1 Nov 1997
Exquisite detail to all facets of design was an absolute priority at Audi during this period, and the C5 A6 proved this with its TT Coupe Concept-inspired silhouette, beautiful proportion and excellent quality control.
Along with the A4 and TT, this generation A6 helped cement Audi as a luxury car player locally, but some critics were less impressed with some (front-wheel drive) models’ ride and handling traits against the class-leading BMW 5 Series.
Quattro models eschewed the simple torsion beam rear suspension for a sophisticated multi-link set-up.
Once again an Avant wagon (from October 1998) was also offered, as well as a new 121kW/230Nm 2.4 30V V6 (replacing the previous 2.6 V6 motor), complementing the existing 142kW/280Nm 2.8 30V V6 engine.
Both were mated to a five-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.
Other high-tech features included Electronic Brake Force Distribution aligned to the anti-lock brakes, and electronic diff lock, traction control and an electronic stability control on the top-line 2.8 quattro.
A small specification upgrade that included side airbags kicked in during late 1999, while in April 2000 the 4.2 V8 quattro sedan variant was introduced, powered by a 220kW/400Nm 4172cc unit mated to a five-speed Tiptronic transmission.
For high-performance fans, a flagship S6 4.2 V8 quattro sedan arrived in early 2001, belting out 250kW and 420Nm.