2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro side view

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro front view

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro driving

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro front detail

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro roof rack

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro side detail

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro taillights

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro badge

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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro engine

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro engine

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro engine

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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro interior

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro interior

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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear seat television screens

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear seat television screens

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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear cargo area

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
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  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear cargo area

  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
  • 2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear cargo area

Vital Stats

Engine:
3.0L Biturbo Diesel V6
Power:
313 HP / 480 LB-FT
Transmission:
8-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
5.6 Seconds
Top Speed:
155 MPH
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
4,380 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
20.0 / 59.3 CU-FT
MPG:
35 MPG (est.)
Don't Get Too Attached To This Larger Allroad



As an American living in Italy, there are often entire month-long stretches where I drive nothing but European cars that will sadly never come out to play on American soil. Such is the case for the abundantly adored Audi A6 Allroad Quattro seen here. I was initially of the assumption that since the A4 Allroad had already been confirmed for the U.S. that the A6 Allroad would be coming as well, but I am dismayed to report otherwise.

Such a pity, too. The business case for giving North America the whole range of Audi models that Germany offers apparently just doesn't pan out financially – and for some of us, it's the old predictable story of unrequited love across the chilly Atlantic.

Team Ingolstadt brought me into their home in Neckarsulm just north of hilly Stuttgart for this drive through the area's precisely cultivated fields of hops. The aroma of beer is everywhere here, which may go some way toward explaining just why the new A6 Allroad felt so good under and around me as we freight-trained along the Swabian two-lanes.
2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro side view2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro front view2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear view

On hand, a trio of engines: the 241-horsepower 3.0 TDI V6 with 428 pound-feet of torque and seven-speed S tronic, 306-hp supercharged 3.0 TFSI V6 with 325 lb-ft of torque and S tronic, and all-new biturbo 3.0 biTDI V6 with 313 hp and a cranking 480 lb-ft of torque paired with an eight-speed Tiptronic. I felt obliged to try out the TFSI gas-powered A6 Allroad that in theory would be the most likely candidate for U.S. importation, and sure enough, it was solid work over Germany's postcard roads. Even so, my mind was on my appointment with the mighty biturbo diesel the entire time.

With the A6 Allroad in the TFSI engine trim costing 12-percent more than a similarly equipped sedan in Germany, a U.S. price would most likely follow suit and hover dangerously near $57,000 after destination charges. As for the raucous biturbo diesel, we'd be staring at around $62k.

2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro engine

All testers came fully optioned, too, of course, so those added accessories would jack the price up nicely. Standard wheel size is 18 inches on these husky taskmasters, but my cars for the day were fitted with optional 19-inch treads – the 3.0 biTDI sporting 255/45 Pirelli P Zeros (20s are available, too). Most of the driving was over those idyllic sun-drenched roads of beer, but I escaped to some no-limit autobahn as well, plus I had to find some grassy dirt two-track through a pretty field or two to see how this bigger Allroad behaved in its truest theoretical element.

I'm a supporter of the seven-speed S tronic transmission, certainly versus Audi's clunky R tronic, and this setup proved itself highly capable once again, wonderfully flexible in every condition mated to the supercharged TFSI V6. Germany gives this particular A6 Allroad a curb weight of 4,255 pounds, and the standard air suspension with Audi Drive Select chassis calibrations did a good job of reining in the mass even as I let loose. If nothing else, Audi has learned how to deal with Quattro's weightiness and the neutral handling seen on nearly all of its hefty cars. In these Allroad models, one comes to expect the thick and somewhat numb steering feel, but the emphasis on comfort is certainly well executed.

2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro interior2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro shifter2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear seat tv screens2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear cargo area

To emphasize the Allroad's ruggedness, Audi has thoughtfully added both Tilt Angle Display and Hill Descent Control functions to its Multi Media Interface (MMI). The former is a cool tool while softroading for monitoring the sideways incline and fore-aft inclines you're putting your family through while on the way to grandma's house. It gives a graphic display that I found very helpful in a couple of tight spots along the way. And while you may think it's a caving-in to the almighty Apple, the new pair of iPad holders that slip into the backside of the front seats are a first and they are a brilliant touch. Here they cost roughly $200, and I would expect to see them offered in the U.S. very soon on various models from Audi and others.

But I digress from the Holy Grail of my journey: the A6 Allroad with 3.0 biTDI and eight-speed Tiptronic. Whoa, this horse goes. It can get to 62 mph in a stated and conservative 5.6 seconds versus the TFSI's 5.9 seconds, and top speed is predictably governed at 155 mph. Curb weight rises to 4,380 pounds, but the V37 engine's potent and progressive biturbo setup makes all action between 1,450 and 4,500 rpm terrifically nimble. As the torque wave that gets everything going under hard acceleration starts to fall off at 2,800 rpm, the power curve takes over as it rises steeply up to 313 hp from 3,900 to 4,500 rpm. The redline is pegged at 5,100 revs and the sound that comes from the optional sport exhaust when all things in ADS are set to Dynamic is brilliantly un-diesel.

