The all-new A6 sedan will sport a lightweight steel and aluminum
construction (front fenders, hood, rear hatch, doors and select
suspension components) that Audi
says is 15 percent lighter than a comparable one made entirely of
steel. The new A6 is about the same size as the car it replaces, but the
wheelbase and width have grown by 2.7 in. (to 114.6) and by 0.4 in. (to
73.4) respectively, enhancing the car's overall dimensions. Weighing in
at 3,472 pounds according to Audi, the car has a sculpted roofline,
pronounced hood and notched headlights that give it an aggressive
Audi has numerous gasoline and diesel options planned for Europe, the most powerful engine being the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 300 hp and 325 ft-lbs of torque. Packed with the blown six, Audi says the A6 can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in 5.5 seconds. While not as powerful, but still noteworthy, is the engine option consisting of a revised 2.0-liter turbodiesel that's said to be 13 percent more efficient than the previous 2.0 TDI. Having 177 hp and 280 ft-lbs of torque (on tap at a low 1,750 rpm), the sedan is able to hit 100 km/h in 8.7 sec., says Audi. Fans of diesels should think twice before holding their breath, however. We're betting the TDI four-cylinder version of the A6 won't make it across the Atlantic.
The drivetrain also bears witness to a slew of improvements. The front axle has been pushed forward, increasing the wheelbase and axle load distribution, and the Quattro version will utilize the latest iteration of the crown-gear differential, a compact, lightweight awd design (with 40:60 front:rear split) which integrates selective torque-vectoring. Gear ratios are wide spread and optimized for higher speeds.
In early 2012, Audi will begin European sales of an A6 Hybrid, which will incorporate the 211-hp 2.0 TFSI engine and a 45-hp electric motor. Audi says the A6 Hybrid will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 sec. and have fuel efficiency rivaling that of a conventional four-cylinder. In full electric mode, the car can achieve speeds of up to 62 mph, albeit with a range limited to 3 kilometers (1.9 miles).
The 2011 A6 makes its European debut in early 2011, with U.S. deliveries expected in the late summer or early fall.