2002 A6 New Car Test Drive
The Audi A6 has a funky Bauhaus style that makes it stand out from its German rivals, while competing on merit with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series models. While the Mercedes and BMW models are 'safe' choices, the Audi buyer is more of a psychological risk taker, more on the cutting edge and more willing to be different.
In addition to distinctive styling, Audi A6 models offer all-wheel drive, selected by the majority of owners, or front-wheel drive. (BMW and Mercedes models use rear-wheel drive except for a few all-wheel drive models.)
For 2002, Audi lives up to its avant garde image with a unique-at least for this class of automobile-transmission: Audi's multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission is the first to be able to handle the torque of a 3.0-liter V6 engine. That 3.0-liter V6 is new for 2002, up from last year's 2.8-liters. The multitronic transmission, available only with front-wheel drive, replaces the gear ratio steps of a conventional automatic with a computer-controlled steel belt and pulley system for smooth, shift-free operation.
Audi A6 is available in a variety of models, each with a distinctive personality. These include: A6 3.0 ($35,400); A6 3.0 Avant ($38,350); A6 2.7T ($39,750); A6 4.2 ($49,650); S6 Avant ($58,700).
A6 3.0 comes standard with the multitronic transmission, traction control (called ASR for anti-slip regulation), antilock braking (ABS), electronic rear brake pressure regulation, an electronic differential lock (EDL), and automatic climate control with filter. It comes standard with front-wheel drive.
Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system can be added; instead of the multitronic, quattro comes with a conventional five-speed automatic transmission equipped with Tiptronic, which allows the driver to shift manually when desired. A6 3.0 quattro retails for $37,150.
A6 3.0 Avant, is the station wagon version. (Avant means station wagon at your local Audi dealer). It also comes powered by the 220-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. Equipment level is similar, but for now it's only available with the five-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
A6 2.7T is the rowdy member of the A6 family, equipped with a 250-horsepower turbocharged V6. It's the only model offered with a manual transmission, a six-speed gearbox. It's also available with a five-speed automatic for the same price. Sport seats are available as an option.
A6 4.2 borrows the V8 engine from the mighty Audi S8. Stuffing this big 300-horsepower V8 into the A6 required Audi to stretch the nose slightly. While they were at it, they expanded the fender flares to cover wider tires.
S6 Avant, a unique luxury sport wagon, is powered by a V8 that produces a rousing 340 horsepower. With that much power, the Avant's rear will be familiar to other drivers who try to keep up. The S6 Avant has, of course, the highest level of equipment standard, including heated front sport seats with 12-way power lumbar supports, gray birch wood trim, an in-dash six-CD changer and a 200-watt Bose audio system, and much more.
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