Walton said. “Nothing really came close.”

The F-150 was once again up against its nemesis: the Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab with either a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 2.8-liter turbodiesel I-4. And there was the GMC Sierra Denali 3500 HD, a dually with a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8.

Ford proved its superiority with an impressive range of trucks with a different grille and wheel-tire combo for every taste and ride and handling that have come a long way since 2015.

2018 FORD F-150 4×2 SUPERCAB XL

This rear-drive work truck with lots of rubber and vinyl, a front bench seat, an AM/FM radio, a CD player, and a slotted coin holder has an element of purity. There is a wisp of nostalgia listening to the 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V-6 work to produce 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. It was visceral while delivering the lineup’s second-best efficiency at 19/25 mpg in city/highway driving. (The rear-drive 2.7 EcoBoost ups those numbers by 1 mpg each.) “I always fall in love with the base models,” editor-in-chief Ed Loh said.

WORKIN’ IT Despite the lengthy list of pricey variants, we were nonetheless wowed by the capability of the basic F-150 work truck.

We were not as misty-eyed about the carryover six-speed automatic. Executive editor Mark Rechtin experienced an abundance of gear hunting uphill, whereupon it stayed in sixth gear downhill and would only downshift in Sport or Tow mode. Associate online editor Alex Nishimoto also experienced weird gear choices—he once downshifted to second in Sport mode downhill at 40 mph. Some liked the start/stop system, but others found it a bit harsh and felt it paired better with the 10-speed.

It was a pretty resounding win. Nothing really came close.

Our entry truck has less ground clearance and no four-wheel drive, so it could not get to our washed-out quarry of choice for the dirt-drifting shenanigans that the four-wheel-drive F-150s enjoyed.

The XL is a champ with a trailer. It weighed less than the trailer it towed (not to mention the smaller Colorado) but tied for the second-fastest quarter mile while laden and was a handling master on the skidpad. Features editor Christian Seabaugh was impressed. “The little 3.3 has zero trouble towing its 5,000-pound trailer,” he said. “Tow/Haul mode keeps the gears low and the engine roaring. No shift shock. Rock solid and stable. Super easy to park this trailer, too.”

The bare-bones truck has a boxed steel frame, a locking removable tailgate, pickup box tie-down hooks, trailer sway control, hitch assist, hill-start assist, and curve control standard.

“I love the tiny screen that still gives you all the major features (except for navigation),” said Loh, who used USB and Bluetooth to play Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, and NPR One. “The backup camera works well and has a zoom feature that allowed me to connect a trailer with little help from the spotter. Everything works. Nothing is luxe. That’s the way it is supposed to be—functional.”

It’s easy to question this F-150’s value proposition when focusing on its ZAR450,902.09 starting price, but when you look at its class-leading payload and towing capacity, the bill becomes easier to swallow. Trucks are made to work, after all. Still, the base F-150 is a few thousand dollars more than some competitive half-ton pickups when comparably equipped.

Our tester came to ZAR499,419.48 with the must-have spray-in bedliner option, chrome appearance package, cruise control, and 17-inch painted aluminum wheels with Michelin LTX M/S2 tires.

2018 F-150 4×4 SUPERCREW LARIAT

Seabaugh thinks the ZAR13,694.98 bump for the 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 engine (325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque) and the 10-speed transmission is money well spent. This is one of the new engines a lighter-bodied F-150 made possible. (Buyers can also opt for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, which we didn’t test in this variant because it was in play last year.)

“I can’t believe that such a tiny engine can produce this much power,” Motor Trend en Español editor Miguel Cortina said. “This is probably the one that I would get if it were my own money.” That will be ZAR664,309.81 please, Mr. Cortina, if you want the base model; it’s ZAR832,365.81 for our tester.

Walton was impressed. “It never fails to amaze me how well pickup trucks drive now,” he said. “The 2.7 is all the engine most folks will ever need, and the steering is shockingly precise.” On the sweeping curve of the Davis Dam grade where Walton measured steering input, the truck held its steering angle like it was on railway tracks. The Lariat’s strong brakes and street tires brought it to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet—impressive for a truck weighing ZAR96,627.03 . The chassis is fantastic, shining the way we think Ford originally wanted it to. “It is an absolute sweetheart to drift,” Seabaugh said.

