The advanced Audi A6 is about to add more brawn to complement its highly sophisticated electronic ‘brain’ as the third generation A6 allroad quattro with its customarily tougher stance and four-level adaptive air suspension makes its world debut. Due to become available to order in the UK next month priced from £43,145 OTR, the A6 allroad quattro will reach its first customers here in the spring.
The first two generations of the allroad quattro, launched in 2000 and 2006, enjoyed considerable success, and Audi hopes to build on this in the latest car by combining their outstanding versatility with even greater efficiency that is reflected in fuel economy improvements of up to 20 per cent.
At 4.94 metres long, 1.90 metres wide and 1.47 metres tall, the latest A6 allroad quattro sits six centimetres higher than the Avant. Like the saloon and ‘standard’ Avant, it has been constructed using the latest Audi ultra lightweight construction principles, with aluminium components making up roughly 20 percent of its body. Total vehicle weight has been reduced by as much as 70 kilograms compared with the previous model.
Distinguishing allroad quattro features include extended side sills, more widely flared wings and vertical slats within the single-frame grille. Stainless steel guards protect the underbody at the front and rear of the car, and the exhaust system ends in two large, flattened tailpipes. The roof rails are mounted on double bars.
The wheel arches, bumpers and sills are painted in a contrasting colour, but can be body-coloured if the optional aluminium exterior package is specified. The colour Java Brown is available exclusively for the new A6 allroad quattro.
The interior of the Audi A6 allroad quattro offers plenty of space thanks to the long wheelbase of 2,910 millimetres. It features a clean, elegant design, outstanding ergonomics and exemplary workmanship. A function that depicts the car’s pitch has been added to the MMI operating system, the soft keys of which are finished in aluminium. MMI is a standard feature, as is the Driver’s Information System with efficiency program. A comprehensive package of restraint systems helps to mitigate the consequences of an accident.
The luggage compartment has a capacity of 565 litres. Latches within it make it easy to fold down the rear seats, increasing luggage capacity to 1,680 litres, and numerous standard and optional features underscore its practicality. These include a rail system into which a load-securing kit for dividing the luggage compartment can be inserted, tensioning straps on the left wall and a double loading floor.
Audi offers a wide choice of options for the new A6 allroad quattro. A head-up display can project important information onto the windscreen, ambient lighting can bathe the interior with subtle LED light, and the widely adjustable comfort seats seats offer a ventilation and massage function. Additional highlights include four-zone automatic air conditioning, a panoramic glass roof and the advanced key, which enables access, start-up and locking without the need to remove the key from the driver’s pocket.
Topping the modular range of infotainment options is the hard drive-based navigation system MMI Navigation plus with touchpad operation (MMI touch) and whole-word voice control. Its power-retractable eight-inch monitor displays extremely sharp, high-contrast images. A Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 15 speakers can also be added for maximum listening pleasure.
In-car internet access
The new A6 allroad quattro is also state of the art when it comes to connection technology. The Mobile Phone Preparation – High option connects it to the Internet via UMTS, and a WLAN hotspot lets passengers surf the internet and e-mail. Tailored services for the driver, such as the all-new Audi traffic information online function, which uses mobile phone signals to pinpoint traffic congestion or accident blackspots in real time, or Audi music stream web radio, are delivered right to the car. Attractive services from Google, including Google Earth, Google Street View and voice-activated POI search, are also available.
The Audi assistance and safety systems lend even more confidence to driving. The radar-based adaptive cruise control with stop & go function always keeps the new A6 allroad quattro at the proper distance from the car ahead. At speeds below 19mph, the system initiates maximum braking in the event of an impending collision. ACC stop & go works closely together with the Audi pre sense safety system, which is available in a number of configurations.
Audi active lane assist helps the driver to stay in lane; Audi side assist helps when changing lanes. The night vision assistant with marking of detected pedestrians reduces the stress of driving in the dark. The driver information system with rest recommendation function detects when the driver is getting tired and recommends taking a rest.
A variety of high-end systems help take the stress out of parking. The park assist system with 360° display takes over the steering; the parking system plus with 360° camera provides good vision in all directions. Four small wide-angle cameras record images of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings, which can then be displayed from a variety of perspectives on the MMI monitor.
The new A6 allroad quattro will initially be available in the UK with a choice of three powerful and highly cultivated V6 engines – one TFSI petrol engine and two TDI units. All are 3.0-litre engines with turbocharging and direct injection. They make use of important technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform – the start-stop system and innovative thermal management. Their fuel consumption has been reduced by as much as 20 per cent compared with the previous model.
The 3.0 TFSI, which is boosted by a mechanically driven supercharger, produces 310PS and 440 Nm of torque. It powers the A6 allroad quattro from zero to 62mph in 5.9 seconds on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Its combined economy figure is an impressive 31.7mpg.
Two TDI options
The two variants of the 3.0 TDI produce 204PS and 245PS; torque values are 450Nm and 580Nm. The entry-level version achieves a combined economy figure of 46.3mpg, corresponding to 159 g CO2/km. All three engines are paired with the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. With its wide ratio spreads, this transmission is a major contributor to the efficiency of the A6 allroad quattro. The driver can operate it manually, using either the gear lever or optional paddles on the steering wheel.
The quattro permanent four-wheel drive system is paired with torque vectoring. During dynamic driving this system brakes the wheels on the inside of a bend, which are under a reduced load, before they start to skid to further enhance traction and handling. The optional sport differential distributes the power in continuously variable proportions between the rear wheels.
The chassis of the A6 allroad quattro combines agility with comfort. The new electromechanical power steering is sensitive and highly efficient, and an optional dynamic steering system is also available to adjust the steering ratio to the speed driven.
With the Audi drive select system, the driver can vary the function of the steering, the air suspension, the throttle pedal, the automatic transmission, the sport differential, the automatic air conditioning, the lighting and the adaptive cruise control. In Efficiency mode, these systems work as economically as possible; their function can be very freely configured in Individual mode.
The adaptive air suspension, which combines air suspension with controlled damping, comes as standard. It lowers the body by 15 millimetres at high speed and raises it by 35 millimetres at the push of a button. This allroad mode is suitable for rough terrain. Furthermore, the driver can select a lift mode at low speeds. An additional ten millimetres enables the new Audi A6 allroad quattro to also handle major irregularities in the road surface. A hill descent assist function for steep downhill passages is also included. This limits the speed to between 6mph and 12mph, depending on the surface.