Because "Pretty Damn Good" Is So Last Year Earlier this year, executive editor Chris Paukert and I were chatting one morning about the 2011 Audi A6 he was driving – a car that would soon be replaced with the sharp new 2012 model you see here. Of course, we discussed how the car's styling was growing a bit long in the tooth, but aesthetics aside, Paukert's overall impression of the 2011 A6 was that it was still "pretty damn good." Fast-forward a few months, and I'm standing in front of the 2012 A6, its full-LED headlamps glaring at me, its new sheetmetal stretched over a more aggressively styled body, complete with new aluminum components that reduce overall weight. The engine, Audi's 3.0-liter supercharged V6, was carried over from the 2011 model, albeit fitted to a brand new eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. And inside – oh, inside – is a suite of technologies that will embarrass the collective staff of an Apple store. So, if the old 2011 model was "pretty damn good," this new 2012 model must be the bee's knees, right? Oh, is it ever. Let's start at the beginning, or rather, the front, where our test car greeted us with Audi's latest lighting innovation – angular, full-LED headlamps in a style similar to what was first introduced on the A8 and then later used on the A7. The A6's eyes are arguably the most stunning of the bunch, with the nicest overall integration to the front fascia. We won't argue that the other two cars – the A7, specifically – aren't stunning beasts to behold, but there's something about the A6's front end that piques our interest the most. A quick word about those headlamps – you may notice that some A6 models have what appear to be blank placeholders for fog lights in the lower air intakes, but in reality, it's all a façade. Those are instead the sensors for the adaptive cruise control, and with the optional full-LED lighting system, traditional fog lights aren't available. "With really good headlights, you don't need fog lights," one Audi representative told us. See the full front lighting song and dance in our Short Cut video below. The rest of the A6's exterior design is simple seductiveness, with shorter front and rear overhangs compared to the 2011 model. That's thanks to a nearly three-inch-longer wheelbase, but an overall length that has actually been shortened minimally. The wider and lower stance of the 2012 model gives it a more enthusiastic aura than the old car, too, and when fitted with the 19-inch alloy wheels of our test car, the end result is an Audi that's chock full of curb appeal. Fit your A6 with the S-Line kit and optional 20-inch rollers and you'll have a car that mimics the upcoming S6 in terms of overall presence. Around back, the LED headlamps are mimicked with full-LED taillamps that are, again, similar to what you'll see on the Big Daddy A8. S-Line models …
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|MPG||19 City / 28 Hwy|
|Power||310 @ 5500 rpm|
|Drivetrain||quattro all wheel|
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