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At Home on All Roads and Tracks: Audi A6 allroad quattro


February 28, 2006

At Home on All Roads and Tracks: Audi A6 allroad quattro
Source: Audi AG


The exterior design of the new A6 allroad quattro is closely related to the styling of the Audi A6 Avant; it has the same expressive design language. It is marked by timeless elegance and emotional sportiness, thus consistently continuing the design evolution typical for the brand. Its distinctive look is created by the dynamic styling, the stimulating treatment of surfaces and the gentle lines of the almost coupe-like silhouette.

At the same time, the striking off-road styling elements blend harmoniously into the overall picture. The underride protection made of stainless steel highlights the robust nature of the vehicle. The designers have slightly modified the prominent single-frame grille for use here; the licence plate holder now appears to float in mid-air. Other design features include chrome-plated strips on the vertical grille bars, the newly designed bumpers – in a contrasting colour as standard or optionally matt-painted in the colour of the vehicle – and the larger exterior mirrors that provide a particularly wide field of vision. The new A6 allroad quattro is optionally available with the "adaptive light” dynamic cornering light, with xenon plus headlights and daytime running lights.

Aesthetic lines: strong shoulders, low windows

In profile the body looks elongated; the dynamic rise of the strong shoulder line, the low window strip and the gently sloping roof create this impression. Sturdy door strips, made of aluminium on request, accentuate the dynamic line in the lower area of the flanks. The roof rails, also of aluminium, rest on four supports.

The sill panelling protects from gravel impact and conveys an impression of muscular power, as do the flared wheel arches.

These are painted in a contrasting colour or optionally in the colour of the vehicle and, depending on the engine, house 17-inch wheels or – standard on the 4.2 FSI – 18-inch wheels in three special designs. The tyres are slightly larger in diameter than those on the A6 Avant.

At the rear, the A6 allroad quattro can be recognised by an underride protection made of stainless steel, large exhaust tailpipes and an aluminium-look trim strip in the area of the bumper. Eleven stylish colours underline the expressive design. Three of these are new – Polar Blue, Condor Grey and Lava Grey. The rear lights, in conjunction with the xenon plus headlights, incorporate an LED unit for the brake lights and taillights.

The interior ambience too, with fine lines and elegant forms and colours, offers the highest quality and harmonious aesthetics. The first indication of this is provided by the new door entry strip made of aluminium. Four interior colours are available to choose from – paranut brown and cardamom beige being new – and can be combined with five seat fabrics and five decorative inlays. The new inlays are the standard material, Aluminium Axial, and the optional Californian Vavona wood assam grey (standard on the 4.2 FSI). The standard seat fabrics combine elements of material and leatherette. Sports seats in conjunction with Valcona leather feature a two-colour design.

Body and interior

The new Audi A6 allroad quattro boasts some impressive measurements but is clearly smaller than the Audi Q7 performance SUV. It has a length of 4,934 millimetres, a width of 1,862 mm and, depending on the setting of the standard adaptive air suspension, a height of 1,459 to 1,519 mm. The last figure exceeds the A6 Avant by up to 64 mm; all other measurements are identical. Compared with its predecessor, the new A6 allroad quattro is longer by 124 mm, wider by 10 mm and has a wheelbase lengthened by 76 mm.

The Audi A6 allroad quattro will be produced exclusively with the Avant body, which offers the driver and four passengers generous roominess. The load area – which can be extended from 565 to 1,660 litres of storage space by folding the asymmetrically divided backrests in two easy movements – incorporates two rails, to which four lashing eyes can be attached; a tensioning strap, telescopic rod and bicycle rack may also be fitted. The A6 allroad quattro is purposely aimed at sports enthusiasts who often wish to transport sports equipment in their spare time. Its adaptive air suspension also functions as a self-levelling suspension, permitting high payloads. An automatically opening and closing tailgate is available. Particularly long items can easily be accommodated thanks to the load-through hatch including ski bag. The towing bracket with a mechanically swivelling ball joint coupling is simple to operate.


Rigid and safe: the body

The body of the A6 allroad quattro features the same high rigidity as the Audi A6 Avant. It is a composite construction with a high proportion of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel panels and light-weight aluminium components which reduce weight primarily at the front end. A combination of precisely matched sections protects passengers in the event of an accident. As well as the two front airbags, the vehicle is equipped as standard with side airbags at the front (optionally at the rear too) and the head airbag system sideguard. Audi backguard reduces the consequences of a rear-end collision.

The interior of the new Audi A6 allroad quattro is distinguished by its luxurious finish and excellent functionality. At the heart of the operating concept is the MMI terminal, which the driver can use to configure numerous convenience functions that can then be viewed on a monitor. The operating unit is situated on the centre tunnel – a solution that still outmatches anything the competition has to offer, as numerous tests in the trade press have confirmed.

