|April 26, 2006
The New Audi A6 allroad quattro
The sporty elegance of an A6 Avant given a new slant with distinctive off-road elements – the new Audi A6 allroad quattro is a car without compare. With credentials including immense technological prowess, remarkable handling both on and off the road, luxury-class comfort and premium equipment, the successor to the highly successful allroad quattro is the perfect choice for sporty customers who enjoy recreational pursuits and are looking for a car with a powerful, individual character.
The new A6 allroad quattro faithfully perpetuates the design evolution of the brand. Its lines blend the light, elegant Audi architecture exemplified by the A6 Avant with new, bold styling elements taken from the off-road segment. Even the basic proportions have a classic flair, with the low window strip and the distinctly coupé-like roofline that slopes down gradually at the rear. The outline of the body is traced by three lines which inject it with a dynamic spirit and that added forward urge.
The shoulder line arches upwards gently from the front wing, before running down the flanks of the body as an eye-catching light-refracting edge and ending at the rear lights. The inverse arch traced by the dynamic line flows out from the bottom of the front bumper. It runs rearwards above the door sill edges and finally wraps round the tail as a bumper edge to outline the body from front to rear.
Finally, the V-bonnet line also originates in the front bumper before continuing over the bonnet and merging into the roofline. It terminates in the upwards-pointing separation edge atop the tailgate, rounding off the sporty silhouette.
The intricate interplay between concave and convex arcs, between positively and negatively curved surfaces, adds a further dimension to the design of the A6 allroad quattro. It emphasises the stimulating interplay of light and shadow which keeps adding new facets to the design as the viewing angle changes.
Single-frame grille: floating licence plate
The special off-road styling elements which make the Audi A6 allroad quattro truly stand out include the stainless steel underride protector beneath the engine that highlights the vehicle's robust nature with its solid looks. To accommodate the underride protector, the prominent single-frame grille has been slightly reduced in height. The licence plate holder has been reduced in size to the extent that the licence plate now appears to be floating in mid-air. Depending on the market, Audi adapts the size of the holder to match the local licence plate format.
The vertical bars of the grille are trimmed with chromed strips, while the bumpers have also undergone restyling. They are painted in a contrasting matt colour as standard and are available in a body-coloured matt finish as an option. New, flat intake slits beneath the radiator grille direct even greater quantities of air to the engine. Visible behind the clear-glass lenses on either side is the very latest in headlight technology: as an option, the new A6 allroad quattro can be specified with the adaptive light dynamic cornering light system, incorporating high-intensity xenon plus headlight units and daytime running lights.
Powerful touches: 17-inch wheels as standard
When seen side on, the eye is immediately drawn to the striking roof rails which are made from aluminium and rest on four supports. The enlarged heated exterior mirrors, which adjust and retract electrically, provide an extra-wide field of vision. At the bottom of the vehicle's flanks, the dynamic line is accentuated by sturdy door strips in a contrasting colour, which can be specified in aluminium too on request. Additional sill panelling conveys an impression of tremendous power, as do the flared wheel arches. Both elements are painted in a matt finish, either in a contrasting colour or optionally in the same colour as the body.
Depending on the engine, the wheel arches house wheels measuring 17 or 18 inches in diameter which come in three special designs – a 7-arm rotor design, 10-spoke design and 5-arm "Aero" design. The tyres are slightly larger in diameter than those on the A6 Avant, automatically giving the Audi A6 allroad quattro a higher-set appearance.
The muscular rear end of the Audi A6 allroad quattro can be identified by its wide track and the visible exhaust tailpipes, which are 88 millimetres in diameter on the V8 FSI. An aluminium-look trim strip in the vicinity of the bumper adds a glittering touch, while a stainless steel underride protector also gleams out from underneath the vehicle floor. Like its counterpart at the front end, the rear bumper comes painted in a contrasting matt colour as standard or can be specified in a body-coloured matt finish as an option. If the adaptive light dynamic cornering light system is specified at the front, an attractive LED unit for the brake and tail lights will be incorporated into the rear light clusters.
There is a choice of ten smart paint finishes for the A6 allroad quattro. One of them – Condor Grey – is reserved for the new model and the Audi Q7. In the second half of 2006, Polar Blue will become available as an eleventh colour that will be exclusive to the A6 allroad quattro.