2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro rear 3/4 view2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro headlight2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro wheel2012 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro roof

The biturbo strategy here with the V37 works thus: Under easier throttle loads, the smaller GT17 Garrett turbocharger works up until the engine reaches 3,600 rpm, while the larger GT30 unit (which never really stops circulating completely) chimes in at 3,000 rpm. From 1,200 rpm under any load, the small-volume GT17 is at its maximum boost pressure of 31.9 psi. When the accelerator demands full power, however, both the GT17 and GT30 work together up to 3,000 rpm for maximum boost, at which point the stressed GT17 bows out and all forced induction bypasses to the lower-pressure but higher-throughput GT30. From behind the wheel, the feeling is that the urge to thrust forward never pauses, not even for a moment. It's incredibly addictive, especially when the fuel needle moves downward so slowly. Estimated U.S. gallon averages linger around 35 mpg, which is pretty hot stuff for something this versatile and powerful.

This Ingolstadt wagon still leads the herd with a roof weight capacity of 220 pounds, while towing weight on this biturbo TDI reaches 5,500 pounds and cargo space ranges from 20.0 cubic feet on up to 59.3 cu ft. It's easy to imagine the full-family, four-season road trips.

Sadly, Audi has seen fit to deny North America the glory of driving an A6-based Avant model. We'll have to content ourselves with the A4 wagon and Allroad as the only load-lugging offerings from Ingolstadt for the foreseeable future. Maybe if people buy the smaller softroader in sufficient numbers, Audi will be able to screw together a business case for the wonderful A6 Allroad as well. Open your checkbooks, voters.

