1 Nov 2004
After the bold styling statement of the previous A6, Audi seems to be treading water with the look of its longer, taller, wider and stronger successor, the C6, despite its big single-frame grille snout.
Again available in front and all-wheel quattro drivetrains, the Germans claim greatly improved handling and ride qualities – the old one wilted against the world-beating BMW 5 Series.
All models now benefit from the previous car’s quattro-only multi-link arrangement, while the front is a four-link system. Aluminium components figures heavily in both.
At launch there were five models, starting with an improved 130kW/230Nm 2.4-litre V6 Multitronic CVT front-wheel drive, followed by the carry-over 160kW/290Nm 3.0-litre V6 Multitronic FWD and six-speed Tiptronic quattro, with the range topper 4.2 V8 quattro now producing 246kW and 420Nm.
Audi’s first attempt at a passenger car turbo-diesel in Australia is the 3.0-litre 24-valve common rail V6, pumping out 165kW and 450Nm and tied to the Tiptronic auto.
Inside, the roomier cockpit includes Audi’s MMI (Multi Media Interface) computer screen, while the standard safety equipment includes front, side and rear airbags, and active head restraints.
There’s also a high level of standard equipment, including leather trim, dual climate control, cruise, a trip computer, powered seats, alloy wheels and rear parking sensors.
Options include front parking sensors, alarm, sunroof, Xenon headlights, seat memory, navigation system, TV and voice control.
Audi continued with the A6 ALlroad from 2007, appealing to buyers who wanted a 4WD but without the hulking body of a larger SUV.
Bigger in every key dimension than before, the five-seater Allroad continued to offer standard adjustable air suspension (unlike the Q7 3.0 TDI) and was further differentiated from the A6 Avant upon which it was based by standard aluminium roof rails, a shorter grille, interior scuff plates and matt-coloured wheel-arches and bumpers featuring stainless steel undertrays.
The pinnacle of the 2006 A6 range, the S6 shares its V10 engine with the sleek Lamborghini Gallardo. Its essence may be Lamborghini but the soul of the Audi S6 is all German.
Audi has tweaked the massive 10-cylinder engine with FSI technology, direct injection and a balancing shaft. Engine capacity too is up slightly to 5.2-litres, delivering 320kW at 6800rpm and 540Nm from 3000rpm to deliver a car that will hit 100km/h in 5.2 seconds The S6 shares its engine with the larger A8-based S8. Audi claims to have delivered a car that has “dynamically balanced” distribution of axle loads and good road manners.
Audi has also imbued the engine with good throttle response and refinement levels via its six-speed tiptronic auto and Audi’s trademark quattro all-wheel drive.
The car has a firmer sports aluminium suspension, five-spoke 19-inch cast alloys, chunky 265/35 R19 tyres. Visually, Audi’s S6 is a wolf in sheep's clothing, featuring a subtle makeover.
There’s the corporate single-framed grille with “S6” badging, air inlet beneath the grille, under bumper lip spoiler. The mudguards are flared ever-so-slightly by 14mm, as well as the door sill trims. The rear spoiler is integrated into the boot lid, discrete “V10” badging and polished aluminium exterior mirrors identify this Audi as something special.
Inside, the S6 has new-generation front electric sports seats covered in alcantara/leather with integrated headrests.
The S6 is priced from $195,900 In October 2008 Audi launched the king of the A6 range, the RS6 Avant which is also currently the world’s fastest production wagon.
It is so quick because under its bonnet sits a 5.0-litre V10 that can be traced to a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Audi then decided to fit it with two turbochargers to liven things up even more.
The result is a family wagon with 426kW and 650Nm of torque.
This eye-popping performance helps this porky (2025kg) wagon dash from 0-100km/h in just 4.6 seconds.
It all contributes to a stunning drive, as it should given it costs more than $270,000.