Last November Audi set a new benchmark in the luxury performance segment when it introduced the Audi A6 to North America. A scant one year later, the successful V8 and V6 variants are being joined by an A6 3.2 sedan with Audiâ€™s revolutionary multitronic (CVT) transmission and FrontTrak front wheel drive. In all of its forms, the latest generation of the Audi A6 combines superior driving dynamÂics and sophisticated technology with exceptional comfort and equipÂment.
To up the ante in driving dynamics, Audi is now offering an S-Line package with appearance and hardware items for a specifically more dynamic driving experience. This package includes a number of exterior elements including a distinctive front grille with S-line badge, aluminum door sills with S-line badges, S-line front and rear bumpers and 18-inch 5-arm quattro GmbH wheels with 245/40 R18â€ť summer performance tires. When equipped with this package, the standard wood trim in the A6 will be replaced with an elegant gray birch wood trim. A Misano red exterior is now available for the A6 but only on S-line equipped cars.
Powerful engines with up to eight cylinders and 335 horsepower, the most advanced transmission technologies, and a choice between quattroÂ® permanent all-wheel drive or FrontTrak front wheel drive make Audiâ€™s current A6 range its most comprehensive ever. Thanks to the cutting-edge suspension combined with high body rigidity, this power and performance opens up a new dimension in driving dynamics.
A new face in the business class
Already acknowledged as classic, the fundamental proportion of Audiâ€™s sports sedan with its low-slung windows and coupe-like roofline now comes with even greater strength and energy. The contours of the shoulder line sweeping up and the movement of the dynamic line above the side sills give the entire body of the car a unique push in forward design. The distinctly curved dome on the middle of the engine compartment hood symbolizes the power and performance offered by the new Audi A6. Seen from the front, the trapezoidal design of the single-frame radiator grille reÂveals clearly that the A6 represents the latest generation of Audi models.
The most advanced headlight technology is equally visible behind the clear-glass headlight covers. The A6 was the first Audi to feature powerful Bi-Xenon adaptive headlight technology, standard on the 4.2 and optional on the 3.2, which helps the driver see around corners. The headlights follow the course of the road ahead as a function of steering angle and road speed to a maximum of fifteen degrees, substantially improving the visibility. The driver sees upcoming bends more clearly and precisely and is able to detect posÂsible obstacles at an earlier point in time. At night, the driver can also benefit from the â€ścoming home and leaving homeâ€ť lighting system. This system lights the exterior of the vehicle under the rear view mirrors in combination with the front foglights to provide a clear picture of your surroundings. It can be activated from the multifunction steering wheel or MMI. Obviously, this means a significant improvement in active safety.
Another fascinating feature is programmable daytime running lights included in conjunction with Bi-Xenon and active cornering lights. Consuming very little energy, the daytime running lights offer the benefit of enhanced safety and visibility with virtually no additional fuel consumption and, as a result, no increase in CO2 emissions. Unlike use of the conventional low-beam headlights during the day, this new technology does not harm the environment in the slightest.
Low-slung rear lights wrap distinctly around to the inside and characterize the rear end of the car. A chrome strip visually divides the luggage compartment lid horizontally, at the same time creating a striking union between the rear lights and the trunk. The very dynamic rear contour line provides an additional design cue at the back and marks the rear upper end of the trunk.
The A6 continues Audiâ€™s recognized interior design leadership in terms of material quality and fit and finish. A truly driver-focused cockpit envelops the driver and passengers with materials such as aluminum, leather and wood. The round temperature and fuel gauges are located in the corner of the teardrop-shaped surrounds, next to the large tachometer and speedometer. The four-spoke multifunction steering wheel is highlighted by its single-frame trapezoid centerpiece with the four Audi rings on the central airbag cap.
The Multi Media Interface (MMI) control terminal, located behind the gearshift lever, is in perfect erÂgonomic arrangement and places its display exactly in the driverâ€™s line of vision, integrated beneath the top dashboard cover.
