HYBRID power is all the rage these days with manufacturers adding electric motors to the mix for cleaner, greener and more efficient motoring.
And the latest Audi A6 saloon, priced at £52,075 for entry-level Sport trim, has just been given the hybrid mix treatment combining a punchy 2.0-litre TFSI turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor powered by a 14.1kWh battery to deliver an output of 299PS with 450Nm of pulling power.
Performance figures are impressive with a 0-62mph sprint time of just 6.2 seconds and top speed limited to 155mph. But the data that will have fleet drivers sitting up and taking note are the running costs. If plugged in regularly, this A6 can deliver 188mpg and the carbon emissions figure of 35g/km results in attractive tax savings.
There's no denying the A6 is a great looking car with smooth streamlining, sweeping light clusters with LED daytime running lights, a distinctive grille, body-coloured bumpers and door mirrors, chrome window surrounds and 18-inch alloy wheels to complete the styling.
Move inside and the Audi oozes premium quality with soft-touch surfaces and fine leather upholstery.
The car features the company's renowned MMI Touch Response system featuring two touchscreens with haptic and acoustic responses. A Navigation Plus system is included as standard which introduces a larger 10.1-inch upper display screen and the Virtual Cockpit binnacle with sharp graphics.
On-board kit includes full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, wireless charging and the integration of Amazon's cloud-based Alexa voice control, bringing access to more than 80,000 Alexa functions such as streaming playlists, audiobooks and even placing shopping orders.
When it comes to performance, the A6 lives up to its executive billing with effortless acceleration and plenty of power on tap for sharp bursts of pace to overtake slower vehicles. The car is beautifully balanced on country lanes with excellent grip levels thanks to the intelligent quattro on demand all-wheel drive system.
The steering is nicely weighted with plenty of driver feedback and the car is also deceptively agile as it weaves through busier town centres. In pure electric mode, the A6 can be driven for up to 34 miles and reach speeds up to 84mph, with the petrol engine seamlessly kicking in when needed.
The seven-speed S tronic transmission is super slick and there are steering wheel mounted paddles for added driver engagement.
Most bumps and dips are smoothed out by the effective suspension set-up and the cabin is well insulated so occupants are protected from any engine, road surface or wind noise.
The A6 can be driven in three power modes - ‘EV' for pure electric motoring if there is enough charge, ‘Hybrid' for an efficient combination of both electric and combustion engine, and finally, ‘Hold' to save the battery's charge.
In addition to these power source modes, you can flick through driving modes called Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual that alter the mannerisms and reactions of the car. It goes without saying that Dynamic is the most fun.
Comfort levels are excellent and there is room for three adults in the back although the person in the middle will have to straddle a quite large transmission tunnel. The boot is large enough to swallow 360 litres of kit and there are a number of handy storage options scattered throughout the car.
The A6 PHEV can be charged in about two-and-a-half hours from a 7kW wallbox.
Safety is always an area that Audi excels in and the A6 was awarded the maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating thanks to a wealth of on-board technology to help protect occupants, pedestrians and other road users alike.
All in all, the A6 with plug-in hybrid technology is further proof that electric power can be introduced without upsetting the dynamics and, if the options are kept to a minimum, this model could be the perfect car for business drivers.
Price:£52,075, plus£1,400 extras
299ps, 1984cc, 4-cylinder, petrol-driven engine with 14.1kWh battery and 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission with quattro all-wheel drive
: 188.3mpg (EV range 34 miles)