Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

German Fight for Supremacy Sleek Contender Emerges

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

German Fight for Supremacy Sleek Contender Emerges

Article excerpt

HOW things have changed for Audi.

Five years ago the four-rings were still nipping at the heels of their German counterparts.

Nowadays, they're firing with the big guns. Sales have gone gangbusters and Audi, the brand once scoffed at as a non-contender due to its front-wheel drive offerings, now has its eye on the number one position.

Yet at the big end of town Audi has struggled for a foothold.

The A6 is steered directly at attacking Mercedes-Benz and BMW and initial experiences indicate it's a contender.

Comfort

Stylish with room to extend, the A6 features an expansive cabin that can accommodate four adults. Squeezing in a fifth could be done at a pinch with the transmission tunnel impacting on legroom.

Our test machine featured the S line Sport package ($6950) which provided some brilliant modern touches. Matt brushed aluminium inserts on the doors, dash and console provide some bling to what can be a bland black ensemble.

Soft touch materials are used in most places, except for some hard plastics on the middle console.

For the princely sum of $8850 you can get front seats wrapped in Valcona leather. They have the ability to heat or cool your rear end, while there is also a massage function. Select between wave, pulse, stretch, lumbar or shoulder massage functions a and you can also choose the intensity.

Functionality is a drawcard of all Audi set-ups and it's been refined in the A6. Legibility is brilliant with white and red on black, and it's simple to toggle through menus and operations via the steering wheel mounted controls.

On the road

Soaking up the bumps and lumps well, the range-topping A6 feels every bit the executive limousine.

Typically Audi-light in the steering at low speeds, this model does have a function which enables you to gain more feel. Choose adynamica through the Audi Drive Select handling system and the sedan feels better weighted and more responsive. There is now also an aefficiencya mode, as well as acomforta, aautomatic and amanuala for a completely individualised set-up.

While the lighter steering is fine around town, dynamic is the most rewarding when you want to stretch the A6's legs.

It feels particularly potent mid-way through the rev range and you can make full use of the all-wheel drive technology which sends torque to where you need it most. Powering all corners provides immediate response to every pull of the steering wheel and it relishes rapid changes in direction.

Shedding weight has been a primary concern during the A6's development.

Twenty per cent of the body is aluminium, and combined with high-tech steels has helped the sedan drop about 30kg to help make it more nimble.

At low engine speed the cabin remains hushed and you trim through the gears, and its only once you put the V6 to work does the operation become audible. …

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