All of the carâ€™s occupants benefit from a higher standard of comfort and spaÂciousness inside. The wheelbase of the Audi A6 is a spacious 111.9 inches. This means extra comfort and safety as well as additional legroom for the front passengers, plus extra knee room at the rear. The luggage capacity on all models is 15.9 cubic feet.
The Audi A6 offers two engine choices fitted in longitudinal arrangement â€“ both engines share a level of power and torque that is outstanding in this segment of the market:
â€˘ 4.2 liter V8 with 335 hp and 310 ft. lbs. torque
â€˘ 3.2 (3123cc) V6 FSI with 255 hp and 243 ft. lbs. torque
Both of these power units, as featured in the new Audi A6, comply with the stringent LEV 1 emission standard.
The six- and eight-cylinder engines come from Audiâ€™s new V-configuration enÂgine family with a 90Â° cylinder angle and a distance of 90 millimeters (3.54Â¨) between the cylinders. They are both compact in design and feature a variable intake manifold for better torque at low revolutions per minute and continuous inlet camshaft control.
The powerful 4.2-liter V8 with chain drive made an outstanding debut in the Audi S4. This supreme power unit has been re-tuned and updated for the Audi A6, offering powerful torque and an agile response and superior fuel economy all in one. The 3.2 six-cylinder features Audiâ€™s direct injection FSI (Fuel Straight Injection) technology. Direct injection engine delivers more dynamic engine response with higher torque and power output, and lower fuel consumption. The main factor contributing to these improvements is how fuel is delivered. Fuel is not injected into the intake port but directly into the combustion chamber. The injector, which is supplied by a single-piston pump and common rail fuel line, is on the side of the cylinder head and controls the injection time to within thousandths of a second, at injection pressures of up to 110 bars.
Other exciting features of the 3.2 V6 FSI are on-demand fuel supply, four-valve technology, a variable intake manifold and infinitely variable camshaft adjustment which gives the driver a dynamic and powerful reaction to every movement of the accelerator plus a broad useful speed range of up to 7200 rpm. All this equals muscular torque and a high standard of fuel efficiency.
The improved fuel economy and dynamic performance offered by the Audi A6 family also results from the advanced transmission choices: a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission or a multitronic CVT transmission with its unique â€śshift-without-liftâ€ť power delivery. Audiâ€™s impressive multitronic CVT uses a variator, a set of pulleys and a chain link belt of vanadium-hardened steel to constantly change gear ratios. Without gears, there is a constant balance of ideal power being transferred from the engine to the wheels in a shift-less operation resulting in improved performance and fuel economy. Both transmissions allow for manual gear selection if the driver chooses.
A6 4.2 V8s come standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, a typical feature of all high-performance Audi models (quattro is available on the A6 3.2). With the power unit and drive train of the A6 being fitted longitudinally, all quattro models come with a torsion center differential distributing engine torque in a straightforward but very effective flow of power to the front and rear axles and thus making a significant contribution to the driving dynamics and superior safety even in extreme situations so typical of quattro drive.
Audiâ€™s revolutionary multitronic transmission is the other transmission choice available on the A6 3.2 with FrontTrak front wheel drive. This transmission, perfected by Audi, is the first application of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a high torque engine giving extreme smoothness with high performance.
Driving dynamics and motoring comfort
Torsional stiffness is improved by more than 34 percent from the previous generation Audi A6. Qualities of this kind offer significant advantages in terms of both comfort and driving dynamics. With vibration reduced to a minimum thanks to the exceptional body stiffness, the interior is now the perfect foundation for excellent acoustics.
The supreme stiffness of the steel body is the result of consistently enhanced joining technologies plus optimized panel profiles. At the same time the improveÂment of vibration behavior ensured by numerous optimized details quite literally sets the basis for the harmonious but nevertheless sporty set-up of the chasÂsis. In conjunction with the direct, extremely stable link connecting the steering column to the module sub frame, this body configuration is the basic prerequisite for the A6 sedanâ€™s precise handling.
