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2012 Audi A6: First Look

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author photo by Autotrader December 2010

We knew it was coming, it was just a case of when. The regenerated Audi A6 executive sedan, the company's last model to receive a makeover or debut as a new generation, will be with us in summer 2011 as a 2012 model.

In keeping with the rest of the Audi lineup, the A6 has a look that goes big on style (there seems to be a hint of the company's R8 supercar around the nose). And like the larger A8 flagship sedan, this one has a lot of aluminum in its body for less weight but plenty of strength.

Rivals include the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, so this is clearly a segment that likes technology and convenience. The A6's dashboard architecture has been overhauled to accommodate a new-generation of MMI (multi-media interface), Audi's proprietary infotainment system controlled by a touch-sensitive screen.

Also on offer are ventilated front seats with inbuilt massaging, a head-up display, navigation with 3D-effect graphics, Bluetooth-enabled internet, lane departure warning, parking assistance, and an ear-caressing Bang & Olufsen audio system. In other words, the whole nine yards plus a couple more.

Audi of America has confirmed that locomotion will be supplied initially by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 making 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, most likely a development of the current engine of the same specifications. In the 2010 car, this returns an average of 21 mpg. For the 2012 A6 range, Audi claims an improvement in fuel consumption of around 19 percent across the board. Outside of the USA, the car will have a choice of clean diesel engines as well as a smaller turbocharged gasoline engine.

However, since the United States already enjoys TDI units in cars that range from the A3 to the big Q7 SUV, perhaps a turbodiesel A6 on this side of the Atlantic could be a possibility. Especially considering the 2.0-liter version can achieve 48 mpg.

Still in the pipeline, though, is another intriguing variant: the A6 Hybrid. This has a drivetrain that consists of a 2.0-liter turbo four with an electric motor that combines to make 245 hp, yet only burns 37.9 miles per gallon (or thereabouts). Whether this model makes it Stateside is still to be decided, although the term "no-brainer" springs to mind.

As usual, the car will deploy either front-wheel drive or Audi’s signature Quattro all-wheel drive system. Transmission options run to a six-speed manual, a CVT full automatic, or S tronic. The latter system allows the driver to execute lightning-fast shifts, or does them itself.

A lot to look forward to, then. Money has not been mentioned so far, but expect a reasonably equipped model to be in the mid-$50,000 area.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Audi A6: First Look - Autotrader