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Driven: Audi streamlines A6 Allroad

New roads: Audi’s versatile A6 Allroad takes on traditional SUVs with wagon space, sedan comfort and prestige-segment luxury.

The A6 Allroad variant choice drops to one as Audi further hones its niche policy

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Audi logo5 May 2015

By NEIL DOWLING

AUDI Australia has continued its model range consolidation with the launch of the revised A6 Allroad wagon, which is now one of just two A6 Avants available Down Under.

The move reflects diminished demand in Australia for the front-wheel-drive Avant (wagon) and gives more focus to the higher-volume, higher-riding, four-wheel-drive Allroad, which in turn benefits from a price reduction.

The only other A6-based wagon available on the market will be the hardcore RS6 performance variant which arrives later this month.

The A6 Allroad is available in a single specification (with some limited options) and carries a $6000 price chop to now start from $111,900 plus on-road costs.

Audi Australia senior product communications executive Shaun Cleary said the A6 Allroad offers an alternative to higher-riding SUVs and has proven to be a popular model, selling three times as many units compared to the regular A6 Avant – hence the cutbacks to the range.

“We have a very, very loyal following for this car,” he said. “It demonstrates that cars like the Allroad are as practical as the SUVs and can give owners a very dynamic driving experience.”

In a similar case to the small A4 Allroad also launched this week, the A6 Allroad appears this year as a permanent fixture in the Audi range, overturning the previous model which was introduced in 2012 and limited to 150 units.

It is also following a similar strategy to the one employed by Subaru, which is no longer offering a Liberty wagon and is successfully moving prospective buyers into the high-riding Outback.

Mr Cleary said Audi expects to sell only five to 10 A6 Allroads a month.

“It’s not big numbers,” he said. “But it is a vehicle which has incredible loyalty and a strong following. It’s an important model for us.”

Audi quickly sold out of the previous 150-unit allocation despite the company growing its SUV range, expanding its Q5 line-up and introducing the Q3 at about the same time.

“There is no direct premium competitor to the A6 Allroad,” Mr Cleary said.

“Even compared with our own models, the Allroad has its own market.

“We launched the first of the Q Series in 2006 with the Q7. Its introduction made no difference to the sales of the Allroad and we predict that will remain the case with this new model.”

A recent focus group survey by Audi found that brand loyalty was the main reason (34 per cent) that buyers purchased the Allroad, followed by the technology appeal (24 per cent) and design or styling (21 per cent).

The latest version is a mid-life upgrade, refining the styling of the A6 with a new nose treatment and tail-lights with tracking indicators, upgraded audio and communications system, optional LED matrix headlights that shield glare from oncoming or following vehicles, lower cabin noise levels and a more comprehensive safety armoury.

Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail-lights, a four-zone air-conditioning system, electric tailgate, top-shelf Milano leather upholstery, a digital radio and 8.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and MMI communications connectivity.

The Technik Package costs $4800 and adds active lane change and side assist that will pull the car back into its lane, active cruise control with autonomous braking, a 360-degree camera and park assist.

There are also individual options such as a panoramic roof ($2980) and matrix LED headlights ($2300) that upgrade the standard units to ones that mask the beams from following and oncoming traffic.

The Allroad picks up the A6 sedan’s 160kW/500Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine and quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system that operates through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

It can reach 100km/h from standstill in 7.3 seconds, while official combined-cycle fuel consumption is rated at 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres.

The Allroad features air suspension with four heights, a five-mode Drive Select system to suit varying driving conditions, and it can tow up to 2500kg with trailer brakes fitted.

The cargo capacity is 565 litres with the rear seats in place and 1680 litres when folded near-flat.

Audi launched the original A6 Allroad in 2001, with the second generation arriving in 2007 and the third turning up in 2012.

Audi A6 Allroad pricing*
3.0 TDI quattro$111,900
*Excludes on-road costs.

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