A6 Gets Supercharged
Audi redesigned and enlarged its compact A4 sedan for 2009, which brought it closer in size and appearance to its midsize sibling, the Audi A6. But one significant difference between the two has remained, their power plants. Although they both share the 3.2-liter V-6, the midsize A6 also has an optional V-8, and now for 2009, an all-new supercharged engine.
The supercharged motor is a 3.0-liter, V-6. It puts out 300 horsepower, which splits the difference between the 255-hp 3.2-liter V-6 and the 4.2-liter V8 with 350. Audi designed this engine with common-rail direct fuel injection, and a Roots-type blower that fits between the cylinder banks. It responds quickly, and pulls strongly with 310 lb-ft of torque. It also gets better gas mileage than the 3.2 V-6 or the V-8, with 18-mpg City and 26-mpg Highway. It would be my choice, if I were buying an A6.
Audi teams the new engine with its six-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox. It features a sport mode, which enables drivers to shift for themselves, and paddle shifters on the steering wheel to facilitate the gear changes. Completing the package is Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Quattro now apportions power in a 40/60 ratio, front to rear. This provides more of a rear-wheel-drive feel to the car.
Audi tweaked the suspension this year to enhance agility, and the A6 proves to be very competent negotiating twisty roads. However, it does not deliver the kind of visceral feedback of say, a 5-Series BMW. Audi also upgraded the shock absorbers to make the ride more compliant. However, I found the ride, with the 18-inch optional wheels, to be still a bit stiff. It’s not uncomfortable, just quite busy.
Unless you follow Audis very closely, you might not notice the changes in the appearance of the new A6. However, if you examine the grille, you’ll notice that the license plate bar is gone. (I don’t know how you mount a front plate now.) To my eye, this makes the high-mounted Audi logo look a bit off kilter. The air intakes in the bumper have been enlarged, and LED running lights are integrated into the headlamps. In the rear, the taillights are bigger and sport LED graphics.
The interior of the A6 remains much the same, which isn’t a bad thing. It seats five with decent head and legroom, front and rear. My test car sported beige leather upholstery with an aluminum-trimmed instrument panel and light-colored wood on the console and doors. Audi has added more aluminum accents this year, and softened the armrests with soft-touch vinyl. The whole package is very pleasing.
The 3.0T model, like the one I drove, has a base price of $50,925. This includes an electronic stabilization program, satellite radio, Audi’s Multi-Media Interface, which controls audio, telephone and the optional navigation system. Buyers can also order optional features like, Bi-xenon headlights, a rearview parking camera and keyless entry and start.
Terrific Supercharged Engine
Minor Styling Changes