Loh gave kudos to Ford for leading the way on safety technology with airbag-equipped seat belts for rear passengers and a lane keeping assist system that gently caresses (rather than nudges) the truck back to the center of the lane.

Where the 2.7-liter failed to impress was the downhill on the Davis Dam. With cruise control set to 65 mph, the Lariat’s small displacement meant insufficient engine braking for its cargo load—hitting 76.2 mph in our test. Otherwise it did the loop with less drama than other trucks, exploiting the torque to its advantage.

The ZAR664,309.81 base model has foglamps, BoxLink cargo management, a power-sliding rear window, an 8.0-inch screen, Sync 3, adjustable pedals, and heated/cooled front seats. Extras on our ZAR832,365.81 tester include a bedliner, a twin-panel moonroof, 20-inch wheels with Goodyear Wrangler tires, active park assist, a 360-degree camera, blind-spot detection with trailer tow monitoring, remote start, and heated power-folding mirrors, steering wheel, and second-row seats.

A quibble: the console shifter’s too-soft detents. It is too easy to shift from park past drive and into Manual mode, Nishimoto found. Going the other way, it frequently zipped past reverse and into park—an anxiety on quick three-point turns. But we all liked the 10-speed automatic, which kicks down several gears instantly on acceleration, going from 10th to fifth at 65 mph at wide-open throttle.

2018 F-150 4×4 SUPERCREW PLATINUM

Yes, a good old-fashioned V-8. The 5.0-liter has the same torque as the 2.7-liter turbo V-6 at 400 lb-ft, but it ups the ante with 395 hp and the rumble of a V-8, which was once the staple of every full-size truck. Emotionally, it’s the engine we want: relaxed, steady power.

LED lighting, body-color bumpers, power running boards, and heated rear seats are now standard on a truck with a ZAR810,343.73 base price. Our tester was ZAR869,940.98 , adding the bedliner, twin-panel sunroof, and 360-degree camera to offer active park assist and adaptive cruise control. It also has a tailgate step and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with Hankook Dynapro ATM tires.

“This truck is stupid expensive, but it at least feels like a luxury truck,” Seabaugh said. “It’s quiet and comfortable inside, with beautiful leather, nice wood trim, and a general high-quality feel. This is the first F-150 of the three I’ve driven that feels like its sticker price.”

2017 F-150 RAPTOR SUPERCREW

What a concept: a desert racer with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 generating 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque that does 0–60 mph in 6 seconds flat and can do a burnout with a trailer attached. It’s a treat on good pavement, carving corners and provoking grins. The Raptor starts at ZAR703,054.90 ; our tester came to ZAR891,137.23 .

“The nearest automotive equivalent—and this will sound weird—is a car that has been equally loved and sweated over, the similarly aggressive and goofy-looking yet oh so refined and sophisticated Honda Civic Type R,” Loh said. “The similarities are quite compelling. And yeah, I loved that one, too.”

Cortina loved the transmission, as well. “The powerful engine is well mated to the transmission, which provides fast shifts at the right time,” he said. “The fact it can skip gears to provide a faster downshift gives the feeling there’s more power.” But he doesn’t like placement of the Off-Road mode button on the steering wheel, where you can accidently engage or disengage 4WD with a misplaced thumb.

Off-road is where the Raptor is in its element, but it also sets well when cornering on pavement. However, the rear end gets skittery on imperfect roadways, and a trailer exacerbates it.

Few folks will tow with a Raptor, but we tested it anyway. In the quarter mile, the Raptor hauls a trailer in 18.2 seconds at 74.4 mph. But its fancy dampers and softer springs did not like the tongue weight of the 4,000-pound trailer. The rear sagged, so all you could see in the rearview mirror was tarmac. But it was the only truck that noticeably used brakes to slow it just before an automated downshift, taking the load off the transmission. It was effective at holding speed going downhill. At only 1.7 mph over the 65-mph setting, the Raptor was the best in test. It also had the best air conditioning while pulling under load.

Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist, available across the F-150 lineup, alleviates anxiety while backing up a trailer, especially when there’s an impatient lineup at the boat ramp. Pairing the truck’s assist function with our trailer took 15 minutes, a tape measure, some stickers, and a pen. Then you just turn the knob on the center stack in the direction you want everything to go. PTBA takes care of the rest. Magic. Equally handy is a trailer hookup checklist on the instrument panel menu, which ensures you don’t forget a step.

