Because of the Americans’ lack of interest in wagons, Audi has decided to withdraw its wagon body-styles from its lineup for the U.S. In an interview with Inside Line, Audi of America spokesman Andrew Lipman said that the new A6 Avant will arrive in the European market in the second half of 2011 but that there are no plans to offer it in the U.S.
The 2011 A6 Avant is priced from $46,075, but the price of the upcoming model is the equivalent of $58,300, which makes it a tough sell in this segment.
Audi’s move to withdraw its wagon actually follows similar moves by other European brands like BMW and Volvo. The exception is Mercedes-Benz whose 2012 E63 AMG wagon will arrive in the U.S. in the fall. The new Avant features a dashboard layout that’s similar to the four-door version, putting in several bespoke options like a load-through hatch, a fixing set and a power rear hatch. With the seats up, its boot capacity is 19.95 cubic feet but with the rear seats folded down, it offers 59.33 cubic feet.
The engine options in Europe are the same as what’s offered on the saloon, consisting of two petrols and four diesels. The 2.8-liter FSI V6 offers 204 hp. Meanwhile, the bigger 3.0-liter TFSI can deliver 300 hp. The diesel lineup includes 2.0-liter TDI with 177HP and a 3.0-liter TDI V6 offered in three states of tune, generating up to 313 hp.
One of the highlights of the Audi A6 Avant is that its body was manufactured using an innovative composite construction idea resulting in it being remarkably light, extremely rigid, and safe. Under this new concept, a number of the occupant cell’s parts were constructed using high-strength, and even ultra-high strength steel.
In addition, around 20% of the body is composed of aluminum, the same material used for the parts of the bolt-on body as well as the strut braces located in the compartment of the engine. With this concept, Audi hope to start anew when it comes to constructing a lightweight body as it also signifies its move to the new Multimaterial Space Frame. As a result, the weight of the A6 Avant’s body, when compared to the prior model, is lighter by around 66.14 pounds (30 kilograms).
With the engine equipped, though it would depend on the type, the entire vehicle remains to be lighter by 154.32 pounds (70 kilograms) when weighed against the previous model. Take for example the A6 Avant that is equipped with the 2.0 TDI engine.
When measured, the curb weight only stands at 3,615.58 pounds (1,640 kilograms). What this all means is while the company has long been known as the forerunner when it comes to lightweight construction, it has shown that it can still go even further. While the use of the composite construction body results in a lightweight body, another advantage is that it provides for acoustic comfort.
By combining this construction technique with the choice to have contemporary materials, this allows the interior of the A6 Avant to have a noise level that is at par with luxury cars. As an added bonus, the company will even be offering as an option its special acoustic/insulating glazing. Aside from the lower noise levels, the interior continues to deliver outstanding ride comfort and this is mainly due to the high-tech hydraulic damping in its axle and the way all of the components have been accurately matched. This latest offering from Audi also sports a new design that displays its elegance as well as lightness.
Its hood goes out far on its front with the sharp edges bordering the tight surfaces on the whole length of the side. While the roof line is low, it also slants early. Helping highlight this rather dynamic style are the flat d-pillars. Meanwhile on the rear part, highlighting its new look are the two tailpipes of its exhaust system and the rear lights. Should one decide to avail of the optional s line exterior package, this would give the vehicle a more dynamic look.
Wheelbase of the A6 Avant measures 9.55 feet (2.91 meters), a considerable increase compared to the prior model. While the length is at 16.17 feet (4.93 meters) and width at 6.14 feet (1.87 meters), height is merely 4.79 feet (1.46 meters). Without a doubt, this model does have sporty proportions. There are still a number of groundbreaking features in the A6 Avant and one of this is the LED headlights, though optional, that make use of light-emitting diodes regardless of the function.
Since the front portion has only a single-frame grill, the addition of the LED headlights underscores the angular upper corners and makes the struts (in high-gloss black) more distinctive. Also offered as an option are the xenon plus headlights which can work on their own or are combined with the adaptive light system that has the variable headlight range control. Either way, the xenon plus headlights offer outstanding lighting of the road no matter what the situation may be. The LED headlights, as well as the xenon plus lights, are combined with the LED lights in the rear.