While staying true to its roots, the redesigned Audi A6 displays a number of incremental improvements. On the outside, it gains the large trapezoidal grille and more angular headlights found on the latest A7 and A8 models. Outer dimensions have shrunk slightly, but interior space has grown, thanks in large part to a longer wheelbase. Weight has also been trimmed -- by as much as 165 pounds, depending on the model -- thanks to increased use of aluminum construction. The longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs also make for better overall weight distribution. All this equates to improved handling as well.
The 2012 Audi A6 comes with a choice between two familiar and energetic engines. The first, a 310-horsepower supercharged V6, is largely carryover. The second, however, is a 211-hp turbocharged inline-4 that's new to the A6. A four-cylinder is an odd choice for this class, but it's an indicator that fuel economy is now a priority for consumers even in this segment of larger cars. This particular inline-4 is a feisty mill that posts fuel economy numbers you'd expect from a compact economy car, not a midsize luxury sport sedan. Last year's naturally aspirated V6 and V8 engines have been dropped, but all-wheel drive, Audi's calling card, continues to be standard on the 3.0T.
In addition to performance chops, this segment requires its players to be packing the latest high-tech gizmos, and this A6 isn't lacking in the least. Available features include an available head-up display, an adaptive suspension, night vision with pedestrian detection, mobile Internet and full LED headlights. Inside, the cockpit-style fascia of the old A6 has been replaced by a simpler, more luxurious design influenced by the new A8.
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