This is the new Audi A6 Avant, a crucial new model for Audi UK as the current car makes up 43% of A6 sales here in Blighty. The new Audi A6 Avant is bigger, lighter and better all round than the model it replaces.
Important stuff first – how big is the boot on the new Audi A6 Avant?
We’ll get there in a moment, but first let’s mention the optional ‘gesture-controlled’ boot lid. We quote: ‘a particular movement pattern below the rear bumper activates the system and the hatch opens automatically’.
Quite what weird movement you have to make around the back of your A6 we don’t know, but once you’ve gestured to the rear hatch to open – and it has – inside you’ll find a boot that boasts 565 litres of carrying capacity. Alas that’s exactly the same capacity as the existing A6 Avant, and with the seats folded down the 1680 litres on offer is only 20 more than the current car. Blame the sloping D-pillars for the lack of any worthwhile increase in boot space.
The rest of the Avant’s interior is standard A6 fare… which means top-notch build quality, class-leading materials, and the same massively improved user interface that’s shared with the A7.
Engines, transmissions, etc please?
Customers can pick from a choice of six engines; four diesels, two petrols, and all boasting direct fuel injection. The majority will be interested in the only four-pot unit, the front-drive-only 2.0 TDI boasting 174bhp, 56.5mpg and just 132g/km CO2.
The other three oil burners are versions of the same 3.0 TDI, with either 201bhp, 241bhp (a Clean Diesel varaint will follow), and 308bhp. The latter boasts two turbos, reach 62mph in 5.4 seconds, and hit the electronic limiter at 155mph with ease. The only naturally aspirated engine is Audi’s 2.8 FSI unit, while the other petrol unit is the supercharged 3.0 TFSI with 296bhp.
As for the gearbox choice, there are four on offer, from a six-speed manual through to an eight-speed auto, with a CVT and seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic inbetween. Power can go to just the front, or all four wheels, and if opt for a Quattro-equipped car then the Sport differential can be specced and will distribute power between the rear wheels. So equipped, Audi claims ‘the A6 Avant rides as if on rails’. Either something was lost in translation, or the ride is actually crap.
I presume the new Audi A6 Avant is cleaner and greener than the car it replaces?
Together with lower kerbweights (Audi reckons about 20% of the A6 Avant’s body is built using aluminium components, meaning some models weigh up to 70kg less than their predecessors) and standard stop/start tech, fuel consumption is improved by as much as 18%.
All versions feature Audi’s Drive Select system, with Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual models to tweak the engine, chassis and assistance systems. All models bar the 2.8 FSI also sport an Efficiency mode biased towards improving fuel economy.
Of course. There's a staggering long list of options including adaptive air suspension, dynamic steering similar to that used on the RS5, a head-up display, massage front seats, internet access, a 360-deg parking system using four cameras, an S-line pack offering a bodykit, bigger wheels and 30mm lower suspension, acoustic glass, wheels up to 20in in diameter… breathe … a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, radar-guided adaptive cruise control with a stop and go function that works up to the car’s top speed, park assist, lane assist, and LED headlights and tail lamps which Audi claims are ‘a visually and technically fascinating option’.
Prices for the A6 (and its extensive options list) have yet to be announced, but reckon on around £30k for an entry level 2.0 TDI; UK sales start towards the very end of 2011. An Allroad version is expected to appear at the 2012 Geneva motor show early next year.
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