By Mark Kleis
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 @ 4:13 pm
 
Europe's favorite luxury wagon just got a reworking across the lineup as Audi has unveiled several variations of the latest bigger-than-ever A6 Avant.

As is usually the case with European vehicles, the A6 Avant comes with an extensive array of choices in the powertrain department, six to be exact. Engines range from a single four-cylinder unit to five six-cylinder units, four of which are gasoline-powered and two are oil burning diesels. Power ranges from 177 to 313 horsepower, and transmissions range from a six-speed manual, to the continuously variable multitronic to the sport-minded S tronic with seven speeds.

While powertrains are sure to grab the attention of many, Audi would also like to direct your attention to other key aspects of the vehicle as well. For one, the A6 Avant uses extensive applications of lightweight aluminum in order to keep vehicle weight down - improving fuel economy, acceleration times and overall driving dynamics. Also on the forefront of Audi's list of proud features is the addition of Audi connect, the German automaker's latest telematics system.

Audi connect is a mobile Internet connection that came as the result of an extensive collaboration with Google. The result is a telematics system with voice control that allows users to enjoy new advances in vehicle telematics, such as voice activated point of interest searching. Audi connect also provides a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers to surf the internet while on the road. The constant connection also allows Audi online traffic information service real time.

Before moving on, one should quickly revisit the powertrain and take note of the Avant's most fuel-efficient offering, a 2.0-liter TDI that boasts 177 horsepower and the range's best fuel consumption at about 47 miles per gallon (U.S. gallons, European test). There is also a 3.0-liter TDI engine that comes in 204, 245 and 313 horsepower variations. The top-of-the-line TDI uses its twin-turbochargers to accelerate from a dead stop to 62 miles per hour in just 5.4 seconds.

If diesel isn't your thing, one can choose either the 204 horsepower 2.8-liter FSI engine, or go for the most powerful gasoline engine that cranks out 300 horsepower thanks to a supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6. Overall, Audi says the fuel economy ratings of the A6 Avant have improved by an average of 18 percent thanks to start-stop, a recuperation system and thermal management that more quickly brings coolant and engine oil to optimal temperatures.

Of course, an Audi wouldn't be an Audi without a luxurious interior filled with craftsmanship and features. For the latest Avant Audi employed a theme they refer to as "wrap-around," which as you can imagine uses a curved design to wrap the interior of the vehicle around the occupants. Style is enhanced with the use of three types of wood, one aluminum decorative inlay and one piano lacquer inlay.

Audi says that the seats were designed to be both comfortable and luxurious, as well as sporty and supportive for spirited driving.

Interior technology includes the aforementioned Audi connect, as well as MMI navigation, radar-based adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, active lane assist, park assist, reverse camera, night vision assistance, adaptive headlights and more.

The new A6 Avant will arrive in European showrooms late this summer, starting at 40,850 Euros.