2012 Audi A6 has improved looks, power, tech
By IRA SIEGEL For Sun-Times Media April 16, 2012 4:39PM
2012 AUDI A6 3.0T
ENGINE: 310-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V-6
TRANSMISSION: eight-speed automatic
DRIVETRAIN: all-wheel drive
FUEL ECONOMY: 19 city/28 highway
BASE PRICE: $49,900
AS TESTED: $60,130 (includes $875 for destination)
There are many midsize luxury sport sedans to choose from, and Audi is determined to be No. 1 with its all-new 2012 A6.
Last year’s A6 was pretty darned good, so it wasn’t necessary for Audi to start from scratch. The 2012 Audi A6 is lighter, better looking, roomier and more luxurious than its predecessor.
The wheelbase was lengthened and that creates shorter overhangs, improved driving dynamics and a more spacious cabin.
Audi’s large signature grille gives the A6 an aggressive nose that’s flanked by more stylish headlamp assemblies (similar to those found on the current A7 and A8 models).
A6’s exterior lighting addresses form and function. The look is cool, and the lights flood the road with light.
Slip inside the new A6 and you’ll be surrounded by an appealing interior. The comfortable and luxurious cabin features styling cues borrowed from the sexy A7. The attention to details in materials and fit and finish make the A6 a standout in this crowded segment.
I like the inviting wraparound skyline design of the cockpit and the layout of controls. The available Audi connect enhances Audi’s MMI with Google Earth, Google Local Search, real-time weather, traffic, fuel updates, news and the benefits of a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to eight devices.
The cabin is accommodating, even on extended road trips. The seats are supportive and comfortable, and the backseat offers more legroom than most competitors in this class.
Audi expects most of its A6 customers to prefer those powered by the 310-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. But to appeal to those concerned with fuel economy, a 211-horsepower turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine is being offered, mated to a CVT transmission (front-wheel drive).
While the four-cylinder delivers enough power to properly manage the midsize A6, it helps to achieve 24/33 mpg city/highway compared to the V-6’s 19/28 mpg.
Models with the four-cylinder are designated as A6 2.0T while those with the V-6 are designated as A6 3.0T.
A6 2.0T models are only offered with a CVT transmission driving the front wheels. A6 3.0T models feature an eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s impressive quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Pricing for the A6 2.0T starts at $41,700 and models can be had in two trim levels: Premium and Premium Plus. Pricing for the A6 3.0T starts at $49,900 and models are offered in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.
All models are loaded with luxurious amenities and loads of standard safety features. With the A6 3.0T Premium Plus and Prestige models you can opt for Audi’s adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go function.
It works at all speeds. You just set the speed and distance and it automatically slows the car down or brings it to a stop if traffic ahead stops. Then it automatically accelerates as traffic ahead begins to move. It’s incredibly nice for driving in rush-hour traffic.
With the A6 3.0T Prestige, the fine 10-speaker audio system is replaced with a 14-speaker Bose system that delivers 630 watts. If that’s not enough, Prestige buyers can opt for the 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen system that thumps out 1,300 watts.
The 2012 Audi A6 delivers a pleasing and fairly agile ride. But those who prefer a firmer ride can opt for the sport-tuned suspension. My 3.0T Prestige tester featured the sport suspension and it increased the agility of the car without being too harsh.
The A6 3.0T rewards the driver with lots of power for spirited driving, yet it’s very refined when cruising around town. The new A6 is certainly more fun to drive than its predecessor.
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