February 16, 2004
Text and pictures courtesy of Audi AG
Audi is setting a new benchmark in the luxury performance segment. For the latest generation of the Audi A6 is a saloon combining supreme driving dynamics with high technology, plus outstanding comfort and exemplary equipment, thus striving for top position within this competition segment.
Powerful TDI and petrol engines with up to eight cylinders and 246 kW
(335 bhp), the most advanced transmission technology, as well as the choice of front-wheel or quattro permanent all-wheel drive set the foundation for the particular supremacy of the new A6 sports saloon. And thanks to the cutting-edge suspension combined with high body rigidity, this power and performance opens up a new dimension in driving dynamics.
Given these qualities, the new Audi A6 is rightly and appropriately committed to an outstanding role model: the Audi A8 lauded by both the press and the public as the sportiest car in its class. And now, with its wide range of features – with design and performance – the A6 is likewise set to overtake all its competitors as the most progressive car in the luxury performance segment.
A new face in the business class
Measuring 4.92 metres in length, 1.86 metres in width, and 1.46 metres in height, the new Audi A6 visibly sets a new standard. The lines of the car combine the clear architecture typical of Audi with other core elements of the brand’s progressive design.
Already acknowledged as classic, the fundamental proportions of Audi’s sports saloon with its low-slung windows and coupé-like roofline now comes with even greater tension and dynamism: the contours of the shoulder line sweeping up and the sweep of the dynamic line above the side sills give the entire body of the car forward-pushing, dynamic thrust. The distinctly curved dome on the middle of the engine compartment lid, in turn, symbolises the power and performance offered by the new Audi A6.
Seen from the front, the trapezoidal design of the single-frame radiator grille reveals clearly that the A6 represents the latest generation of Audi models. The most advanced headlight technology, in turn, is equally visible behind the clear-glass headlight covers: the new A6 is the first Audi to feature as an option dynamic adaptive light technology incorporating powerful xenon plus units that help you see around corners.
The headlights thus follow the course of the road ahead as a function of steering angle and road speed, substantially improving the quality of illumination. The driver sees upcoming bends more clearly and precisely and is able to detect possible obstacles at an earlier point in time. Obviously, this means a significant improvement in active safety.
Another brand-new feature, not only in the A6 but also in production cars the world over, is daytime driving lights featured in conjunction with xenon plus as well as the – likewise new – active cornering lights, xenon plus adaptive light. Consuming very little energy, the daytime driving lights offer the benefit of enhanced safety and visibility with virtually no additional fuel consumption and, as a result, no increase in CO2 emissions. Unlike use of the conventional low-beam headlights during the day, this new technology therefore literally comes “for free” and does not harm the environment in the slightest.
Low-slung rear lights wrapped distinctly round to the inside characterise the rear end of the car. A chromium strip visually divides the luggage compartment lid horizontally, at the same time creating a striking connection between the light units.
The very dynamic rear contour line providing additional downforce at the back in the interest of safe driving characteristics marks the rear upper end of the boot lid.
A quick look at the interior is also sufficient to show the change in generations, the high and wide centre console with controls and instruments in perfect reach accentuating the sporting architecture of the interior fully integrating the driver.
Sporting design and perfect ergonomics – these are the features that characterise the cockpit. A joint cover at the top connects the central instrument panel and the upper part of the centre console facing slightly towards the driver to form one common unit.
The round coolant temperature and fuel gauges are located in the corner of the newly designed, teardrop-shaped surrounds, next to the two large rev counter and speedometer dials.
The new generation of Audi steering wheels is also making its production debut in the new A6. The most outstanding visible symbol of both the three- and four-spoke steering wheels is the single-frame trapezoid centrepiece with the four Audi rings on the central airbag cap. And the oval exterior geometry also serves to vary the single-frame design.
Very neat and tidy in its look, the centre console has obviously also been inspired by the interior design of the new A8. As in Audi’s luxury sports saloon, the interior designers and engineers have also opted for an electromechanical parking brake on the new A6, giving the designers greater freedom in their creativity: with the new Audi A6 not requiring a handbrake lever, the design of both the console and the armrest is particularly generous and ergonomic.
The MMI control terminal is right behind the gearshift lever, again in perfect ergonomic arrangement: this places its display exactly in the driver’s line of vision, integrated beneath the top dashboard cover.
All the car’s occupants benefit from a far higher standard of comfort and spaciousness inside: The wheelbase of the new Audi A6 is up by 83 millimetres over the car’s predecessor to 2843 millimetres. This means extra comfort and safety as well as additional legroom for the front passengers, plus extra knee room at the rear. Shoulder room at the front is up by 23 millimetres, with an extra 6 millimetres at the rear. The luggage capacity on both front-wheel-drive and quattro models is 546 litres.