Supreme sportiness, luxurious comfort and ergonomic perfection are the order of the day for the cockpit in the new Audi A6 allroad quattro. The fine lines and forms together with the colour scheme convey an impression of supreme quality and harmonious aesthetics. The first taste of this is provided by the new aluminium door sill trim inscribed with the "allroad quattro" lettering. The door sill trim comprises three sections, with the blend of highly polished, brushed and matt surfaces producing a fascinating effect.
New two-tone, hard-wearing Fresco carpeting covers the floor inside the A6 allroad quattro. Four interior colours are available to choose from, including the new paranut brown and cardamom beige, which can be combined with six seat fabrics and five inlays.
The sports seats have a two-tone design. The range of inlays includes the familiar Walnut brown, Walnut mid-brown matt finish and Fine grain birch wood beige wood panelling as well as the new standard material, Aluminium Axial, and the new optional inlay Californian Vavona wood assam grey (standard on the top-of-the-range 4.2 FSI). The sports seats are finished in a two-colour look.
Sporty and intuitive: the ergonomics
A joint cover connects the instrument cluster with the upper part of the centre console, which is angled slightly towards the driver, to form a single unit. The high, wide centre console, with controls and switches within perfect reach, emphasises the sporty interior architecture that integrates the driver as the central player. The instrument cluster echoes the styling in the A6, as does the overall cockpit. The instrument cluster distinctive teardrop-shaped surround allows the coolant temperature and fuel gauges to be positioned on the outside next to the rev counter and speedometer dials.
The latest generation of Audi steering wheels from the A6 now make their debut in the new A6 allroad quattro too. The centrepiece of the three and four-spoke steering wheels is the unmistakable form of the trapezoid-shaped grille with the four rings.
The skeleton of the steering wheels is made from diecast magnesium, a material that combines extremely low weight with high strength. As an alternative to the standard leather-wrapped rim, customers can also opt for a fine-wood variant. All versions of the steering wheel can be ordered as an option with multifunction buttons and, on tiptronic models, with shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The four-spoke multifunction steering wheel is also available with an optional heated rim.
The electromechanical parking brake fitted in the Audi A8 and A6 was also the engineers' choice for the Audi A6 allroad quattro. The inclusion of this technology opens up extra styling scope for the design team. Doing away with the conventional handbrake lever permits a more freehanded console and armrest design that results in an extremely practical, ergonomic layout.
Intuitive: the MMI terminal
Positioned behind the gear lever within comfortable reach of the driver's hand is the operating terminal for the MMI system. This is the user interface with which Audi is now also offering an infotainment platform and operating concept for the new A6 allroad quattro that combine ease of operation with perfect positioning and a consistent inner logic. As confirmed by the numerous tests conducted by the motoring press, the intuitive operation of the MMI system is markedly superior to the solutions used by Audi's competitors.
MMI in the first instance comprises the terminal in the centre console with a large control button that can be turned and pressed. The softkeys arranged around the control button have specific control functions in the various menus.
On either side of the terminal there are a total of up to eight function keys with which the user can call up the most important main menus directly, as well as the Return key for exiting the menu level. The functions are subdivided logically into four groups: the Entertainment sub-group comprises the RADIO and CD/TV functions, the Communication sub-group is made up of TEL and NAME (address book for telephone numbers and navigation functions). NAV and INFO (for traffic information) form the Information group; CAR and SETUP are the Control group.
The second central MMI component, the MMI display, is located at the top end of the centre console exactly in the driver's line of vision. The basic screen layout corresponds exactly to the arrangement of the controls on the MMI terminal, permitting an intuitive association between the on-screen display and the driver's hand movements. The MMI system is available for the A6 allroad quattro in three different configurations: MMI basic (standard), MMI basic plus and the full MMI version.
MMI basic: with radio/CD player
Even in standard guise, the Audi A6 allroad quattro comes with MMI basic, featuring the terminal, a 6.5-inch monochrome display, as well as an integrated radio and single-disc CD player. Music output is via a 2x20 watt amplifier and two-way speakers in the front doors. Even the basic system comes with speed-dependent volume control and excellent radio reception courtesy of the diversity aerial. Furthermore, numerous vehicle functions such as interior light configuration, the deluxe automatic air conditioning and various warning signals can be controlled via the MMI basic terminal. The terminal itself is networked with the vehicle electronics via a high-speed MOST bus, allowing it to take care of a whole series of checking functions.
