Base models of the A6 with front-wheel drive (labeled FrontTrack) include a continuously variable automatic transmission, but the rest of the lineup now includes an excellent 8-speed automatic. On any of these models, a rear-biased version of Audi's quattro system sends 60 percent of torque to the rear wheels under normal driving--giving it more balanced handling--while the A6's construction uses a combination of aluminum panels and high-strength steel to save weight and add to a more nimble, responsive feel.
Thanks to Audi Drive Select, you can adjust the attitude of the steering and throttle, as well as transmission behavior. Inside, the A6 there has a beautifully detailed interior, with a wraparound design, supportive seats, and just the right amount of bright trim. Inside in most models there's three- or four-zone automatic climate control, and ventilated seats are available. In addition, there are some standout technology features--like a built-in WiFi connection, Google Earth maps for the navigation system and integrated Google Local Search.
The A6 is also strong on safety features, with a Pre Sense system, which initiates protective measures if it anticipates a collision, included in all A6 models; there's also available adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and an Audi side assist option that warns of vehicles potentially in the driver's blind spot. Those willing to splurge on options are also able to get a night-vision assistant and head-up display, as well as the phenomenal 1,300-watt, 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. A 630-watt, 14-speaker Bose surround sound system is also available.
Key trim levels for both the A6 2.0T and 3.0T models are Premium and Premium Plus, with the 3.0T also offered in a Prestige trim. Premium Plus models add xenon headlamps, keyless start, LED running lamps, a parking-sensor system, upgraded 18-inch wheels, and Audi's MMI Touch screen-driven interface with HD Radio, plus navigation with SiriusXM traffic. The top Prestige model, optioned with the Prestige Package, steps up to 4-zone climate control, the Bose surround system, heated-and-ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering column, LED running lamps, LED ambient lighting, and adaptive HID headlamps, plus appearance extras.
The new S6 is a high-performance model that has a lot in common with the A6--essentially the same seating and interior packaging--but it's a big step up in performance, thanks to its 420-horsepower, 4.0L turbocharged V8 engine, along with a special 7-speed S tronic gearbox and various other performance upgrades. The S6 has a stiffer performance suspension, as well as an air suspension system with variable damping and four modes--Auto, Dynamic, Comfort, and Individual. Upgraded ventilated disc brakes with matte-black calipers, a 4-outlet dual exhaust, and special 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels (available 20-inchers) back up the performance. A 'cylinder on demand' system can temporarily shut some cylinders off to save fuel, while active engine mounts and active noise cancellation keep it smooth. Inside the S6 gets special power-adjustable S6 sport seats, Valcona leather seats with diamond stitching, leather steering-wheel trim with colored stitching, illuminated door sills and special sport seats.