By on January 13, 2011

Audi’s A6 was one of the bigger single-model unveilings at this year’s NAIAS, and was rewarded with the “Eyes on Design” award for best production car design, beating the Bentley Continental GT, BMW 6-Series Convertible and Hyundai Veloster. The new A6’s dimensions are hardly changed from its long-serving predecessor, but the stance is closer in line with Audi’s current, long-hooded look. Audi hasn’t released fulls specs for the US market, but the 2.0 TDI version will weigh in around 3,472 lbs thanks to more use of aluminum. That engine will make 177 HP, and is the most efficient option in a global engine range that tops out with the 300 HP 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6. If Audi doesn’t bring the diesel stateside, our most efficient option will likely be the A6 Hybrid, which adds 45 HP and 156 lb-ft of electric power to the 2.0 TFSI engine. That option gives the A6 fewer than two miles of EV range, but allows it to use electricity at speeds up to 62 MPH… and is visually almost indistinguishable from gas-only variants (the silver model in the gallery is a hybrid). Oh, and those LED headlights that everyone instantly latches onto? Optional.

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35 Comments on “NAIAS: Audi A6...”


  • avatar
    PriusV16

    Well, it doesn’t constantly remind me of a mid-90’s Mazda 626 hatchback anymore, and if one is able to ignore the front end, it actually looks quite good. Not as elegant, sportive and timeless as a new 5-series, but OK-ish.

    The interior is a visual mess.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Wait until you sit in one, PriusV16.  The interior is fabulous and comes together far better than in the pictures you see above.
      I’ll agree that the sheetmetal is a bit bland, but then again the A6 is one of Audi’s bread-and-butter models, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  If you want something visually more distinctive, might I interest you in the new A7?

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    New headlights, same car.
    New design? Hardly.  Very boring.

  • avatar
    GalaxieSun

    I don’t get it.  Yes, this is the most refined, balanced and esthetically pleasant styling treatment for the A6, no argument there.  The entire Audi portfolio has become quite the panoply of beautiful design.  However, this is a midsize European sedan and because of that is relegated to the “more conservative” approach to styling, as opposed to something more radical.  Volume is important, naturally.  So how did it beat out the Bentley Continental GT, BMW 6-Series convertible?  Really?  No competition against the somewhat comical Veloster (which in its defense is aimed at a completely different buyer), that’s for sure, but IMHO the Bentley Continental GT is downright gorgeous with very emotional styling and the 6-Series is such an improvement over its predecessor it deserves a nod for that factoid alone.  I’m shakin’ my head here . . .

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    I like the syling, and I’d pay extra for the killer headlights. Gimmie the 3.0L TDI and I think we have a sale. Gimmie the 3.0L TDI and I might even lay aside by crusade for the manual transmission

  • avatar
    V572625694

    The 2000 A6 was a stunning car. Now they’ve TTed it into this mess, with the pretentious snouts endemic to the Audi line. I guess it’s working for them, but every “refinement” seems to make it worse. Also it would look a lot better in silver.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      That grill/snout is referred to in these parts as “Herr Schikelgroober’s” mustache.  Not very PC, but you know it’s friggin Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      The snouts really turn me off. I really don’t get it. It’s spreading, too. The back end is a turn off for me too, that overhang and taillights are just plain ugly. It’s funny, the carmakers finally did something to make the cars look better, get rid of the giant greenhouses they seemed to be fixated on, and then they started making giant snouts and insectlike front and rear ends. It seems like they want to ugly up the cars, and can’t resist doing it.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Audi is following the typical German “one sausage, different lengths” philosophy demonstrated by BMW in particular. I can hardly tell this new A6 from the current model, and it is also hard to distinguish from the new A4 and especially the A8.

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      Exactly my thought, and why I hate Audis.
      The problem is not only “one sausage, different lengths” but also that the sausage does not change over time and starts to look outdated.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I’ll leave that phrase to a certain TTAC writer, and when I see it, I’ll read elsewhere!

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      I don’t think the “one sausage, different lengths” philosophy is all bad as long as the sausage  your working with is really tasty, and in most German cases it is.  That said I think it speaks to the cultural differences in design approach, which is very different between Japan, Korea, Europe, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      akitadog

      I’m with you, mjz. My first thought was, “Are you sure this isn’t the A4?”

  • avatar
    dswilly

    Not a bad looking car but I can’t tell what’s different from the previous model.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      The greenhouse is essentially the same, hence the same overall shape. That said, the highlights:
      1. New front end
      2. New rear end
      3. Better proportioned
      4. More aluminum in the construction
      5. Completely new interior

  • avatar
    philadlj

    It’s true that Audi started it, but now headlamp LEDs are the new Useless Side Vents.

