20 years after its debut, the Audi A6 allroad is ready to enter new territory yet again as the fourth generation of the multi-talented Avant waits in the wings, preserving its predecessors’ much loved flair for taking the rough impeccably smoothly and blending it into a new, even more refined and technologically sophisticated formula. Just as prepared for the worst, helped by torque-rich TDI engines, standard quattro all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension and increased ground clearance, the new A6 allroad is also now even more adept at offering the best in executive class comfort thanks to its super-smooth mild hybrid drivetrains and exceptional new fully digital cabin based around the MMI touch response interface.
“Town, country, river” – extensive suspension features for on-road and off-road
The A6 allroad quattro body is up to 45 millimetres higher than the A6 Avant. The ground clearance at standard ride height is 139 mm, underscoring its off-road qualities. The A6 allroad quattro is equally powerful when used as a towing vehicle – it can tow up to 2.5 tons. Adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is standard, and was tuned specifically for the A6 allroad quattro to boost its off-road capabilities. It adjusts the ride height depending on the road speed and mode set in the Audi drive select system. In auto and comfort modes, the A6 allroad quattro sets off at standard ride height with a ground clearance of 139 mm, which is then actively adjusted according to speed. If the highest ride height is selected at speeds of up to 22mph, the body is raised 45 mm. The body is lowered automatically when this speed is exceeded. At motorway speeds of above 74mph, the ride height is lowered by 15 mm. If the A6 allroad quattro sets off in offroad mode, which covers speeds up to 49mph, the body is 30 mm higher than the normal ride height. Travelling at very slow speeds below 22mph, lift mode adds another 15 mm, raising the ground clearance 45 mm above the normal position.
In addition to the specially adapted suspension, the A6 allroad quattro offers additional comfort features including standard hill descent control and tilt angle assist that allow it to take off-road terrain in its stride. When negotiating light terrain, the driver can call up a display on the MMI monitor, which shows the current tilt angle in the longitudinal and transverse directions – where the vehicle is at risk of tipping over, a warning appears. On a steep slope the hill descent control limits the speed in the range of 1.2 mph to 18.6 mph to a figure defined by the driver and brakes all four wheels selectively and individually as necessary. On loose surfaces the system provides an additional braking wedge in front of the wheel by using a special ABS brake function. In the Audi drive select offroad mode, all the relevant dynamic handling systems through to stabilisation control are tailored to off-road conditions.
Distinctive character – striking design and model-specific look
The new A6 allroad quattro will be available in Sport specification or as an even more comprehensively equipped Vorsprung model, both of which feature an off-road look that is more striking than ever. The wide, low Singleframe grille with its vertical aluminium struts signals intent at the front end, while special body attachments emphasise the most rugged Avant’s capabilities and aluminium-look underbody cladding provides additional protection.
The allroad-specific roof rails mounted on bars and the window cappings, the underbody protection, the diffuser trim and the band between the rear lights are finished in aluminium-look in the Sport model and in black in the Vorsprung. The wheel arch trims are finished in contrasting scandium grey as standard, and the contrasting sill trims incorporate allroad logos.
The paint range for the new Audi A6 allroad quattro comprises eleven colours, including the new allroad-specific color gavial green, which takes its cue from the specific colour of the first model in 1999.
The interior is available in three colours – black, pearl beige and okapi brown. The seats are upholstered as standard in leather and Alcantara. Alternatively beige and brown tones as well as the stylish perforated Valcona leather grade are also available. As an alternative to the standard inlays in aluminium dyade and Jangal silver, there are two wood variants.
For discerning requirements – drive, suspension and equipment
High torque for high pulling power – the new A6 allroad quattro will initially be available with a choice of two V6 TDI engines. Both units generate their power from three litres of displacement and have been extensively modified in the transition to the new model.
Both also incorporate Audi’s mild hybrid technology (MHEV), which makes driving even smoother and can reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres. It works on the basis of a new 48-volt main electrical system.
The belt alternator starter as the central MHEV component recovers up to 8 kW of power during braking and feeds the electricity into a separate lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 10 Ah. The new Audi A6 allroad quattro can coast with the engine switched off over wide speed ranges, and its start-stop mode kicks in early at 13mph.