UPDATE: Horsepower figures for the 3.0L biturbo diesel V6 were stated incorrectly as 420 hp and have been changed to the correct figure of 313 hp.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 103 Comments
      wtcryer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Government regulation is beginning to piss me off!
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wtcryer
        I thought nobody bought these in the US - and that's why they stopped selling them.
      dss10
      • 2 Years Ago
      Every time I hear "business case" I just want to puke and I can't believe that you guys fall for it. The "addressable" market on the coasts is equal to or greater than Europe and has similar (actually better) demographics. The fact that Audi can sell this car in Italy but can not get the same amount of sales in say California is ridiculous. I don't want to hear that its emissions either because the incremental development and engineering to bring this car into EPA spec is nominal if done during the initial development phase. Instead what happens is that the US and Canada get the high content, high margin watered down version of what you can get in just about any other country in the world. I bet you will be able buy this car in Iceland but not in Massachusetts, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, or Pennsylvania. Although I think that Iceland is great (Drive the ring road for fun!) there are more moneyed individuals who would be willing to drop the coin for this Audi.... I hope that the Koreans get the hint that if they start bringing in the cars that the Europeans won't and the Americans will not build they could really grab some market share and hopefully force other cars makers to start addressing the market a bit more aggressively.
        over9000
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dss10
        diesel vehicles are more expensive to manufacture and maintain, period. There is no cost savings to the consumer.
          dss10
          • 2 Years Ago
          @over9000
          nope, diesel engines are more efficient than gas and have twice the operational life of gas engines. Yes they are expensive to manufacture but just fractionally as compared to gas/petrol engines. So, no...
          LEDfoot
          • 2 Years Ago
          @over9000
          Less expensive to manufacture and maintain than hybrids, and they offer actual savings to the consumer unlike hybrids. And a diesel engine is no more expensive to manufacture and maintain than a gasoline engine that is turbo or supercharged either which more and more manufacturers are starting to do now because of the increased efficiency.
        SethG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dss10
        The calculation is not as simple as it may seem. Because it's not simply a matter of "would the engine sell here?" Of course it would. But there would be some cost involved. And the question the business people need to answer isn't just "how many diesel sales will we see?" but it's "how much of that would be incremental/additional sales?" If you say they would sell 10,000 diesel allroads in a year in the US, that might make the case for spending the money to bring it here. But if 9,000 of those buyers would have gone to existing A6 or Q5 or Q7 models then all of a sudden you're having to justify bringing a model over here for only 1,000 additional units and the numbers might not add up.
          dss10
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SethG
          the incremental cost is negligible in that A6 platform is global and conforms US regulations. They may have to crash a couple but they might be able to skip reduce testing expense based on prior test results. Just remember that the current A6 shares ~89% of its parts with this car (ex engine) so its not like they will have orphaned stock. I bet Audi has a engine spec that is already EPA compliant and if not then the incremential work would not be that much (they have already done the durrablity and base engineering which is the big R&R expense). As far as incremential sales and canniblazation of existing sales they could easily accommodate the additional units. Look at the sales turn over for Audi q5s and 7s and toy will see that they are not staying on the lots which show that they could move a fair amount of additional units well in excess of the 1k you mentioned. Perhaps if they were to market a wee bit more aggressively they could broaden their base and perhaps expand sales. All I hear from autoblog and others is that premium wagons do not sell, but you know if you ask an Audi or VW sales men I bet they will tell you that they sell faster than sedans.
        Mike Fernandez
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dss10
        I wish you were right... but you're not. You don't think their analysts run analysis to determine whether or not sales for this car would be worth while in America? You'd be foolish to think otherwise. There are a lot of other factors to keep in mind besides demand, such as transportation cost for fully built vehicles from Europe to the U.S. Audi doesn't even have a plant here yet. They were planning on building one a few years back but the economy slowdown put a halt on that. Once such infrastructure has been built, we'd be much more likely to see a large variety of cars hit our roads.
        LEDfoot
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dss10
        Bringing the car to EPA spec is not the problem. The problem is the fees involved with testing and certifying it to the EPA. The EPA requires essentially every possible combinations of options and sub models of the same car to be certified completely individually. So it's cost prohibitive to certify multiple variations that individually do not sell that well. That's why we don't get manual transmissions and more engine options. On the whole they may sell a few more cars, but the cost of certifying each individual combination makes it not worth doing.
        flanders2520
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dss10
        I think you are missing one thing...why would Audi bring a car here that will not sell that well. I can see them bringing in low volume cars that will have somewhat of a halo effect but not a $60K+ "station wagon" Being an ex-owner of the original C5 allroad I am one who would buy a new allroad but the far majority will not especially when the typical american can pick up a new Escalade for the same price. Not until it becomes socially acceptable for a luxury wagon's, we will not see many of these come stateside
      Wisdom Seeker
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would love the opportunity to pick up one about 3-4 years old.
      judgesmails
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please Audi! At least bring the 3.0 TDI over here in the A4... the engine is already cleared for US sale in the Q7.
      wickedme91
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate Audi for not selling these in US. It looks freaking awesome.
      Alex740
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't much care for the A6 sedan, I think it's pretty boring looking but I really like the wagon for some reason.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      35mpg sounds great. I apologize for being unfamiliar with Euro fuel ratings -- can you offer some comparison or equivalency for those of us familiar with EPA ratings?
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        Generally, Euro combined ratings are extremely optimistic. If actually tested under EPA protocols, I'd imagine this would get maybe 33-35 highway, mid twenties city, and 30ish combined. The Touareg diesel, by comparison, gets 28mpg highway, so 5-7mpg better for a lower-roofed vehicle is reasonable.
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          Don't forget that European numbers are virtually always provided as combined figures. They virtually never give highway ratings only as most American manufacturers do. Looking up this same A6 Allroad on the Italian Audi website and converting their figures, here's what I find: City/Urban - 7.9L/100km = 29.8MPG Highway/Extra-Urban - 6.0L/100km = 39.2MPG Combined - 6.7L/100km = 35.1MPG Note that the 35.1mpg matches up to what Matt estimated for this story. So, he is also using the combined figure, not a highway figure. It's a more accurate figure to real-world driving IMO, but it's different from how all manufacturers present their numbers here in the US.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it was a CUV it might have done well in America.
        montoym
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        It basically is. You do know what a CUV is correct?
      AP1_S2K
      • 2 Years Ago
      that's a sexy beast of a design
      Commentotron
      • 2 Years Ago
      So. Holding onto my A4 Avant I guess. It has three pedals on the floor. Quite rare, I understand.
      rem
      • 2 Years Ago
      Um, can I get a check on those power ratings? The rest of the internet is saying: 201 HP (single turbo TDI), 306 HP (TFSI) and 308 HP (dual turbo, TDI). I'm surprised, a 400+ hp diesel didn't seem a bit suspicious?
      MrQlan
      • 2 Years Ago
      3.0 BiTDI with 420 hp? I thought the most powerful diesel Audi delivered in their cars were the 3.0 BiTDI with 313 hp?
        action3500
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MrQlan
        I could not believe that too, but after seeing it 2 times in article I guess it's true, even though power and torque bands are very narrow.
          John Neff - Autoblog
          • 2 Years Ago
          @action3500
          Yep, we didn't catch the incorrect horsepower figures before the piece went live, but the power figures for each engine mentioned have now been corrected based on figures from Audi and double-checked.
          Turbotommes
          • 2 Years Ago
          @action3500
          All power numbers are off, looks like someone did the kw/hp conversions once to often: http://www.audi.de/de/brand/de/neuwagen/a6/a6-allroad-quattro/informieren/motoren_und_getriebe/motoren/tfsi.html#source=http://www.audi.de/de/brand/de/neuwagen/a6/a6-allroad-quattro/informieren/motoren_und_getriebe/motoren/tdi.html&container=page
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