What better way to get to know a car then by spending some real driving time behind the wheel? Two A4.Org Editors, Jason Teller and Neil McGarry, recently drove the A6 Avant for a period of about 10 days in order to gain a greater appreciation for Audi's luxury touring wagon. Below you can read about our experiences, but first we'll provide a little background on the car from Audi's press information.

This A6 duo establishes a new prestige. A prestige marked by superior design, dimensions and dynamics. It asks and answers the question "Can one car change the way you look at all cars?"

With their 200 horsepower, 2.8 liter five-valve V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and an exhaustive list of standard features, the A6 sedan and Avant set a new standard among luxury touring cars. Both of these automobiles offer a choice of three different interior environments, called "Atmospheres," that owners can choose from at no extra cost to personalize their definition of luxury.

Standard features such as next generation front airbag supplemental restraints, standard seat mounted front side airbags, dual-zone climate control, a 140 watt stereo system with subwoofer, and a split/folding rear seat only hint at the amenities contained in both A6s, the new definition of prestige in the luxury touring class.

New standard equipment for 1999 on both the A6 sedan and Avant are a larger right outside mirror, lockable headrests for the front seats, fasteners added to the rear floor mats, a force limiter added to the front seat belts, a first aid kit in the center rear armrest and an upgraded tool kit. Added to the exterior color palette is Tornado Red, and a Vanilla with Onyx leather option has been added to the "Ambiente" atmosphere. The A6's Warm Weather package has been optimized to improve the performance of electronic accessories such as garage door openers and electronic toll passes. The package now includes a solar sunroof (which powers the ventilation system when the car is at rest to cool the interior when sitting in the hot sun) and rear window sunshades. Rear heated seats have been added to the Cold Weather package. For those who select the Convenience package, a HomeLink transmitter and outside auto dimming mirrors have been added to this package.

With its trendsetting design and its advanced features, the 1999 Audi A6 Avant takes the meaning of Avant further than ever before. In this, its fourth generation, the new A6 Avant delivers on Audi's slogan: beautiful wagons are called Avant.

The Audi A6 Avant has achieved its own highly distinctive style, although it is derived from the sedan platform. The elegant yet efficient silhouette of the A6 Avant is a result of the interplay between familiar design elements originally found in the sedan and the supreme style in which the designers have dealt with the wagon's body surfaces and curves. The dominant rear end, exciting contours and distinctive lines serve simultaneously to strengthen the Avant's visual appeal while they achieve a high degree of product identification.

The Avant's design is particularly notable for its dynamic side view. A gently rising window line, black center roof posts and bold wheel arches serve to emphasize its innate energy. The A6 Avant skillfully assimilates the daring, innovative design aspects of the A6 sedan, such as the unmistakable Audi face or front end, while continuing the trendsetting design tradition of the Avants that have come before.

The all new A6 Avant decisively lays claim to the fact that Audi alone builds large, luxury wagons that are as aesthetically and technically appealing as they are versatile. With its luxury touring sedan foundation and its spacious, adaptable luggage area, Audi views the A6 Avant as the most desirable expression of design, performance and versatility available in the market. It is a luxury touring wagon ideal for people who are attracted by the concept, image and versatility of traditional SUVs, but who would never want to compromise their desire for style, comfort, and exuberant driving with an SUV or ordinary station wagon.

Click here to read the Editors' driving impressions.