Audi's new Avant promises more interior space and greater fuel efficiency than the previous A6 wagon
18 May 2011

This is Audi’s A6 Avant, which has been unveiled by the firm’s chairman Rupert Stadler this evening at an event in Berlin.

The new model promises more interior space and greater fuel efficiency than the old A6 wagon; Audi claims improvements in economy of up to 18 per cent.

See pics of the new Audi A6 Avant

The Avant is 4.93m long, 1.87m wide and 1.46m tall. Its wheelbase grows to 2.91m (an increase of around 7cm) in a move designed to free up cabin and luggage space. Despite the fact that its dimensions are very similar to those of the outgoing model, the new Avant weighs up to 70kg less. That’s down to greater use of aluminium; around 20 per cent of the body is made from the lightweight material.

There’s 565 litres of boot space with the seats in place, but this can be increased to 1680 litres when the rear seats are folded down. That gives the A6 a seats-down advantage over BMW’s 5-series Touring, but its maximum capacity is almost 300 litres down on that of the class benchmark, Mercedes’ E-class Estate. The engine line-up will include two petrols, a 2.8 FSI with 201bhp and a supercharged 3.0 TFSI with 295bhp - but the focus is on diesels.

The leanest oil-burner is the 2.0 TDI with 174bhp. It comes with front-drive only and when paired with a manual gearbox, it delivers 56.5mpg and 132g/km of CO2 emissions. There are also two regular V6 turbodiesels, producing 201bhp and 241bhp.

However, the A6 Avant also marks the debut of a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel motor. It has a maximum boost pressure of 3.2 bar and delivers 308bhp; that’s enough to take the A6 Avant to 62mph in 5.4sec and achieve an artificially limited top speed of 155mph.

The transmission line-up comprises a six-speed manual, a CVT, a seven-speed dual-clutch and, for the most potent diesel, an eight-speed automatic.

The Avant’s interior follows the new A6’s layout and materials. But the estate-only options list will include a load-through hatch, a power hatchback with an integrated, powered boot cover, and a gesture control system that responds to a foot movement and opens the boot.

UK sales are expected to start in late summer, with prices from around £30k.

John McIlroy

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