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Unlike the A8 sedan that we reviewed recently, the A6 doesn't have a weight-saving all aluminium body. Rather, it uses a hybrid steel-aluminium shell that Audi claims shaves 20 per cent off the weight of an all-steel sedan -- the entry-level 2-litre turbo-diesel tips the scales at just 1575kg.
Standard (at least in Europe) will be two-zone climate control air conditioning, an MMI system with a 6.5-inch monitor, and side and head airbags. Available features include adjustable air suspension, selectable driving modes, active cruise control, ambient lighting, reversing camera, lane assistance, automatic soft closing doors, xenon or LED headlights, and automatic parallel parking.
Also on the menu is Bluetooth hands-free and music streaming, digital TV antenna, iPod connectivity and a 1300-Watt Bang & Olufsen sound system that hopefully comes close to matching the unit fitted to the A8. Sat nav with Google Earth mapping and Wi-Fi hotspot capability is on offer in Europe, but still may not be ready for Australia.
Two petrol and three turbo-diesel engines will initially be available in Europe. The most efficient is a 2-litre turbo-diesel that drinks only 4.9L/100km. Sporty variants, such as the S6 and RS6, will be online sometime during this A6's life, but until then the most powerful A6 utilises a 3-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine that's good for 220kW of power and 440Nm of torque.
The new A6 is due on sale in Europe in the early part of 2011, but it won't land down under until the second half of the year. We won't know what the engines, specifications and pricing of Australia-bound models will be until then.