THE arrival in Australia of the seventh-generation Audi A6 completes the executive saloon set for the brand, joining the all-new A8 and A7.
Borrowing heavily from the lightweight construction techniques of the bigger A8, the A6 employs a spaceframe clad with a mix of aluminium and high-strength steel to slice 65kg from its waistline, making it 50kg lighter than its closest German rival.
Electric-assisted power steering and a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission – both standard on the new model – also help to chop the weight while benefiting fuel efficiency by reducing powertrain drag.
The A6 is up to 21 per cent more fuel efficient, depending on the model, while also being roomier – thanks to a 62mm longer wheelbase within shorter overhangs.
Launching with three all-quattro, all-V6 variants, the A6 has a choice of three engines – normally aspirated 2.8 FSI, turbo-diesel 3.0 TDI and flagship supercharged 220kW 3.0 TFSI petrol.
Four-cylinder front-drive variants in both diesel and petrol will arrive later in the year, ahead of high-performance S6 and RS6 models from 2012.
Model release date: July 2011
THE C6 Audi A6 trod a safe route on styling, following on from its more adventurous predecessor, although gaining the now-familiar big-frame grille that graces the Audi range.
This model featured Audi’s first attempt at a passenger car turbo-diesel in Australia – the 3.0-litre 24-valve common rail V6, pumping out 165kW and 450Nm and tied to a Tiptronic auto.
Inside, the cockpit also gained Audi’s MMI (Multi Media Interface) computer screen, while the standard safety equipment included front, side and rear airbags, and active head restraints.
From 2006, the sporty S6 arrived with the V10 engine shared with the sleek Lamborghini Gallardo, but with FSI technology, direct injection and a balancing shaft.
In October 2008 Audi launched the king of the A6 range, the RS6 Avant, which became the world’s fastest production wagon.
From 2009, a comprehensively revamped A6 range arrived with improved engines, dynamics, comfort, functionality and safety.
The A6 Avant wagon was discontinued in Australia, but an updated Allroad quattro arrived, as did a sedan sibling to the RS6 Avant released late in 2008.
The old 4.2 V8 and S6 performance sedan vanished, replaced by an ‘in between’ supercharged V6 model known as the 3.0 TFSI, while a pair of sub-7.0L/100km ‘green’ models designed to dodge the Luxury Car Tax materialised from May 2009.