2012 Audi A6 Avant offers practicality and poise

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Audi's A6 Avant is the wagon version of the popular A6 sedan which competes with BMW's 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. For 2012, Audi will release the redesigned version of its A6 Avant, which joins the redesigned A6 sedan that debuted earlier this year.

In order to reduce weight, aluminum has been used in approximately 20 percent of the new A6 Avant's bodywork. Audi even says that the 2012's body weighs about 30 kilograms less than the previous model's body and gross weight has dropped by as much as 70 kilograms.

Cargo capacity on the new A6 Avant is rated at 565 litres when all seats are being used, and the rear seatbacks can be folded down to increase that figure to 1,680 litres.

Six engine choices are offered in other markets, including two gasoline units and four TDI diesel units. Their power outputs range from 177 horsepower to 313 horsepower. At this point in time no information has been released about which engines Canadian-spec 2012 A6 Avants will be outfitted with, but expect a TDI diesel as well as a V6 gasoline unit.

Proposed transmission choices include a six-speed manual transmission, a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, or an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. The 2012 A6 Avant will be available with front-wheel drive, or optional quattro all-wheel-drive. In addition, the 2012 A6 Avant quattro will feature a differential that can distribute power between the rear wheels.

As with many other Audis, the 2012 A6 Avant is loaded with technological features. Audi's much-lauded Multi Media Interface (MMI) allows for operation of the hard-drive based navigation system, the radio and a Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, while Audi Connect allows for internet connectivity. In a partnership with Google, Audi Connect allows the driver to use voice commands in order to find points of interest (POI). Furthermore, Wi-Fi hotspots allow occupants to use email while travelling on the road. Audi also offers an online traffic informant that relays traffic information to drivers in real time.

Audi's Parking System Plus is new for the Audi lineup and offers a 360 degree video display to drivers by utilizing four small cameras placed strategically on the car. A radar-based adaptive cruise control system is also featured on the 2012 A6 Avant and operates at speeds of up to 250 km/h. The adaptive cruise control system is joined by Audi's active lane assist system, which adjusts the car's steering to maintain its driving lane.

The 2012 Audi A6 Avant will arrive in European showrooms later this summer. Audi has not yet announced when the Canadian version of the car will be available, or what type of engines and transmissions will be offered to Canadian consumers. The new A6 Avant should arrive before year's end, however.

With its impressive storage capacity, luxurious interior, and helpful driver aids, the 2012 Audi A6 Avant will be sure to attract prospective buyers in need of the lavish utility that large, luxury wagons provide.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Wagon, Audi, 2012, A6 Avant, $50,000 - $74,999,

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