What's the news?
We've already had details on the saloon version of the all-new, fifth-generation Audi A6, so now here comes the wagon - this is the latest Audi A6 Avant.
Avant Audis are rarely ugly and the new A6 wagon is no exception to this rule. Sharp of lines and elegant of shape, it's a real looker and it already makes us salivate at the thought of it being pumped up, fitted with a mighty motor and given the badge 'RS 6'. Anyway, returning to the present for the moment, the Avant has the same big, wide and low Singleframe grille as the saloon, while a rakish roofline in profile creates a trapezoidal glasshouse, to make the car look racier; as does the discreet roof spoiler on the boot.
Talking of luggage space, the new A6 Avant has the same cargo capacity as the outgoing model, with 565 litres with all seats in place, rising to 1,680 litres with the back row folded away. It also has a 1,050mm loading width, making it capable of taking bulky items with ease. Physically, the fifth-gen Avant is marginally stretched, broader and taller than its predecessor, at 4,938mm long, 1,890mm wide and 1,463mm high. This is to the benefit of interior space; more on that in a moment. Finally, 12 exterior colours and Sport, S line and optional design exterior equipment can all modify the A6's looks.
So we mentioned improved passenger room on the A6 Avant - well, it's said to have 'class-leading' front and rear elbow-room, as well as rear kneeroom. It boasts all the wonderful new interior architecture of the saloon model, including the dramatic three-screen digital array of the top-level MMI Touch Response infotainment system, while it will also feature a wealth of connectivity and WiFi features. There are also lots of safety systems, such as LED and HD Matrix LED headlights, Audi Pre-Sense Front, Adaptive Cruise Control with Narrowed Road Assist, Emergency Assist and much more.
Like the already-released A7 Sportback and A8 ranges, the A6 family - Avant included - has a range of drivetrains which all feature mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) assistance. This means improved efficiency across the board, courtesy of a belt alternator-starter which can recover up to 12kW during braking, feeding the electricity into a 48-volt system with a separate lithium-ion battery. So at speeds between 55- and 160km/h, the A6 Avant can switch its engine off and coast on electric power, while the start-stop system kicks in at anything below 22km/h. The same pair of V6s as seen in the saloon, namely the 340hp 55 TFSI petrol and the 286hp 50 TDI diesel, will be employed in the Avant, with quattro all-wheel drive as standard and a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox on the TFSI, with an eight-speed Tiptronic auto on the TDI.
Audi says it has tuned the suspension on its grand estate to offer 'an even larger spread between dynamics and comfort than its predecessor' and there are four choices of set-up for customers: standard steel-spring suspension; Sport suspension; suspension with variable shock absorber control; and fully adaptive air suspension. All models get Progressive Steering as standard, which has variable rates of steering ratio according to the speed of the car, while optional All-Wheel Steering further improves the car's manoeuvrability - reducing its turning circle by up to one metre to 11.1 metres overall.
More details, prices and specifications on the Audi A6 Avant will be forthcoming as we get nearer to the car's launch, later this year.