Audi – inventor of the stylish sports estate – is about to unleash a flood of sophisticated upmarket five-door vehicles, starting with the all-new A6 Avant. These first official pictures reveal a substantial and very stylish machine, and looks to be the best interpretation yet of Audi’s dramatic new styling direction. The sweeping roofline is a classy step forward from the previous-generation’s boxy load-lugger looks, and the long rear overhang should help minimise any negative impact on carrying ability, although the German company has yet to reveal full specifications.
The engine range should shadow that of the saloon, which means the line-up will kick off with the 177bhp 2.4-litre V6 petrol unit. The range is expected to start from £25,400 in SE form when it goes on sale in the UK next April. The launch of a more humble entry-level engine is in the pipeline, joining the three petrol and three diesel engines already offered in the saloon.
One neat new detail in the load-lugger is the aluminium ‘luggage bar’ which slides on D C tracks in the boot floor and keeps luggage from moving around when the boot isn’t full. The Avant will also need to employ tricks such as underfloor lockers and an electric tailgate to compete with the BMW 5-series Touring and Mercedes E-class wagon.
But even more important to Audi is its long-awaited entry into the booming SUV market.
Having originally decided not to join the project that spawned the Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg, the company is putting the finishing touches to its own version, the Q7, previewed by last year’s Pikes Peak concept car.
To be unveiled at next September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the Q7 is based heavily on the Touareg, but is 170mm longer to allow for a third row of seats – deemed essential for the US market.