The basic version of the MMI system is a standard item and can be upgraded in two stages. The Audi A6 allroad quattro comes as standard with deluxe automatic air conditioning with air recirculation and a pollen filter as well as sun sensors. The temperature can be controlled separately for driver and front passenger.

The electromechanical parking brake on the Audi A6 allroad quattro offers considerable functional advantages compared with conventional technology. An automatic function makes driving off on gradients easier. It features the emergency braking function required by law. 



The A6 allroad quattro is available with four powerful, longitudinally installed engines, two petrol and two diesel. All four are direct-injection power plants; they come from the leading-edge Audi V-engine family, notable for a compact basic design – a 90° cylinder angle, a distance of 90 millimetres between cylinders, four-valve technology and maintenance-friendly camshaft drive by means of chains. For the petrol engines, mixture preparation is optimised by the continuous adjustment of all four camshafts and a variable intake manifold.

FSI petrol direct injection is also characteristic of the Audi brand. Following numerous victories in the Audi R8 Le Mans racing car, this technology has been introduced on a broad scale in standard production vehicles. The FSI engines, where fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber under a pressure of up to 100 bar, deliver more performance and dynamism than conventional power units with manifold injection – and at the same time achieve excellent fuel economy. This improvement in efficiency illustrates yet again the Audi principle of Vorsprung durch Technik.

The 3.2 FSI develops 188 kW (255 bhp). Its maximum torque is 330 Nm, available at 3,250 rpm. On the version with six-speed manual transmission, the V6 accelerates the A6 allroad quattro to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds and enables it to reach a top speed of 242 km/h.

Values in conjunction with the six-speed tiptronic are 7.7 seconds and 240 km/h. On average the powerful V6 is content with 11.2 (with tiptronic 11.0) litres of fuel per 100 km.

The 4.2 FSI, which is being introduced here for the first time in the A6 model series, has even more power at the ready. The V8 with direct injection musters up 257 kW (350 bhp) and 440 Nm, the latter being available at 3,500 rpm. The masterful eight-cylinder with its sonorous tone is available with tiptronic only. The A6 allroad quattro 4.2 FSI completes the standard sprint in 6.3 seconds and if necessary can accelerate further up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h.

Its consumption of only 11.2 litres of fuel per 100 km effectively demonstrates the outstanding potential of FSI petrol direct injection made by Audi.

Diesel engines: powerful and efficient

Both V6 diesel engines combine superb efficiency with impressive power and ultimate refinement. The mixture preparation is handled by a latest-generation common rail system which pushes fuel into the combustion chambers at a pressure of up to 1,600 bar. The high injection pressure ensures extremely fine atomisation and therefore particularly precise mixture preparation. Thanks to the rapid-action piezo injectors the control electronics can vary the number of injection processes per cycle within a wide range. On the 3.0 V6 TDI there are up to five injection processes – these drastically reduce noise and exhaust emissions. Particulate filters are fitted as standard in Germany.

The 2.7 TDI develops 132 kW (180 bhp) and 380 Nm. Its maximum torque is available from as low as 1,400 rpm, i.e. just above idling speed. It remains constant up to 3,300 rpm; this high torque guarantees impressive pulling power in practically every situation. The 9.3 seconds needed to sprint up to 100 km/h and the top speed of 215 km/h underline the dynamic character of the diesel engine, which is coupled with the convenience of the six-speed tiptronic. A fuel consumption rate of only 8.7 litres per 100 km illustrates its efficiency.

The 3.0 TDI is available with manual transmission or with the six-speed tiptronic. Across a wide range between 1,400 and 3,250 rpm it applies 450 Nm of torque to the crankshaft; its maximum output has increased to 171 kW (233 bhp). The standard sprint takes only 7.5 seconds (with tiptronic 7.8 s) and it can reach a top speed of 231 km/h (with tiptronic 230 km/h). The mighty TDI is extremely thrifty when it comes to fuel – it uses a mere 8.4 litres (with tiptronic 8.8 l).

Transmission: precise and efficient

The manual versions of the new Audi A6 allroad quattro will take advantage of the ML gearbox generation. The abbreviation stands for the "manual/longitudinal” configuration. This sporty transmission with closely-spaced ratios offers ultimate shifting comfort with short, clearly defined gearshift travel. The resulting reduction in internal friction enhances efficiency.

The six-speed tiptronic is distinguished by its particularly fast gear shifts and by a wide spread of gear ratios – up by 18 per cent on average compared with a five-speed automatic transmission. This means more accelerating power in low gears, thanks to considerably higher starting torques, and a decrease in engine speed in the upper speed range, leading to a reduction in noise levels and fuel consumption.