    Not to be a killjoy, but LEDs, HIDs, Xenons, and other white and blue headlamps may light the way better for the one driving, but they’re needlessly dangerous to oncoming traffic.

    They’re about as bright as halogen high-beams, meaning anyone driving a luxury car equipped with them (Especially Land Rovers) BLINDS me every time they drive past.

    You’d think automakers would, I don’t know sit in their cars, drive around, and witness this for themselves before installing them on everything they make. The “flicker” effect of these lights is particularly annoying.

    I’m all for innovation in all areas of automotive design, and non-yellow headlights look cool and futuristic and all, but in the real world, they’re an absolute menace.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      My thoughts exactly. Well said! Had a guy behind me yesterday evening with those and they would flicker at each and every bump in the road. I thought he was flashing his lights at me as if I had no tail lights or something. Had to check my car when I got home. Those lights must have a very narrow focus point for them to have that effect.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      @ philadlj,
      Errm, I think that’s a big of hyperbole there that LEDs are an “absolute menace”.  Personally, they look cool as hell if properly implemented and I’ve never once heard someone complain that they are any more blinding than halogens or Xenons.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      The main problem is blue aftermarket bulbs, especially when used with same bulbs in fog lights and are not aimed properly. My buddy back in Europe had a powerful fog light mounted on the rear bumper, to deal with such idiots.

  • avatar
    twotone

    A bit off topic, but I’ve noticed my Escort X50 detector has been giving me false laser warnings lately with not a cop to be seen. Are LED head and tail lights close to police laser gun frequency?

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Further off topic, I noticed booth babes in their LBDs and heels.  It must have been a pleasant sight in the sub-Arctic climate of Detroit.

  • avatar
    GalaxieSun


    Guess it doesn’t matter what I say because TAB won’t publish my comments.  I’m logged in and don’t understand why it’s not being shown.

  • avatar
    GalaxieSun

    . . .  of course NOW it’s showing up . . .   LOL!

  • avatar
    mikenem

    As boring as the current Audi and BMW styling has been lately, I think these understated Europeans will look better as they age. Especially compared to recent over- styled Korean brands, who tack on every trendy styling cue they can imagine, while trying really hard to be all things to all people.

  • avatar
    DearS

    TTAC ones said, the A6 is a quiet car, the A8 is a serene car or something. I hope the new a A6 is a serene car and fun to drive, cause the last car did not cut it (for the price).

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    I predict a lot of Audi A6 > BMW 5 comparison tests in the future. The new 5 is now a baby 7, fatter, slower, and duller than its predecessor in pretty much every way. The one area where BMW does deserve credit is the interior. All of the Bangle interiors were pretty much awful. The new BMW interiors all look identical (try to tell an X5, 7, or 5 apart on the inside), but hey at least they got that one interior design right, and it’s better than anything Mercedes has, at least up to the S and CL. The new CLS interior is definitely not as good as what BMW has.
     
    Unfortunately for BMW, while the 5 series was pigging out on the couch (and switching to feel free electric steering), the A6 was at the gym. The new gen is leaner and meaner than the previous car, and will now have all of Audi’s latest tricks – Drive Select, QuattroSport with torque vectoring, and probably the new trick front diff from the RS5 as well. The A6 should easily be better to drive than the 535i, and of course it will take the 535xi to school.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    Can we please talk about something truly important stemming from this news article – whether or not TTAC staff obtained the phone number of the brunette who pulled the veil off the red car?  That’s clearly a fine North American piece of ass that you won’t find in Paris or Tokyo.  Please?

  • avatar
    saponetta

    ooooooh its been a whole generation since a red a6! Looks beautiful! Anyone pissing about the styling, drive, etc outta take a look at whats in your own garage, because this is one of the finest sedans on the road at any price.
     
    BTW its been two whole generations since a red 5 series in the USA.  I love red sedans.

  • avatar
    Doc

    Love the look of the car, except for the grille. I cannot get used to the huge grille. The car might look better in black.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    This is supposed to be an award winning design? I can hardly tell the difference from the previous version or from other current Audis other than slight variations in size. About the only thing that stands out is the massive overwrought grille and the messy interior. Otherwise it’s status quo- decontented plain uninteresting sides with re run window treatment, oversized grilles and outlandish interiors. Designers today really have little left with todays car styles that hasn’t been seen and done before.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Looks too much like the old one. Not impressed at all.

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