Behind that controversial upright grille, Audi’s new A6 is bigger, roomier, packed with A8-pilfered technology, and features a massive engine line-up – topped by the Lamborghini Gallardo’s V10.
Audi has released these world-first photos of the sixth-generation A6, two weeks ahead of its Geneva show debut. The car will go on sale in the UK as a saloon in June and as an Avant estate early in 2005 – 65 per cent of all A6s sold here are estates.
Audi will also launch a short-wheelbase coupé based on the A6, although the Nuvolari-inspired two-door will be sold as a model in its own right, like the rival BMW 6-series and Mercedes CLK.
Adding the new chrome-rimmed grille (‘single-frame’ in Audi-speak), a prominent crease line parallel with the waist and the dramatic rising edge in the door sills, Audi has turned its back on previous understated elegance. The current A6’s rounded rump has given way to a higher, more conventional tail with a small built-in spoiler.
Plenty of traditional Audi design cues remain, though: the arched, almost coupé-like, roofline, shallow glasshouse ringed by a thin chrome line, and incredibly tight shutlines, now reduced to just 2.5mm, claimed to be the world’s best.
Careful aerodynamic work means lift at the rear has been reduced to just 19kg at the 155mph top speed, a quarter of today’s model’s. And the drag co-efficient of 0.28 for the V6 is a welcome reduction over the present car’s 0.31.
The new A6 is now the biggest car in its class. Overall length is up by 121mm to 4916mm, width by 45mm, while the wheelbase has grown 83mm to 2760mm. The boot is 546 litres in all A6 saloons, outclassing not only the E-Class and 5-series, but even models on the next level up, including the A8.