Its design is emphasized by a range of bold new accents, articulating the A6's strong personality. The single-frame grill, bumpers, air vents and fog lights have all gotten a facelift. The optionally-available xenon plus, LED daytime running lights have been redesigned as horizontal strips with 6 LEDs each. Other options include Audi adaptive light, a dynamic cornering light system, and the high-beam assistant that automatically switches between the high and low beam.
An aluminum-colored molding traversing the sides emphasizes the A6's dynamic contour. The gentle lip on the trunk, integrated chrome strip on the bumper, broad diffuser and straight exhaust pipes are part and partial of the revamped rear end. The bipartite rear lights with LED technology have also gotten a new look: narrow and wide, they taper inward on the sedan. And there are 13 exterior colors to choose from, including five new ones.
The instrument panel uses new higher-resolution graphics; and a new frame better accentuates the display (color in the optional MMI navigation system). Chrome trim, even on the spokes of the steering wheel, call attention to its overall elegance and inlays are available in either aluminum look or fine woods.
One of the major strengths of the A6 lies in its broad selection of engines: six gas and four diesels use direct fuel injection and cutting-edge FSI, TFSI and TDI technologies in a choice of four, six or eight cylinders. New measures have been introduced to optimize engines and minimize fuel consumption without sacrificing one ounce of driving pleasure.
The smallest gas engine is the 2.0 TFSI, a 125 kW (170 hp) turbocharged four-cylinder unit. On the other end of the spectrum is the 4.2 FSI, a 257 kW (350 hp) V8 engine. Audi V6 models can be equipped with one of its two new 2.8 liter FSI engines; the 140 kW (190 hp) or the 162 kW (220 hp). Both engines feature the innovative Audi Valvelift System (AVS), which manages the inlet valve timing so that there is more torque and less fuel consumption. Regardless of which 2.8 FSI engine the A6 sedan is fitted, average fuel consumption is only 8.2 liters per 100 kilometers (28.68 US mpg) for the 190 hp, 6-speed manual shift or 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers (28.00 US mpg) for the 220 hp multitronic CVT.
With its 3-liter displacement and 213 kW (290 hp) power output, the V6 is a newcomer. The 3.0 TFSI is fitted with a supercharger. From now on 'T' doesn't just stand for turbocharged – it stands for supercharged. Supercharger technology does not mean increased consumption – but the short intake paths do mean instantaneous response. And it's got full power build-up even at low engine speeds: from 2500 1/min to 4850 1/min, the torque curve is broad and flat at 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft).
The 3.0 TFSI comes with tiptronic and Quattro drive train. The A6 sedan accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.9 seconds and keeps on going as it presses to its electronically-regulated maximum speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). At 9.5 liters per 100 kilometers (24.76 US mpg) on the EU cycle, the supercharged V6 is relatively economical.
The A6 TDI engines focusses on performance and efficiency. Fuel is delivered by the sophisticated and quiet system of common rails with rapid-action piezo injectors and an injection pressure of 1800 bar (26,106.79 psi). The two V6 TDI engines (2.7 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) and 3.0 TDI with 176 kW (240 hp) have peak torques of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) and 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft), respectively.
At the lower end of the diesel program is the four-cylinder 2.0 TDI engine, which is available in two versions: the 125 kW (170 hp), expected in fall 2008, and the 100 kW (136 hp). The basic version is an especially efficient e-model known as the 2.0 TDIe, which uses a six-speed manual shift or automatic multitronic transmission to deliver 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque to the front wheels. With multitronic it sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.9 seconds, and continues on to a top speed of 204 km/h (126.76 mph). Yet its average fuel consumption with a manual shift gearbox is only 5.3 liters per 100 km (44.38 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of app. 139 grams per kilometer (224 grams per mile).
The A6 can be equipped with factory-fitted adaptive air suspension so that the driver can vary his response and the characteristics of the adaptive shock absorbers into three styles. High-powered engines come equipped with larger 17-inch wheel brakes. Audi can also be fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system, which is entirely wear-free and maintenance-free. The customer can opt for run-flat tires, which limit the car to 50 kilometers (31 miles) should there be a drop in air pressure.
Audi has integrated several new high-tech assistance systems. The new Audi side assist kicks in to help drivers when changing lanes at speeds over 30 km/h (18.64 mph), ensuring a stress-free and superior drive. Using radar sensors, Audi Side Assist is able to detect other cars up to 50 meters (164.04 ft) away: a signal on the outside mirror lights up should changing lanes pose a threat. Audi lane assist helps keep drivers in their own lane, radar-assisted adaptive cruise control keeps a steady distance to the vehicle ahead, and Audi parking system advanced has a rearview camera.
The new navigation system has another innovation. A new bird's eye picture mode shows landscapes in topographical relief – in full detail, complete with three-dimensional images of landmark buildings. The monitor has a new operating principle: when adjusting specific functions like air conditioning or seat heating, a pop-up window appears at the right rather than taking over the whole screen.