Audiâ€™s dynamic suspension featured on the A6 is likewise based on sporting, proven technology: the enhanced four-link front suspension acknowledged as a particular Audi stronghold and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension carried over from the Audi A8.
The result is a standard of dynamic driving behavior beyond comparison. Like the A8, the A6 is a sporty and dynamic car, benefiting from speed-dependent Servotronic Â® and supplementing the precise handling of the new A6 by even more sensitive steering precision.
The A6 comes with a long list of standard safety equipment. Active safety components include the latest generation of ESP including brake assist and Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD).
In the event of a collision, the carâ€™s occupants are protected by the roÂbust structure of the body with predefined deformation and a highly stable pasÂsenger cabin. In conjunction with the seat belts, front and side airbags as well as the Sideguard â„˘ head curtain airbag system, the driver and passengers are provided with superior safeÂty and protection. The two full-size front airbags are activated in two stages, depending on the severity of an accident. Active front head restraints help to protect the occupants in a collision from behind.
All of this technology helped the A6 to achieve a â€śDouble Best Pickâ€ť rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its occupant protection in both frontal and side impact crash tests. When combined with the excellent performance of the Audi A4 in the same tests, these results make Audi the first manufacturer ever to receive two â€śDouble Best Pickâ€ť ratings from the IIHS. Only four cars ever have received this rating, two are Audis.
The Audi A6 comes with a high level of standard equipment right from the start. Customers will appreciate and enjoy this premium standard wood trim and the quality and finish of the interior materials such as aluminum surrounds, wood inlays and leather seats.
The advanced MMI with its seven-inch color display and a fully integrated radio complete with an optional BoseÂ® Surround Sound system shines above the competition (standard on the A6 4.2). Other standard features include the electromechanical parking brake, a tire pressure monitoring system and a light and rain sensor to add a sense of comfort and security. Another standard feature on all A6 models in the range is automatic climate control with enhanced output and optimized noise control, featuring indirect ventilation and B-pillar outlets, air quality, humidity, and sun angle sensors.
Drivers of the A6 4.2 have an even higher level of standard equipment with such amenities as a sunroof, standard heated front seats and Bose surround sound.
New options make the A6 even more advanced than before. Adaptive Cruise Control is available as is adaptive air suspension. A wood and leather segment multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and a coordinating wood shift knob can be chosen as well. The driver of the Audi A6 is rarely required to hold the car key in hand the conventional way when it is equipped with Audiâ€™s optional advanced key system. The key incorporates an electronic pulse transmitter sending a signal to a proximity sensor in the door, where the signal received is checked and verified. Following approval, the system unlocks the doors as soon as the driver or passenger pulls the door handle.
Using the keyless entry feature, the driver is also able to release the steering and ignition electronically through wireless remote control before setting out. A simple touch of the starter button on the center console starts the engine.
MMI can be further upgraded with a DVD navigation system and a new Color Driver Information Center (also standard when equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control).
All Audi A6 models come standard with the BluetoothÂ® interface for mobile telephones, which can be operated through the multifunction steering wheel or the MMI system. An optional voice recognition system can also control the Bluetooth interface, as well as, the CD player, radio and navigation system.
All Audi vehicles sold in North America, including the 2006 Audi A6, come with the Audi Advantage, an industry-leading combination of warranties and protection. This top-rated package includes:
â€˘ Four-year/50,000-mile no-charge scheduled maintenance
â€˘ Four-year/50,000-mile limited new vehicle warranty
â€˘ 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation
â€˘ 24-hour Roadside Assistance for four years
Price this car:
MSRP: $40,820 â€“ $53,770
Invoice: $37,572 â€“ $49,559
Source: Audi Press Release