Thanks to the use of aluminium components (which make up roughly 20 per cent of the body) gross weight has been reduced by as much as 70 kilograms, depending on engine, compared with the previous model. The A6 Avant 2.0 TDI, for example, has a kerb weight of 1,640 kilograms.
The luggage compartment in this all-new Avant can be opened automatically simply by 'gesturing' with a foot to two sensors beneath the rear bumper if the optional advanced key feature is added. The A6 Avant has a capacity of 565 litres, which can be increased to 1,680 litres by folding down the rear seat backs. The load bay has luggage lashing eyes, side restraining straps, bag hooks, a double cargo floor, a rail luggage fixing system, a dirt-resistant tray and roof rails as standard. A through-load facility and a fixing set that uses the two standard rails in the cargo floor are optional.
A choice of four engines featuring direct fuel injection will be available for the new A6 Avant in the UK: one petrol engine and three TDI units. They develop between 177PS and 300PS, the top figure belonging to the supercharged 3.0 TFSI petrol model. The line-up also includes the 3.0-litre V6 TDI in 204PS and 245PS forms and the even more efficient 177PS 2.0-litre TDI, with its 56.5mpg potential and low 132g/km CO2 output.
Later in 2011 an all-new 3.0-litre twin-turbo TDI will be the most potent V6 and the fourth diesel-powered option in the range. Thanks to a two-stage turbocharger that delivers a maximum boost pressure of up to 3.2 bar, the TDI flagship will take just 5.4 seconds (preliminary value) to reach 62mph from rest, and will be electronically limited to a 155mph top speed.
All of the engines use the technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform, including the start-stop system, energy recuperation and the innovative thermal management system that quickly brings the coolant and motor oil up to operating temperature. These ancillary features make a major contribution to a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 18 per cent compared with the out-going model.
Transmission options, based on the engine choice, will include a manual six-speed transmission or multitronic CVT for front-wheel-drive models, and the new seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission for quattros. Each unit features a wide gear-ratio spread which gives a further boost to overall efficiency.
The latest generation Quattro all-wheel-drive with a crown gear centre differential and a torque-vectoring function for optimum traction, stability and response will be standard for the 3.0 TDI 245PS and 3.0-litre TFSI petrol models. For the top-of-the-line engines, the quattro sport differential - which is capable of apportioning torque between the rear wheels - will also be offered as an option.
The Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system will also be standard in the new A6 Avant, allowing drivers to fine-tune the car's responses as desired via the Multi Media Interface (MMI) screen. In front-wheel-drive models the latest Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with electronic limited slip differential will help to maintain optimum control without impairing responsiveness during enthusiastic driving.
Two specification levels - SE and S line - will be offered in the UK, each including alloy wheels, leather upholstery, cruise and front and rear parking controls, SD-based satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone preparation, split/folding rear seats and light and rain sensors. S line models will add larger 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, sports suspension, upgraded Valcona leather upholstery and an exclusive S line exterior and interior styling treatment.
The new Audi A6 Avant - UK OTR pricing:
- 2.0 TDI SE Manual six-speed, 177PS £32,100 OTR
- 2.0 TDI SE Multitronic eight-speed, 177PS £33,630 OTR
- 3.0 TDI SE Multitronic eight-speed, 204PS £36,200 OTR
- 3.0 TDI quattro SE S tronic seven-speed, 245PS £40,950 OTR
- 3.0 TFSI quattro SE S tronic seven-speed, 300PS £41,130 OTR
- 2.0 TDI S line Manual six-speed, 177PS £34,450 OTR
- 2.0 TDI S line Multitronic eight-speed, 177PS £35,980 OTR
- 3.0 TDI S line Multitronic eight-speed, 204PS £38,550 OTR
- 3.0 TDI quattro S line S tronic seven-speed, 245PS £43,300 OTR
- 3.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic seven-speed, 300PS £43,480 OTR