In looking at the F-150 lineup, Ford kept its promise to lead the pack once it completed its transformation. Last year, Ford dominated our competition with the thunderous F-250 and F-350 Super Duty lineup. Now it’s Ford’s full-size light-duty pickups that grab the Calipers. And there is more to come. Ford will put a diesel under the F-150’s hood this coming summer and will offer a hybrid by 2020.

“Ford really sweats the small stuff on this truck,” Seabaugh said. “They know it’s their bread and butter.”

2018 Ford F-150 XL (4×2 Supercab 3.3L) 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat 4×4 (2.7 EcoBoost Supercrew) 2018 Ford F-150 Platinum 4×4 (5.0L Supercrew) 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Supercab
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD Front-engine, 4WD Front-engine, 4WD Front-engine, 4WD
ENGINE TYPE 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads Twin-turbo 60-deg V-6, iron block/alum heads 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads Twin-turbo 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 203.7 cu in/3,337 cc 164.3 cu in/2,693 cc 307.2 cu in/5,034 cc 212.9 cu in/3,489 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 12.0:1 10.3:1 12.0:1 10.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 290 hp @ 6,500 rpm 325 hp @ 5,000 rpm 395 hp @ 5,750 rpm 450 hp @ 5,000 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 265 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 400 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm 400 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm 510 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
REDLINE 7,000 rpm 5,800 rpm 5,800 rpm 6,300 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 15.7 lb/hp 16.2 lb/hp 13.6 lb/hp 12.7 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic 10-speed automatic 10-speed automatic 10-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.55:1/2.45:1/— 3.55:1/2.25:1/2.64:1 3.31:1/2.11:1/2.64:1 4.10:1/2.60:1/2.64:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, leaf springs Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, leaf springs Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, leaf springs Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; solid axle, leaf springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 17.4:1 17.4:1 17.4:1 17.2:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1
BRAKES, F; R 13.8-in vented disc; 13.2-in vented disc, ABS 13.8-in vented disc; 13.2-in vented disc, ABS 13.8-in vented disc; 13.2-in vented disc, ABS 13.8-in vented disc; 13.7-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R 7.5 x 17-in cast aluminum 8.5 x 20-in cast aluminum 8.5 x 20-in cast aluminum 8.5 x 17-in cast aluminum
TIRES, F;R 245/70R17 110T (M+S) Michelin LTX M/S2 275/55R20 113T (M+S) Goodyear Wrangler 275/55R20 113T (M+S) Hankook Dynapro ATM 315/70R17 113/110S (M+S) BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 145.0 in 145.0 in 145.0 in 134.2 in
TRACK, F/R 67.6/67.6 in 67.6/67.6 in 67.6/67.6 in 73.9/73.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 231.9 x 79.9 x 75.5 in 231.9 x 79.9 x 77.2 in 231.9 x 79.9 x 77.2 in 220.0 x 86.3 x 78.5 in
TURNING CIRCLE 47.1 ft 47.1 ft 47.1 ft 44.3 ft
CURB WEIGHT 4,564 lb 5,265 lb 5,371 lb 5,711 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 57/43% 59/41% 58/42% 55/45%
SEATING CAPACITY 6 5 5 5
HEADROOM, F/R 40.8/40.3 in 40.8/40.4 in 40.8/40.4 in 40.8/40.3 in
LEGROOM, F/R 43.9/33.5 in 43.9/43.6 in 43.9/43.6 in 43.9/33.5 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 66.7/65.8 in 66.7/65.9 in 66.7/65.9 in 66.7/65.8 in
CARGO VOLUME BEH 1ST ROW 31.6 cu ft 51.9 cu ft 51.9 cu ft 31.6 cu ft
PICKUP BOX L x W x H 78.9 x 65.2 x 21.4 in 67.1 x 65.2 x 21.4 in 67.1 x 65.2 x 21.4 in 61.7 x 65.2 x 21.4 in
PICKUP BOX VOLUME 62.3 cu ft 52.8 cu ft 52.8 cu ft 52.8 cu ft
WIDTH BET WHEELHOUSES 50.6 in 50.6 in 50.6 in 50.6 in
PAYLOAD CAPACITY 1,840 lb 1,690 lb 2,080 lb 1,000 lb
TOWING CAPACITY 5,000 lb 7,600 lb 9,100 lb 6,000 lb
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.8 sec 2.5 sec 2.4 sec 2.1 sec
0-40 4.1 3.7 3.5 3.1
0-50 5.8 5.3 4.8 4.4
0-60 7.6 7.0 6.3 6.0
0-70 9.7 9.2 8.1 8.0
0-80 13.0 12.2 10.2 10.7
0-90 16.8 15.7 12.8 14.3
0-100 21.5 20.3 16.0 19.2
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.7 3.7 3.1 3.1
QUARTER MILE 15.9 sec @ 88.2 mph 15.5 sec @ 89.5 mph 14.7 sec @ 96.6 mph 14.7 sec @ 91.4 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 129 ft 119 ft 120 ft 140 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.75 g (avg) 0.76 g (avg) 0.75 g (avg) 0.70 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.6 sec @ 0.59 g (avg) 28.4 sec @ 0.59 g (avg) 28.0 sec @ 0.62 g (avg) 29.2 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,600 rpm 1,550 rpm 1,450 rpm 1,550 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE ZAR450,902.09 ZAR664,309.81 ZAR810,343.73 ZAR703,054.90
PRICE AS TESTED ZAR499,419.48 ZAR832,365.81 ZAR869,940.98 ZAR891,137.23
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 23.0 gal 26.0 gal 26.0 gal 26.0 gal
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 18.7/23.1/20.5 mpg 14.9/23.2/17.7 mpg Not tested 14.3/18.6/16.0 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 19/25/22 mpg 19/24/21 mpg 16/22/18 mpg 15/18/16 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 177/135 kW-hrs/100 miles 177/140 kW-hrs/100 miles 211/153 kW-hrs/100 miles 225/187 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.91 lb/mile 0.93 lb/mile 1.06 lb/mile 1.20 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular Unleaded regular Unleaded regular Unleaded premium

