Audi took the wraps off its all-new A6 sedan earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show, and now it has unveiled the station wagon version of this car, the 2012 Audi A6 Avant. Even though the current A6 is offered with an Avant body style here in the United States, it doesn't appear this new Audi wagon will ever be offered over here despite the fact that Acura and Cadillac have both introduced new mid-sized station wagons to the market.
Building on the look of the 2012 A6 sedan, the all-new A6 Avant has a more practical, yet sporty, look thanks to its two-box design and sleeker styling. This updated look starts with the front end which now features a more aggressive appearance thanks to the scalloped headlights with LED daytime running lights, an edgier grille and sporty front fascia. The new A6 design still has some of the old model's soft edges, but the reshaped hood and broad shoulder lines help add a much more athletic stance. Aside from this distinguishable new front-end styling, the new Avant's overall shape doesn't change too much compared to the current body style, but a steeper rake in the greenhouse and the wraparound liftgate glass add to the sportier appearance while the rectangular LED taillights complement the eye-catching new face.
The new Audi A6 will receive a stylish cabin that shares some similarities with the A8's interior including the pop-out navigation screen and the innovative Touchpad Controller. In addition to this touch pad, the A6 cabin will also offer high-tech options such as heads-up display, wireless Internet and a powerful Bang & Olufsen audio system. For the driver, the cabin will offer an elegant, wrap-around cockpit with a sporty three-spoke steering wheel. New technology also includes what Audi refers to as a 'gesture-controlled'? automatic rear liftgate which allows drivers to open the liftgate hands free by waving their foot under the rear bumper when in possession of the proximity key. Once open, the cargo area holds almost 20 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats in place and almost 60 cubic feet with the rear seat backs folded down.
Under the hood of the new A6 Avant, Audi will continue to provide the mid-size station wagon with a plethora of engine choices which includes four diesel and two gasoline options. The base engine will be a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter TDI inline-four while the top options will be a 3.0-liter V-6 as either a turbocharged diesel or a supercharged gasoline engine. Audi says that the 3.0 TDI model will be able to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in only 5.4 seconds. Four transmissions will be available in the 2012 A6 Avant starting with a base six-speed manual up to the eight-speed tiptronic available only in the 3.0 TDI. Even more depressing for North American drivers is the fact that the new A6 will likely continue be offered in the high-performance S6 model, but no word yet as to whether an RS6 model will be available.
One thing that should help make the new A6 Avant more exciting to drive is the fact that it uses more lightweight aluminum to lower the car's curb weight. With 20 percent of the new car comprised of aluminum, Audi says its 2012 A6 Avant weighs almost 155 pounds lighter than the current model, and the base A6 Avant 2.0 TDI weighs in at just 3,616 pounds. Along with lighter curb weight comes improved fuel economy as Audi states fuel consumption that is 18 percent better for 2012 over the 2011 model.
While there has been no definitive word on the availability of the A6 Avant in the U.S., the car will go on sale in Europe later this summer with a starting price of â‚¬40,850 (the equivalent of around $60,000 USD).