MMI basic plus: sound system with ten speakers
The audio system can be upgraded to include additional components by opting for the more sophisticated MMI basic plus version. A TP memory function, for example, is able to record traffic announcements lasting up to four minutes. Sound reproduction is the task of an advanced 6-channel sound system incorporating a total of ten speakers (two three-way combination speakers at the front and a pair of two-way combination speakers at the rear).
On top of this, MMI basic plus can also be combined with a CD-based navigation system featuring visual route guidance using arrow pictograms and additional text information displayed directly in the driver's line of vision in the driver information system. Destinations may be entered directly or, for added convenience, from the MMI address book.
Route planning takes all information on tailbacks and any warnings provided by TMC traffic radio messaging into account.
MMI: colour screen plus CD changer
In the deluxe full-specification version, MMI comes with a 7-inch colour monitor in the new Audi A6 allroad quattro. In addition to the high-quality audio system already featured with MMI basic plus, a double tuner and a six-disc CD changer are also included as standard. A further option available in combination with MMI and MMI basic plus is the surround sound system from US audio specialists BOSE that promises a new dimension in listening pleasure: no fewer than eight amplifier channels distribute the sound around the listener for a true concert-hall experience. The system also adapts dynamically to the vehicle’s background noise levels with the help of the BOSE AudioPilot®, enabling it to provide optimum sound in all situations.
As an option, MMI can be expanded to include a DVD-based navigation system. A DVD provides more than ten times the storage capacity of a conventional CD-ROM. This is enough to fit almost the entire Western European road network on a single disc, meaning that the driver no longer has to change the CD when crossing borders.
The quicker access times also mean that the navigation system calculates the route much more swiftly than CD-based systems. This allows the user to smoothly zoom in and out or quickly move the map in any direction. Destinations and route options are entered in the conventional way via a menu in the MMI. As an alternative, the navigation system can also be operated using the optional speech control system. A TV tuner may also be added on request.
The Audi parking system advanced, a sophisticated visual parking aid which works based on a rear-view camera, is yet another high-tech feature that can be found in the list of optional extras. The ultra-light-sensitive camera is integrated into the tailgate's handle and has a wide angle of coverage of up to 130 degrees. Its rectified image appears in the MMI display.
When reverse parking, the system indicates the correct course to take dynamically using various guidance lines and fields. In the case of parallel parking, for instance, the areas highlighted in blue indicate the space required by the A6 allroad quattro. Blue lines show the driver when to apply full lock and counter-lock. When a perpendicular parking manoeuvre is called for, orange lines indicate the correct course. The camera's image also shows the rear bumper and a trailer hitch, if fitted, allowing the vehicle to be guided beneath a trailer drawbar with pinpoint precision.
Discreet and powerful: the deluxe automatic air conditioning system
The Audi A6 allroad quattro comes as standard with deluxe automatic air conditioning featuring a recirculation and pollen filter as well as a sun sensor. Temperatures may be set separately for the driver and front passenger, and there are air vents on the back of the centre tunnel for passengers in the rear.
Even greater comfort and well-being is available by opting for the deluxe automatic air conditioning plus system (standard on the 4.2 FSI). This system uses a temperature sensor that can gauge the position of the sun, an air quality sensor and a humidity sensor to analyse the specific climatic conditions inside the car. The centre vent comes with separate temperature control allowing, for example, warm air to be directed at the side windows through the side vents to prevent them from misting over and cool air to be supplied at head level through the centre vent. Perforated grilles at the top of the dashboard allow the occupants to enjoy practically draught-free ventilation. and there are additional ventilation louvres in the B-pillars for the rear.
Intelligent links: the telephone systems
The new Audi A6 allroad quattro can be fitted with either the necessary preparation for a mobile phone or a built-in phone with Bluetooth technology. Customers selecting the mobile phone solution can connect their phone using an adapter or wirelessly by means of Bluetooth technology. The adapters have intelligent charging electronics and an interface to the outside aerial and are integrated neatly and practically into the storage compartment in the centre armrest.