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Lewis Hamilton Seals Fifth F1 World Title

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Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth Formula 1 title at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday night, with two races to spare.

Despite finishing fourth in Sunday’s race, it was good enough to see the British driver claim the world championship to draw level with Juan Manuel Fangio in the Formula 1 record books, with Max Verstappen victorious.

The 33-year-old Briton’s only remaining championship rival, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, needed a victory to keep his hopes alive, but could only finish second.

Hamilton’s success also sees him just two titles shy of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

He added his 2018 crown to his championship wins in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

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Volkswagen Arteon (2018): What you need to know about the newcomer

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The striking Volkswagen Arteon has landed in South Africa and we have specifications and pricing for this model. Here’s what you need to know about the newcomer.

Volkswagen calls its new Arteon, which replaces the outgoing Passat CC, a 5-door grand tourer, which pitches the newcomer against the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A5 Sportback and a slew of other business class sedans, including the upcoming Kia Stinger.

Built on Volkswagen’s lauded Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform, the Arteon boasts a wheelbase of 2 841 mm, is 1 871 mm wide and 1 427 mm tall. The range comprises 4-cylinder engines only, with one turbodiesel and one turbopetrol motor, both of which are mated with a Volkswagen (DSG) dual-clutch transmission.

The 2.0 TDI DSG is available in Elegance and R-line trim lines. Its 2.0-litre turbodiesel has peak outputs of 130 kW and 350 Nm, with power going to the front wheels via a 6-speed DSG. It’ll be the most frugal of the motors, with a claimed consumption figure of just 5.6 L/100 km.

The petrol engine, meanwhile, is a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, which delivers 206 kW/350 Nm and is mated with a 7-speed DSG. The motor powers the top-of-the-range all-wheel-driven Arteon derivative that is claimed to complete the 0-100 kph sprint in 5.6 seconds before going on to a limited top speed of 250 kph. It’s a little thirstier than its diesel sibling at 7.3 L/100 km.

