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videoWhen I first drove an Audi A6 4.2 at Shannonville Motorsport Park last fall,
I got to about Turn Two before I started to think, "Wow, I may have a new
all-time favorite car."
I mean, what do you want a sedan to be? Roomy? Gorgeous, inside and out? Beautifully built? Big trunk? Fully-featured? Toss in heroically fast and four-wheel drive, and what's not to like?
A couple of weeks over the Christmas holidays with the car did little to change my mind. There's not a lot of obvious faults here.
This model starts as Audi's A6 mid-size luxury sedan. A good place to start, with its Audi-traditional front grille, curvaceous coupe-like profile, and interesting rear styling. Audi's been building the best-looking and best-finished interiors in the business for several years now, and this one is no exception. Oh, the yellow/cream-colored leather upholstery was a bit, um, bright for my tastes, but Audi's three different "atmospheres" give you a choice of color and trim material textures. The ride and handling of any A6 are beyond reproach, and the full-time four-wheel drive gives the car an all-weather capability no other luxury sedan can match.
But the base A6 is not the quickest car you can buy. The 2.8-liter V-6 engine does have 200 horsepower, and since they dialled in five valves per cylinder (three intakes, two exhaust) off-the-line grunt has improved.
A V-8 wedgie
Still, for a big-buck car, you'd want performance that excites rather than suffices. Audi checked their own parts bin, where they found the four-cam 40-valve all-aluminum 4.2 liter V-8 from their flagship A8 sedan. It produces 300 horsepower at 6200 rpm, and 295 lb-ft of torque between 2000 and 3000 rpm.