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2012 Audi A6 Avant arrives

Thu, 19 May 2011

The new Audi A6 Avant arrives

It’s a strange thing, but we find the Avant version of the Audi A6 somehow more appealing than the regular saloon. It shouldn’t be so; surely the Estate is the utilitarian option?

But there’s something hugely appealing about a load lugger that can offer real saloon car levels of comfort and handling (and even barking mad performance in the RS6 Avant). Perhaps it’s the ‘Q’ car mentality.

Whatever it is, we warmly welcome the best model of the A6 back in to production – the 2012 Audi A6 Avant – even if the styling of the new Audi A6 means you have to know your Audis before you realise anything has changed from the last A6. Still, if it ain’t broke…

More for less seems to sum up the new A6 Avant. That’s more economy and more room for less fuel and less emissions.

Despite growing a little in size – and getting a slightly longer wheelbase – the new A6 Avant conspires to be lighter – by up to 70kgs – than its predecessor thanks in no small part to aluminium being used for 20% of the body panels.

Although load-lugging is not the Avant’s USP, it still manages 565 litres of space with the seats up and a very useful 1680 litres when they’re down. That may not be sector-leading, but it’s more than enough for the Avant to swallow the odd washing machine or boot-sale brown furniture bargain when the mood takes.

Interiors are going to be a straight plant from the saloon – which means about as good as it gets, particularly if you exercise a light touch with the trim options. There will of course be Avant-specific option like a power operated load cover, but our favourite is one that lets you flick a foot when your arms are full and the boot opens. Bliss.

Engine options at launch are a pair of petrols – a 2.8 litre TFSI with 201bhp and a 3.0 litre Supercharged TFSI with 295bhp. But the meat is in the diesel – for economy or performance.

At the economy end there’s the 174bhp 2.0 litre TDI. It delivers up 56.5 mpg and 132g/km with a manual ‘box; commendable figures for a far from small car.

At the other end of the power and performance spectrum we get the twin-turbo 3.0 litre diesel. This appealing lump delivers 308bhp and a 0-60mph of around 5 seconds, although it’s not being launched until later in the year.

In between the two extremes of diesel power there’s also a pair of V6 diesels producing either 201bhp or 241bhp.

Gearboxes are engine-specific, with the front wheel drive models getting either a six-speed manual or a CVT, and the quattros getting a new seven-speed S-Tronic twin-clutch ‘box.

UK deliveries of the 2012 A6 Avant start in November with prices starting at £32,100 for the A6 Avant 2.0 TDI SE and rising to £43,480 for the A6 Avant 3.0 TFSI quattro S line.

Which isn’t bad at all. And the twin-turbo 3.0 TDI looks very promising.

By Cars UK