Elegance-spec

Exterior:

  • Chrome wing mirror caps
  • LED tail lights with dynamic indicator light function
  • 18-inch ‘Muscat’ alloy wheels
  • Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Chrome strips on side windows
  • LED tail lights
  • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Alloy wheels (from 18-inch)
  • Keyless Go locking system

Interior:

  • Aluminium pedals
  • Instruments, dashboard and door panels with individualised look and trim in brushed aluminium
  • Contrast stitching on seat covers and floor mats
  • Seat covers in Nappa leather
  • Stainless steel door tread plates, front and rear
  • Composition Media infotainment system, including eight loudspeakers, AUX-IN and USB (Apple-compatible)
  • 3-zone electronically controlled air conditioning system
  • Multifunction steering wheel in leather (with shift paddles on DSG models)
  • Driver Alert System
  • Progressive steering

R-Line spec

Exterior

  • ‘C’-signature of the front air intakes in high-gloss black
  • 19-inch ‘Montevideo’ alloy wheels
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Unique R-Line bumpers
  • Continuous chrome trim strip on lower-bodywork
  • Chrome-plated exhaust system tailpipes
  • Black boot lid spoiler
  • Privacy glass
  • Power folding mirrors

Interior

  • Leather sports multi-function steering wheel in R-Line design
  • Aluminium pedals
  • Roof liner in ‘Titanium Black’
  • Stainless steel door tread plates front and rear with R-Line logo on front plates
  • Nappa Leather/Carbon Style seats with R-Line logo
  • Front seat heating

Volkswagen Arteon Price in South Africa

The new Arteon comes standard with a 5-year/90 000 km maintenance plan, 3-year/120 000 km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and space saver spare wheel. Service Interval is 15 000 km.   

2.0 TDI 130 kW Elegance DSG R599 900
2.0 TDI 130 kW R-Line DSG R649 900
2.0 TSI 206 kW R-Line 4MOTION DSG  R699 900

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FIRST LOOK: Here’s the rundown on the new Audi A6

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Stop us if you’ve seen this one before. In case you missed the news on the latest Audi A8 and A7, though, here’s the rundown on the new A6.

As you’ve already guessed, the least expensive of Audi’s medium and large sedan triumvirate borrows, as always, heavily from the long-tail A7 and coddling A8 luxury sedans. At the front, it’s identical to the A7 and mostly the same from the side, save the roofline. The rear end is the A6’s calling card, clearly related to the other two but uniquely executed.

The interior is like the nose, identical to its near-twin, the A7. Its showpiece is the latest Audi MMI touch response system featuring a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen at the top of the dash and an 8.6-inch touchscreen with haptic feedback below that controls the climate and accepts text inputs drawn with a finger. A fully loaded car with both the optional 10.1-inch screen and navigation also includes the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital gauges and a full-color head-up display.

Driving-related tech features include everything from active safety systems to driver aides such as adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assistance and Audi’s Parking Pilot/Garage Pilot, which allows you to pull the car into or out of a garage or parking space from outside the car with an app on your phone. As with the A7, the A8’s Level 3 autonomous driving technology is not on offer.

[easymedia-gallery med=”47750″ filter=”1″]

The theme continues unabated beneath the hood, where again like the A7, the only likely engine for the U.S. market is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with a 48-volt belt alternator starter mild-hybrid system. Adding an electric motor/generator to the serpentine belt allows for quicker, smoother automatic engine start/stop as well as regenerative braking, torque fill when the engine isn’t making full power, and the ability to coast with the engine off between 34 and 99 mph. When auto-stopped, which can happen when the car drops below 14 mph coasting to a stop, the engine automatically restarts when the car ahead moves.

That engine is connected exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a variant of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive, which decouples the rear axle when not needed to save gas. A rear-wheel steering system is optional and improves both agility and the turning radius.

As the wheels are driven and turned, they’re corralled by independent suspension all around with one of four spring and shock combinations: springs and fixed dampers, springs and electronically adjustable dampers, air suspension and electronically adjustable dampers, and a sport suspension with stiffer springs and fixed dampers.

Slightly larger on the outside, noticeably larger on the inside, and fully revamped, the A6 will go on sale in Europe in June with U.S. sales likely to follow by the end of the year.

2019 Audi A6
BASE PRICE ZAR587,441.40 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 3.0L/340-hp/369-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 4,000 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 114.7 in (est)
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 194.5 x 74.3 x 57.4 in
0-60 MPH 5.3 sec (MT est)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet rated
ON SALE IN U.S. Winter 2018

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