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Review (2/2)

The 2012 Audi A6 Avant: A New Edition of a Proven Winner

Source: Audi | Published: Wed May 18, 2011

(continued from the previous page)

Interior Design

In the interior of the new Audi A6 Avant, a decorative inlay known as the "wrap-around" encircles the driver and the front-seat passenger. The front of the instrument panel is elegantly curved. The entire interior makes a high-quality and functional impression. It takes up the light style of the exterior. The back seat offers ample passenger room. There are plenty of storage options and cup holders front and rear, with an additional storage package available as an option.

Every last detail in the interior of the A6 Avant demonstrates Audi's exacting quality standards. All of the materials have been selected and worked with great care. Decorative inlays are available in aluminum and three types of wood, including a very modern, novel veneer of alternating layers of light and dark oak. A piano lacquer variant rounds out the choices. The interior colors harmonize as stylishly as the materials, which include a range of leathers up to exclusive Valcona, a very natural grade.

Audi offers a choice of particularly comfortable and sporty front seats, with the top models featuring ventilation and massage functions. An optional lighting package or the ambient lighting package bathe the interior in subtle, yet dramatic light. There is also a wide range of options when it comes to the steering wheels: three or four spokes, power-adjustable steering column, heated rim and paddles for the automatic transmission.

Composite Construction Body

A new composite construction concept makes the body of the Audi A6 Avant highly rigid, safe and unusually light. Many components of the occupant cell are fabricated from high-strength and ultra high-strength steels. The strut braces in the engine compartment and the bolt-on body components are made of aluminum and comprise roughly 20 percent of the body. The concept represents the transition to the innovative Multimaterial Space Frame, with which Audi is opening a new chapter in lightweight body construction.

The body of the A6 Avant is roughly 66 lbs (30 kilograms) lighter than that of the previous model. Depending on the engine, the complete car is as much as 154 lbs (70 kilograms) lighter than the previous model. The A6 Avant 2.0 TDI, for example, has a curb weight of just 3,615 lbs (1,640 kilograms). Audi, the sector's lightweight construction pioneer, has once again reversed the weight spiral.

Another strength of the composite construction body is acoustic comfort. Modern materials and construction methods reduce the interior noise level to that of the luxury class. Audi also offers special insulating/acoustic glazing as an option. The precise matching of all components and sophisticated hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings provide for excellent ride comfort.

Luggage Compartment

The luggage compartment of the new Audi A6 Avant has a capacity of 20 cu-ft (565 liters). Its loading lip is low. The split rear seat backs can be easily folded down using the remote seat back release on the sides of the trunk to increase luggage capacity to 59 cu-ft (1,680 liters). Lashing eyes, side restraining straps, bag hooks, a double cargo floor, a rail luggage fixing system, a dirt-resistant tray and roof rails are standard.

Audi offers additional details as options - a load-through hatch, a fixing set that uses the two standard rails in the cargo floor, and a power rear hatch with an integrated power luggage compartment cover. Making its debut in the Audi A6 Avant is the gesture-based control of the power hatch in combination with the convenience key. If the driver stands behind the car and makes a specific movement with his or her foot, two sensors open the hatch.

The accessories program includes many special features for transporting sports and recreational equipment, from a partition grille to a bicycle rack. The new large Avant is a powerful towing vehicle, with a rated towing capacity of 4,630 lbs (2,100 kilograms).

Engines: Powerful and Efficient

The A6 Avant is available with a choice of six engines featuring direct fuel injection: one four-cylinder unit and five V6 units. Five of them use forced induction to keep displacement relatively low, thus improving their efficiency. The 2.0 TDI with 177 hp has the best fuel consumption figures. Paired with the manual transmission, it consumes on average just 5.0 liters of fuel per 100 km (47.04 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 132 g per km (212.43 g/mile).

The 3.0 TDI is available in three variants: with 204 hp; with 245 hp - a clean diesel version will follow somewhat later; and the top version with 313 hp. The twin-turbo has a two-stage turbocharger group that delivers a maximum boost pressure of up to 3.2 bar, imbuing the 3.0 TDI with superior performance. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes 5.3 seconds (preliminary value); the electronically limited top speed of 155 mph is just a formality.

The 2.8 FSI with 204 hp uses the Audi valvelift system, which varies the lift of the intake valves in two stages as necessary. This allows the engine to breathe easier, increasing torque and reducing fuel consumption. The most powerful gasoline engine in the model series is the supercharged 3.0 TFSI producing 300 hp.

Drivetrain: Something for Everyone

Like many Audi models, the new A6 Avant is available with a wide range of drivetrains. Depending on the engine, Audi offers a six-speed manual, the continuously variable multitronic or the sporty S tronic with seven speeds. The 3.0 TDI with 313 hp delivers its power to a highly efficient eight-speed tiptronic optimized for fast shifts.

The gears in all of the transmissions are widely spaced, a major factor contributing to their efficiency. All of the automatic transmissions are integrated into the engine's innovative thermal management system. The differential lies in front of the clutch or the torque converter. This enabled the engineers to shift the front axle forward by 71 millimeters (2.80 in) compared with the previous model, to the benefit of both the wheelbase and axle load distribution.

Audi Connect

One of the many fields of technology where Audi leads the competition is infotainment. A wide range of modules is available in the new A6 Avant, topped by MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. Core features of the large hard drive-based system with the eight-inch monitor can be controlled via the touchpad. Topping the line of hi-fi options is the high-quality Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System that delivers crystal-clear sound from 15 speakers.

One groundbreaking option from Audi are the new features that are combined under the keyword Audi connect. With its UMTS module, the Bluetooth online car phone delivers the Internet to the A6 Avant. Special services are available in collaboration with Google. The graphics card in the navigation system, for example, integrates images and information from Google Earth with the navigation route. A Wi-Fi hotspot provides contact to mobile devices on board.

Two additional services are new to the Audi lineup, and thus to the market as a whole. The Audi online traffic information service draws on the movement profiles of hundreds of thousands of mobile phones in other vehicles to inform drivers in many European countries about traffic levels along the selected route in real time. Points of interest can now be searched for online with Google - particularly conveniently via voice control.

Assistance Systems: Intelligent

The MMI navigation plus in the new Audi A6 Avant works closely together with the optional driver assistance and safety systems. It makes its route data available to the control units for the adaptive light headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. This enables these systems to better recognize complex scenarios and support the driver.

The heart of the assistance systems is the radar-based adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, which is active at all speeds between zero and 250 km/h (155.34 mph). It works closely together with Audi pre sense, which is available in a number of configurations. It helps the driver in many situations to reduce the severity of rear-end collisions with the vehicle ahead and their consequences, or even to avoid them all together. The new Audi A6 Avant has an extensive package of restraint systems on board in the event of a collision.

Audi active lane assist intervenes gently in the steering to help the driver keep the A6 Avant in its lane. The park assist system, which is optionally available with a reversing camera, relieves the driver from the hassle of steering when parking or exiting a parking space. The Audi side assist helps the driver when changing lanes; the night vision assistant marks detected pedestrians to make driving in the dark safer; and the speed limit display presents important road signs on the DIS display.

The parking system plus with 360 degree display, which is a new assistance system at Audi, will follow somewhat later. Four small cameras - at the front, the rear and in the housings of the side mirrors - record images of the A6 Avant's immediate surroundings. Fast software combines these images, and the driver can call up various views on the large onboard monitor. This technical system enhances safety while maneuvering and when pulling out from areas with obstructed views.

Audi A6 Avant TFSI S line: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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