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2004 Geneva Motor Show Preview I

2004 Geneva Motor Show Index by TCC Team (2/22/2004)


A6 Returns With Nuvolari Style

2005 Audi A6

2005 Audi A6

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At the Geneva Auto Show Audi will unveil its new A6 sedan, but in the meantime the Germans have release the first pictures and all the details. With the new generation of the A6 Audi aims at the top position in the segment and as such, brings with it five new engines, advanced transmission technology, and the choice of front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive.

From now on, all new Audis will wear the large grille that debuted last year on the Nuvolari concept car. The A8 W-12 was the first production model with the new look. But apart from the more pronounced front, the design of the A6 is still familiar. The rear has a very small integrated spoiler for additional downforce.

A first for Audi here is the combination of xenon daytime running lights and active cornering lights, which use very little energy and do not have any influence on the fuel efficiency.

The wheelbase of the new A6 has grown 3.1 inches, to 111.8 inches. The length of the car measures 193.7 inches (up 4.7); the width is 73.2 inches (up 1.9); and the height of 57.4 inches is practically the same. The added inches mean extra legroom for the front passengers and rear passengers. Up front the shoulder room is up nearly an inch and over an inch in the rear.

For the new generation, Audi has five new powertrains available, three petrol and two diesel engines (2.0 TDI and 2.0 TDI V-6). The basic petrol version is the 2.4-liter V-6 with 177 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. Then there is the 3.2-liter V-6 FSI with 255 hp and torque of 243 lb-ft. The top version is the 4.2-liter V-8 with 355 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The latter is the slightly reworked powerplant of the S4. The engines are teamed to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 and the V-6 are available with the six-speed Tiptronic. The Multitronic transmission that debuted in the A6 2.8 in 2000 is also available with and that's new seven shift stages in the Tiptronic mode.

The 4.2 and the 3.0 TDI diesels come standard with quattro all-wheel drive, whereas quattro will be an option on the 3.2 FSI.

Although there were rumors that the A6 would have an all-aluminum body, Audi still uses a steel one. Torsional stiffness of the A6 has been improved by 34 percent, which has advantages for the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) and driving dynamics. To provide excellent driving capabilities Audi uses a multi-link front suspension and the same self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension as in the A8. From 2005 the new A6 will be available with adaptive air suspension with air spring elements and adaptive damping front and rear.

2005 Audi A6

2005 Audi A6

Enlarge Photo
The interior of the A6 has been changed notably. By using an electro mechanical parking brake, the handbrake lever is eliminated and the center console is high and wide. The MMI display is integrated beneath the dashboard cover. A larger leather-covered steering wheel is now used in the A6, which comes standard with climate control and a rain- and light sensor. Adaptive cruise control and a tire pressure monitor will be optional. In Europe the new A6 will be available in May; in the U.S. the car will hit the showrooms later this year. Prices are not known yet. —Henny Hemmes

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