January 31, 2005
Text and pictures courtesy of Audi AG
Audi is continuing the success story of the Avant: the new Audi A6 Avant represents a unique blend of design and dynamism, driving pleasure and functionality. With countless innovations, a high standard of comfort and luxurious equipment, the Audi A6 Avant is poised to extend the lead it already enjoys in its sector. The first of the new-generation Audi A6 Avant models will reach their new owners in March 2005.
Powerful TDI and petrol engines with up to eight cylinders and 246 kW (335 bhp) maximum output are the source of the new A6 Avant’s supremacy. Front-wheel or quattro permanent four-wheel drive ensure that the engine’s power is always translated reliably and with commanding ease into traction. Potential which, thanks to the advanced suspension design and very rigid bodyshell, opens up new horizons in driving dynamics.
Measuring 4.93 metres in length, 1.86 metres in width, and 1.46 metres in height, the new Audi A6 Avant visibly sets a new standard. Its styling combines the clear architecture that is so typical of Audi with other core elements of the brand’s progressive design.
The classic proportions of the Avant silhouette with its low-slung row window area and emphatically coupé-like roofline have been infused with a new degree of tension: the powerfully contoured arch of the shoulder line and the sweeping motion of the dynamic line above the side sills give the entire body of the car a forward-moving, dynamic appearance. The distinctly domed centre of the engine hood in turn symbolises the power of the engines driving the new Audi A6 Avant.
Viewed from the front, the trapezoidal design of the single-frame grille clearly identifies the A6 Avant as a representative of the latest generation of Audi models.
The most advanced headlight technology is equally visible behind the clear-glass lenses: as an option, the new A6 Avant features dynamic adaptive light technology incorporating high-intensity xenon plus units and daytime running lights.
Moving inside the new A6 Avant, it is also apparent at first glance that this is a brand-new model generation. The high, wide centre console, for example, with controls and switches within perfect reach, emphasises the sporty interior architecture that integrates the driver as the central player.
Sportiness, clarity and ergonomic perfection are the characteristic features of the new cockpit design. A joint cover connects the instrument cluster and the upper part of the centre console, which is angled slightly towards the driver, to form one common unit.
The instrument cluster: the round coolant temperature and fuel gauges are located in the teardrop-shaped surrounds, next to the large rev counter and speedometer dials.
The new A6 Avant also features the latest generation of Audi steering wheels. As a characteristic feature of the three and four-spoke steering wheels, the single-frame trapezoid with the four Audi rings is cited on the central airbag cap. Its exterior geometry is likewise a variation on the single-frame shape.
The load area of the new A6 Avant also radiates sophistication and innovation. An ingenious securing concept with a large number of neat features permits an unprecedented level of versatility and variability.
The high quality of the materials and finish is typical of Audi interiors. A clear, sporty look and ergonomic perfection characterise the interior, while the cockpit is noted for its driver-integrating architecture.
The new Audi A6 Avant comes with a choice of no fewer than six engines installed longitudinally – three petrol and three TDI power units. All these engines share a level of power and torque that is outstanding in this segment of the market:
- 4.2 V8 developing 246 kW (335 bhp), 420 Newton-metres
- 3.2 V6 FSI developing 188 kW (255 bhp), 330 Newton-metres
- 2.4 V6 developing 130 kW (177 bhp), 230 Newton-metres
- 3.0 V6 TDI developing 165 kW (225 bhp), 450 Newton-metres
- 2.7 V6 TDI developing 182 kW (180 bhp), 380 Newton-metres
- 2.0 TDI developing 103 kW (140 bhp), 320 Newton-metres
All engines comply with the limits of the EU4 emission standard. A diesel particulate filter will be introduced successively as an option for the TDI engines. The two six-cylinder TDI engines can be combined with a filter from launch.
The six and eight-cylinder power units come from Audi’s new V-engine family. Their highlights in design and construction are the 90° cylinder angle and a distance of 90 millimetres between the cylinders, compact dimensions, maintenance-free camshaft drive via a chain and low-friction roller-arm valve drive.
Driving dynamics and ride comfort
Torsional rigidity boosted by over 25 percent: this increase clearly demonstrates the qualities of the new Audi A6 Avant, especially considering that the previous model was already widely acclaimed for its extremely robust body.
Qualities of this kind offer significant advantages in terms of both vibration comfort and driving dynamics. Vibration amplitudes reduced to a minimum are a clear indication of the high standard of strength achieved by Audi’s engineers. These are in turn one of the key physical factors behind the interior’s excellent acoustics.
The rigidity of the steel bodyshell is itself the result of consistently enhanced joining technologies plus optimised panel profiles.
The improve¬d vibrational behaviour that results from numerous optimised details moreover lays the foundations for the harmonious but nevertheless sporty tuning of the suspension. In conjunction with the direct, extremely stable link connecting the steering column to the module cross-member, this body configuration is the basic prerequisite for the precise handling of the A6 Avant.
The Audi dynamic suspension layout as featured on the new A6 Avant is based on proven sports technology: the refined four-link front suspension acknowledged as a typical Audi feature and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension carried over from the Audi A8 and the A6 saloon – a combination used on both the front-wheel-drive and quattro models.
The result is a standard of dynamic driving behaviour that is beyond compare.
The new A6 Avant – and the A6 saloon in parallel – are available with adaptive air suspension as an option. The combination of air suspension and an electronically controlled damping system produces the perfect synthesis of decidedly sporty handling properties and superb suspension comfort.
Clearly, features of this kind again place the new A6 on the same level as the A8 which was so lavishly praised by the motoring press. Like the latter, the A6 Avant is the sportiest car in its class. This is also due in no small measure to the speed-dependent servotronic power steering featured as standard, supplementing the precise handling of the new A6 Avant with even more sensitive steering precision.