A rugged new sport utility version of the Audi A6 Avant joins the UK Audi range this week priced from £33,530 OTR. The all-terrain A6 allroad quattro will initially be powered by 2.7-litre TDI and 3.0-litre TDI engines, and will reach its first UK customers in July.
The understated elegance of the A6 Avant takes on a harder edge for the new A6 allroad quattro through an exclusive grille and front and rear bumper design, flared wheel arches, extended sills and stainless steel under-body protection panels. The wheel arches and sills are particularly prominent in their contrasting colour, but can be painted to match the body if preferred.
The go-anywhere appearance is justified, because the new A6 allroad quattro combines powerful, torque-rich engines with quattro four-wheel-drive incorporating a mechanical self-locking centre differential, plus five-level height adjustable air suspension giving maximum ground clearance of up to 185mm for negotiation of difficult gradients.
At launch, the new A6 allroad quattro will offer the option of either a 2.7 TDI engine with 180PS and 380Nm of torque or a 3.0 TDI with 233PS and 450Nm, both of which will initially be available exclusively in conjunction with six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission. These advanced engines feature the latest common rail fuel injection system with piezo injectors, and minimise pollution through the use of diesel particulate filters.
A six-speed manual version of the A6 allroad 3.0 TDI quattro is expected to become available in late summer 2006, followed in early 2007 by new petrol derivatives.
The A6 allroad quattro 2.7 TDI is capable of accelerating from rest to 62mph in 9.3 seconds, can reach a 134mph maximum speed and yet also manages to cover up to 32.5mpg (combined cycle). Its larger relative reduces the 0-62mph time to 7.8 seconds and increases the maximum speed to 143mph, yet almost matches the 2.7 TDI for fuel economy, offering the potential for up to 32.1mpg (combined cycle).
When the going gets rough the four-link front and trapezoidal link rear suspension comes into its own, its weight pared back through the extensive use of aluminium and its compliance, agility and refinement maximised by the addition of electronically controlled adaptive air springs.
The adaptive system offers five modes, the on-road options ranging from Dynamic, which lowers the body to a ground clearance of 125mm for minimal drag at motorway speeds, to Comfort, which positions the car 140mm above ground level for optimum cruising refinement. The allroad mode for off-road use increases ground clearance to 175mm, and for particularly tricky manoeuvres at speeds of up to 22mph a Lift mode is also available giving total clearance of 185mm.
To achieve the best possible performance away from the Tarmac, the new A6 allroad quattro features a specially revised version of the Audi Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) with off-road settings. Pressing the ESP button once activates an off-road mode that primes the system to intervene in a manner which better suits the lower speeds and the different hazards this kind of driving generally entails.
Customers wanting to take the off-road capabilities of the new A6 allroad quattro to even greater extremes can opt at extra cost for purpose-built all-terrain tyres and a reinforced engine under-guard.
In contrast to the uncompromising exterior of the new A6 allroad quattro, the cabin is a haven of comfort, but even here the fact that this A6 variant may have to work harder than the others hasn’t been forgotten. Special monoPur upholstery combining cloth with a special hard-wearing man-made fibre has been designed to look good while at the same time taking the knocks without tarnishing for years to come. Also evident inside is the full complement of luxuries and in-car technology, including the acclaimed Multi Media Interface (MMI) system that centrally controls many of the car’s functions, plus a vast load bay providing up to 1,660 litres of capacity.