Last year, when we were first introduced to the Audi A6, we were immediately smitten with its curvaceous styling and luxurious interior. But we had reservations about its performance, specifically its sluggishness off the line and in the passing lane. More power, we screamed, and Audi has heard us loud and clear. In fact, they’ve heard us twice. So, it looks like it’s time to get re-acquainted with one of our favorite sedans.
Because these new versions of the Audi A6, a car that in its original form we already saluted as our Drivers’ Choice Best Pick of 1999, are designed to give Audi fans even more authority to admire.
The first, swifter A6 is the 2.7T. The T is for turbo, more specifically, a pair of turbochargers that have been added to the A6’s original 2.8-liter V6. But adding turbochargers means big league stress on the engine block. So, Audi increased cylinder wall thickness, which drops displacement to 2.7-liters and raises horsepower to 250! Torque is also way up, to 258 pound-feet! Fed through either a 5-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, or for real fun our test car’s 6-speed manual. And then to the ground by way of Audi’s Quattro IV full-time all-wheel-drive system, and a set of 16-inch alloy wheels wearing low profile Dunlop tires.
Which all together launches the 2.7T to 60 in only 6.8-seconds! And it feels as good as it goes. The 1/4 mile then rocks by in 15.3-seconds at a feisty 92 miles-per-hour. Yes, some turbo lag is evident below 2,000 rpm, but then disappears in a strong rush of power. Shifter action is precise, with short throws, but has a slightly rubbery feel that is typical of many cable linkages. That’s less of a problem at more relaxed street speeds. And when coupled with the chassis’ proven ride and handling, makes the 2.7T the A6 that even enthusiasts like us wished Audi had built in the first place!
But if you’re looking for even more potential in a mid-size Audi sedan, there is the A6 4.2. The 4.2 stands for 4.2-liters, which serious Audi fans will recognize as the displacement of the V8 engine used in the top-of-the-line A8 super-sedan.
As in the A8, the 4.2-liter dual-overhead-cam 40-valve V8 in this big-bore A6, generates 300 silky-smooth horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Fed through a 5-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and the standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Together they launched the A6 4.2 to 60 in 7.3 seconds, beating the A6 2.8 we tested a year ago by a firm 1.2 seconds. Then, the V-8 pulls through the 1/4 mile in 15.5 seconds at 94 miles-per-hour. A gain of 9 tenths of a click.
The A6 4.2 delivers its power with a smoothness and refinement that’s eclipsed only by the A8 itself, and gives A6 drivers the chance to enjoy the exquisite all-day, mile-eating feel of an A8, at a more affordable A6 price.
In addition, the A6 4.2 gets a new look, thanks to a longer, more flowing front fascia and hood, new fenders with flared wheel openings, good looking 16-inch or these even sharper optional 17-inch cast wheels, and sporty side sill extensions. But despite their more potent powerplants, both new models continue to offer the same roomy passenger cabin and ergonomically-intelligent dash that we loved in our award winning A6. No change was made in the large 15.4 cubic-foot trunk, either.
Both cars will hit dealer showrooms in early fall, with prices that we expect to start about $39,000 for the A6 2.7T, and about $48,000 for the A6 4.2.
Either one buyers choose, they can expect to own a more wild and willing A6, one that succeeds in pleasing with every swift mile. So much so that our Drivers’ Choice winner is now a triple treat.
Engine: 2.7-Liter, Turbocharged, V6
Torque: 258 Lb Feet
0-60 MPH: 6.8 Seconds
1/4 Mile: 15.3 Seconds @ 92 MPH
EPA Mileage: 17 MPG City 24 MPG Highway