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The redesigned Audi A6 is best experienced at speed, when the six-speed automatic transmission hits its overdrive stride and the car settles into the land of triple digits as comfortably as a Gulfstream IV corporate jet leveling off at its 40,000-foot cruising altitude.
And while such Teutonic motoring may be felonious here in America, the great advantage of owning a machine with such deep reserves of capability is the ease with which it handles our much less demanding 65-75 mph highways.
When you’ve got a package — brakes, suspension, steering, chassis — designed for routine cruising at speeds 20-40 mph faster than the fastest legal U.S. highway maximums, having to slow down quickly or make an abrupt maneuver hardly begins to test the equipment, let alone makes your pulse jump much when something unexpected happens.
You just deal with it and motor on.
New cards to play
2005 Audi A6Enlarge Photo
Of course, competitor sport-touring sedans like the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes E-Class are similarly Autobahn-friendly. And they have a higher-profile as “prestige cars” than Audi, which many still think of as the German Buick — respectable but not quite in the same league as its high-line cousins.
But the A6 has some new cards to play this go around. For starters, it comes standard with full-time quattro all-wheel drive. And it boasts a substantially more powerful standard engine — a 255-hp 3.2-liter V-6 — as well as a standard six-speed automatic, a longer-wheelbase chassis, and all the electronic bells and whistles to make it more than even-Steven with any car in its price range and then some.