September, 1999

2000 A6 2.7T Review
Text and photos by Matt Daniels

My first two days with the new A6 2.7t were disappointing. And the TT quattro I reviewed for 10 days immediately before was the reason. Compared to the TT, driving the A6 felt like navigating an ocean liner. One of the first things I had noticed when I got the car was the steering was numb. There was very little feed back while driving and the suspension seemed really soft; it was completly different than the TT.

Also, I wasn't able to really "drive" this A6 until three days into my review. On the second day I took the car on a 300-mile ride through many beautiful and wonderful roads in the northern mountains of Utah. That could have been an awesome drive, except my wife isn't exactly the type that likes the feel of g-forces as you blast around a hairpin curve. Being pregnant, I can't really blame her. In the end, that drive was comfortable, pleasant, and very uneventful. I could tell that there was a beast waiting to be released, but it would have to wait.

The 2.7T is almost identical to the 2.8 model - the only visible difference from the exterior is a different wheel style and the 2.7T badge on the rear deck lid. Inside, the 6-speed manual transmission is the only cue that this car is something different. Audi says the suspension on the 2.7T is "slightly stiffer" than the regular A6, but it's probably a very similar ride. The A6 2.7T also comes standard with quattro all-wheel drive.

Once you look under the hood things get more interesting. The 2.7T A6 shares the same 2.7 liter 250 hp bi-turbo V6 that is found in the Audi S4. The 6-speed transmission and brake system are also the same and the exhaust system is similar as well. Official performance numbers are 0-60 in 6.0 seconds and 14.7 seconds for the quarter mile - only slightly slower than the S4.

The A6 2.7T I tested was light silver with Royal Blue interior. Optional equipment included Leather seats, SIDEGUARD head airbag system, rear side airbags, 6-disc CD changer, Bose sound system, convenience package, cold weather package, and the sports package. The sports package is unique to the A6 2.7T model and includes front sport seats and 16" 6 spoke wheels with Dunlop SP 9000 tires. Personally, I think the sports package should also include a sport suspension and larger wheels - at least 17". Total cost as tested was $45,450.

The first few days, my family was with me almost every moment I was driving this car, effectively killing all the fun I was trying to have. Then, on the evening of the third day, things changed. The Audi gods granted my wish of being able to really drive this A6. I headed towards one of my favorite canyon roads. How would it perform on the winding roads? I was soon going to find out.

The first thing I noticed was that this car has some serious power. Three days with this car and I hadn't noticed it yet? Well, like I said before, I had my family with me most of the time and this car is so mild mannered when not being pushed. The power was amazing - it was effortless to pass cars, even in the canyons, and the power kept on coming no matter what gear I was in. Even in sixth gear the car still has plenty of power left if you decide to floor the pedal.

Once in the canyon, it was time to see how it handled the twisty curves. The canyon I was driving has a incredibly tight S curve that can be challenging but the A6 handled it amazingly well. The traction of the quattro kept me glued to the road, the tires only let out a little squeal and the car was very stable throughout. I could feel the rear end wanting to break loose on really hard turns, but never did. Body roll is present, but I didn't find it to be a major factor in my driving experience. The sport seats, a little larger then the sport seats in the A4, held me in place well but could have used a little more lateral support.

By the time I reached the top of the canyon, my opinion of this A6 had changed considerably, instead of being disappointed; I was starting to be impressed. By the time I reached the bottom of the canyon, the car had won me over - I liked it. A lot.

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