Traction and agility: quattro drive

quattro permanent four-wheel drive, featured on all A6 allroad quattro models, has a decisive influence on driving characteristics. Its self-locking centre differential operates purely mechanically and so without delay. It splits the drive torque variably between front and rear axle – as a rule 50 % to each; if necessary, up to 75 per cent of the power goes to one axle. On loose terrain the quattro drive provides excellent traction; on the road it ensures sporty agility, a firm grip when accelerating out of bends and maximum driving safety in all types of weather.


The suspension of the A6 allroad quattro combines sporty handling with superior comfort on a high level. Not only the wheelbase has been increased by 76 millimetres compared with the previous model: the front track is also up by 22 to 1,596 millimetres and at the rear it has been increased by 2 to 1,587 millimetres. In addition, weight distribution between front and rear axle has been optimised.

The suspension consists of a highly complex four-link front suspension with a self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear axle, adopted from the Audi A6 and the A8. The essential components are made of aluminium – this is vital to reduce unsprung masses. The servotronic, which is standard, provides power-assisted steering according to vehicle speed – road contact is intense without compromising steering comfort.

The electronically controlled adaptive air suspension, also a standard feature, adds another key dimension to the suspension. It allows the trim height of the body to be altered by up to 61 millimetres, both automatically – depending on speed – and manually via the MMI terminal. The control unit automatically adjusts the control characteristics of the adaptive shock absorbers, taking into consideration the type of road surface and style of driving.


For any situation: five driving modes

The five driving modes are known as dynamic, automatic, comfort, allroad and lift. In the dynamic mode, which is the equivalent of a sports suspension, the body is lowered to a ground clearance of 125 mm. This achieves even more dynamic handling and also reduces drag and consequently fuel consumption. In the automatic mode, the body is raised by 15 mm to 140 mm but is lowered again to the dynamic level if the vehicle is driven for some distance at a speed of over 120 km/h. If the comfort mode has been selected, lowering of the body is suppressed.

The allroad mode provides a ground clearance of 175 mm; from 80 km/h and again at 120 km/h, the body is lowered by 15 mm and by a further 20 mm respectively. In the manually selected lift mode, the body hovers 185 mm above the ground to negotiate rough terrain at slow speeds. Should a speed of 35 km/h be exceeded, the control unit switches to the allroad mode.

The substantial ground clearance means that the Audi A6 allroad quattro is able to assert itself on rough gravel roads or on snow-covered mountain passes. As an option, 245/45 R 18 all-terrain tyres are available, together with a reinforced engine underguard. The stabilisation program ESP, now in its eighth generation, has been enhanced to include special functions for use off-road. In the so-called offroad mode, which is activated by pressing the ESP button in the cockpit, stabilising intervention takes place later – forward propulsion takes priority.

To match its high-performance engines, all versions of the new A6 allroad quattro are equipped with a powerful brake system. Even the entry-level engines are provided with a 16-inch system; the 4.2 FSI has a 17-inch brake system. If the brakes are applied hard, the hazard warning lights are switched on automatically.


Equipment: high-tech for safety and comfort

The Audi A6 allroad quattro comes from the factory with a level of equipment in keeping with its premium character. Its main features include quattro permanent four-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension with adaptive shock absorber control, speed-dependent servotronic steering and the ESP stabilisation program with its new offroad mode. The light-alloy wheels on all V6 variants are 8 J x 17 in size, the tyres 245/45 R 17. All new Audi A6 allroad quattro vehicles are equipped as standard with the tyre mobility system.

A headlight washer system, a double load-area floor with dirt-resistant tray and stainless steel underride protection at the front and rear predestine the A6 allroad quattro for use off the beaten track. Sports enthusiasts who wish to transport their bikes or similar sports equipment will appreciate the versatile rail system in the luggage compartment and the aluminium roof rails with their double supports. The deluxe automatic air conditioning and the MMI basic operating system ensure on-board comfort and convenience.

The Audi A6 allroad quattro 4.2 FSI with its powerful V8 engine runs on 18-inch wheels, housing internally ventilated brake discs at the front and rear. Its inlays in Vavona wood assam grey are particularly eye-catching, the inside door trims and seats are covered in leather. The front seats are electrically adjustable. An anti-theft system, the driver information system, deluxe automatic air conditioning plus and a centre armrest at the front round off the luxurious standard equipment of the top model.

For those with the highest standards: the extras

As with every Audi, the A6 allroad quattro can be given that individual touch by way of numerous special options. The most interesting luxury and high-tech extras include the "adaptive light” dynamic cornering light, the advanced key keyless access system, and the parking aid, Audi parking system advanced – here the MMI monitor shows the image captured by the rear-view camera.

A Bluetooth interface for the telephone is available on request as are sports seats that can be adjusted electrically in a variety of ways. For customers looking for an even more personal form of expression, the Audi exclusive program from quattro GmbH offers almost endless possibilities.

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