The lead-in V6 TDI used by the A6 allroad 45 TDI produces 231PS and – from 1,750 to 3,250 rpm – 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque, sufficient for a sprint from 0 to 62mph in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. In the A6 allroad quattro 50 TDI, the engine produces 286PS and delivers 620 Nm (457.3 lb-ft) of torque between 2,250 and 3,000 rpm, enabling the 62mph yardstick to be reached in 5.9 seconds, on the way to a governed 155mph top speed.
The two TDI units transfer their power via an eight-speed tiptronic to the centre differential-based quattro all-wheel-drive system, which is also backed up by standard wheel-selective torque control. When driving at speed, this system brakes the two wheels with reduced load on the inside of a bend slightly before they can begin to spin. The drive torque is redirected to the wheels with better traction as a result.
The suspension of the A6 allroad quattro combines customary agility with very high levels of comfort. Apart from the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping it offers other highlights. The standard progressive steering becomes increasingly direct with increasing steering angle, and in the Vorsprung model it is complemented by dynamic all-wheel steering which rotates the rear wheels by as much as five degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 37mph, reducing the turning circle and making the steering response even keener. At higher speeds the front and rear wheels turn by up to two degrees in the same direction, thus enhancing stability when travelling in a straight line or changing lanes.
Apart from the shock absorbers and bellows, the electronic chassis platform (ECP) also manages the dynamic all-wheel steering. In the Audi drive select system, the driver can adjust the operation of the controlled functions and components in six modes (dynamic, automatic, comfort, efficiency, allroad and lift). The Audi A6 allroad quattro is fitted as standard with 19-inch wheels with 245/45 size tyres.
The new Audi A6 allroad quattro is 4.95 metres long, 1.90 metres wide and 1.50 metres high. The wheelbase of 2.93 metres provides the basis for generous amounts of space including the extensive elbow room in the front and rear and spacious knee room in the rear. Like the A6 Avant, it offers a luggage capacity of between 565 litres and 1,680 litres with the rear seats folded down. The rear seats can be split-folded 40:20:40 as standard. Standard equipment also includes the electric tailgate and the automatically opening luggage compartment cover. A rail system, a tensioning strap, a net and two bag hooks also form part of the standard specification. There is a sense of quiet on board – courtesy of the rigid body made from an aluminium hybrid construction and the sophisticated aeroacoustics.
Digital native – infotainment, connectivity and driver assistance
The A6 allroad quattro features the same extensive infotainment range found in its A6 and A7 sister models. The all-digital operating system comprising a top large screen – measuring 10.1 inches in the top-of-the-line version – is used to control the infotainment. On the 8.6-inch display below, the driver operates the climate control, the comfort functions and the text input. The natural-language voice control uses both onboard information as well as knowledge from the cloud to process all input. As an option the new A6 allroad quattro is also available with the Audi virtual cockpit (as part of the Technology Pack) – its 12.3-inch display is controlled with the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, and it is complemented by the top-of-the-line MMI navigation plus infotainment control centre – also an option– including LTE module and Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation learns based on previous journeys and can provide the driver with suitable suggestions when choosing a route. The route is calculated online on the servers of service provider HERE and also onboard.
The Audi connect online services are split into two packages – navigation & infotainment and emergency call & service. The myAudi app connects the user’s smartphone seamlessly with the MMI; the Audi connect key lets the driver unlock/lock the vehicle, and start the engine using an Android smartphone via near field communication (NFC). Up to seven drivers can store around 400 functions in up to seven individual profiles.
The driver assist systems in the new Audi A6 allroad quattro provide even more comfort and safety. They are divided into two packages: The Tour assist package includes functions such as efficiency assist, adaptive cruise assist and emergency assist. The City package features the intersection assist and the exit warning. The central driver assistance controller (zFAS), which continuously calculates a model of the vehicle environment, provides the data source for all these systems.
The new Audi A6 allroad quattro is due to go on sale in Germany in June, and in the Ireland from August.