Regardless of how the mobile phone is connected, all functions can be operated via the MMI controls. The TEL key provides access to the operating menu as well as to the phone book. Drivers can also operate the most important telephone functions using the buttons on the optionally available multifunction steering wheel, without having to even take their hands off the wheel.
The Bluetooth car phone – a brand new product
The universal Bluetooth hands-free unit will be complemented by a brand new product: the Audi Bluetooth car phone. This innovative phone solution offers an unprecedented level of convenience as it will allow drivers to simply leave their mobile phone in their jacket pocket. It will no longer be necessary to insert the mobile phone into an adapter set.
The Audi Bluetooth car phone solution shuts down the GSM stage of the mobile phone completely, so that the mobile phone serves merely as a mobile SIM card reader. No TWIN card or constant juggling of SIM cards, as with a conventional built-in phone, is necessary. The data for authenticating the user is transmitted via Bluetooth in a secure, encrypted form.
The control unit built into the vehicle contains an integral GSM module that establishes an optimum radio connection with the phone network via the vehicle's exterior aerial. The key advantage of this is that the mobile phone no longer radiates any transmission energy inside the car; in other words, a connection to the external aerial is no longer needed on the mobile phone.
As a further option, a wireless Bluetooth handset can be connected in conjunction with the Audi Bluetooth car phone which has been specially designed to cater to the needs of passengers in the front or rear who want to conduct confidential phone calls. This handset has been custom-developed in line with Audi requirements. It offers an ergonomic user interface that is specially matched to the vehicle, as well as outstanding acoustics.
In addition to the Audi A6 allroad quattro, the Audi Bluetooth car phone will also be made available for the Audi A6, the Audi A8 and the Audi Q7.
Extra convenience: light and rain sensor
All new Audi A6 allroad quattro models come as standard with a combined light and rain sensor which automatically activates or deactivates the low-beam headlights and the windscreen wipers as and when required. The system's sensor technology is discreetly integrated into the bracket of the interior mirror at the top of the windscreen where it does not in any way obstruct the driver's field of view.
Two light sensors operating independently of one another determine both ambient brightness and light conditions in the direction of travel. Taking this information as well as the speed of the car into account, a microprocessor permanently calculates whether it is necessary to switch on the low-beam headlights. The system is activated by turning the rotary light switch to the "Auto" position. Another standard feature of the light sensor is the coming home/leaving home function. Whenever the doors are unlocked with the radio remote control in the dark, the car's exterior and interior lights are switched on.
The rain sensor determines the degree of moisture on the windscreen and regulates the wiper speed accordingly. Again, controlling the system is a very easy process: the driver simply has to move the wiper stalk on the steering column to the intermittent position.
Perfect ergonomics: the seats
All occupants of the new A6 allroad quattro benefit from the considerable increase in interior spaciousness which stems from the extension of the wheelbase by 76 millimetres to a length of 2,833 millimetres. This translates primarily into extra room and safety for the legs of the occupants in the front, but there is an additional 10 mm of knee room for passengers in the rear too.
Shoulder room is likewise up by 23 millimetres at the front and 6 millimetres at the rear. The distance between the seat centre-points – a crucial indicator of the occupants' freedom of movement to the side – has grown by 40 millimetres at the front and 20 in the rear.
The standard seats in the new Audi A6 allroad quattro offer superior comfort over long distances and excellent lateral support for a sporting style of driving. Both driver and front passenger are able to adjust their seat's height. Alternatively, sports seats can be specified which are powerfully contoured to offer even more support at the sides. Multi-way power adjustment is available as an option which allows the fore-and-aft position, the height, the seat inclination and backrest angle as well as the lumbar support to be adjusted electrically.
The standard seat fabrics combine cloth and leatherette elements. There is also the option of three different leather upholsteries: Milano (standard on the 4.2 FSI, as is leather door trim and electrical seat adjustment), Valcona and natural leather. The sports seats are covered in a combination of Alcantara and leather; the two-colour sports seats in Valcona leather have a two-tone design.
A key-operated switch in the glove compartment can be specified as an option. This switch is used to disable the front passenger airbag, allowing a child seat to be secured to the front passenger seat. This option also includes electric childproof locks for the rear doors and ISOFIX child seat mountings.