Since late 2012, coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) has gradually become the predominant pathogen responsible for hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) in several provinces of China. A total of 626 patients diagnosed with HFMD in Shanghai, China from January 2012 to September 2013 were enrolled in this study. Of these, 292 CVA6 infected cases were subjected to clinical analyses. Whole-genome sequencing, recombination and phylogenetic analyses were also performed. A recombinant CVA6 monophyletic lineage was found during an outbreak of CVA6-associated HFMDs in Shanghai, China in November 2012, and accounted for 21.9% (64/292) of the CVA6 strains during the study period. Recombination analyses showed that the 2C gene of the novel CVA6 virus was probably derived from a coxsackievirus A4 (CVA4) strain circulating in the population. Clinical observation showed that this recombinant CVA6 virus led to a more generalized rash than did the non-recombinant CVA6 virus. This newly emerged CVA6 lineage was associated with a considerable proportion of HFMD cases from 2012 to 2013 in Shanghai, and poses a potential threat to public health.