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Saturday, February 13, 2010

audi a6 Gallery

audi a6

Luxury-car shoppers who love value have long cheered the Audi A6. And in true Audi fashion, the midsize A6 gives you a lot for a very competitive price.

One of the A6's primary strengths is its deluxe cabin. Materials are first-rate, and the overall design is nothing short of class-leading. Its winter-weather capability is another plus. A6s are available with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which distributes power to all four wheels, making icy roads more manageable.

But the car's most compelling asset concerns value. In terms of overall quality, the Audi A6 is right up there with other midsize luxury cars, but it costs thousands less. A used A6 represents an even more afFordable proposition.

There have been three generations of the Audi A6, and all are worthy selections. If there's a downside to the A6, it's that it hasn't been the most athletic choice in its seGMent. Its engines have been somewhat light on low-end torque over the years, and relative to other sporty sedans and wagons, handling is skewed more toward luxury than performance. But these quibbles pale in the face of this car's undisputable merits. Offering premium refinement at a respectable price, the A6 is an excellent choice.

Current Audi A6

With its clean lines and oversized grille, the current Audi A6 is one of the most distinctive midsize luxury cars on the market. It's available as both a sedan and a wagon. The A6 wagon -- called the Avant -- is one of the few midsize luxury wagons on the market, and with a 34-cubic-foot cargo bay behind its rear SEAT, it makes a practical yet elegant choice for families with a large dog or double stroller in tow.

Those who purchase the A6 sedan may choose between two trims: base 3.2 and top-of-the-line 4.2. Wagons are available only in the 3.2 trim. Standard equipment is generous, and as we've come to expect from Audi, the A6's interior is a case study in attractive design and quality materials. The options lineup includes a high-end Audio system, voice-activated navigation system and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Most are accessed via Audi's easy-to-use Multi Media Interface (MMI) vehicle management system. It sounds complicated, but with its logical menus and ergonomically designed, all-in-one control knob, MMI is relatively easy to learn.

In terms of performance, the Audi A6 is available with either a 255-horsepower V6 or a 350-hp V8 engine. The engines are smooth and refined, though the V6 is taxed by the A6's 4,000-pound curb weight. Acceleration is certainly passable, but most other V6-equipped luxury cars are quicker. The A6 rides comfortably on the highway, and while it's not the most athletic car in its class, our editors like its predictable, nimble feel through the corners. As far as transmissions go, both a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and a six-speed automatic are offered. The A6 may be equipped with either front-wheel drive or Audi's Quattro system.

The current Audi A6 is representative of the third-generation model, which dates to 2005. Overall, the third-generation car represents by far the best package of attention-getting style, entertaining driving dynamics and opulent furnishings. Those considering used third-gen models should keep in mind that the car's V8 engine (offered on the 4.2 trim) got an upgrade a couple of years into the cycle. The A6's current 350-hp V8 didn't debut until 2007; prior to that, V8 models delivered 335 hp. Model year 2007 also marked the debut of the car's available iPod integration and a rearview camera.

Past Audi A6 Models

The second-generation A6 sedan arrived on the market in 1998 and benefited from a ground-up redesign; an all-new version of the Avant wagon debuted the following year. This was the first Audi A6 to ride on a stretched version of the highly regarded A4 platform. For the first two years, only a naturally aspirated V6 was available, but in 2000, Audi added a spirited twin-turbocharged V6 and a torque-rich V8 to the engine lineup for the sedan. Given that acceleration tended to be sluggish with the base V6, particularly on the hefty A6 Avant Quattro wagon, Audi began offering a larger, more powerful 3.0-liter six-cylinder in 2002. Transmission choices included a five-speed automatic and a CVT (which was introduced in 2002). In our editorial reviews, we praised the heavenly cabin and all-wheel-drive utility offered by the second-generation A6, and panned its somewhat nonlinear steering. Overall, it represents a solid choice for used-car shoppers.

The original A6 came to market in 1995 as a lightly revised version of the old Audi 100 sedan and wagon. Although prices on used A6 models from this era are convincingly low, consumers should be aware that only one engine -- a 172-hp V6 -- is available on these cars. With the lightest A6 sedan weighing in at 3,400 pounds, acceleration is modest at best. However, much like newer Audis, this A6 was nicely appointed and offered a choice of front-wheel drive or Quattro all-wheel drive.

audi a3

In crowded European cities, small, space-efficient vehicles are very popular because of their versatility, fuel-efficiency and nimble nature. These vehicles exist in America as well, but they are not typically offered by luxury automakers as it's assumed that Americans associate compact vehicles with cheapness. One vehicle meant to break that tradition is the Audi A3.

Introduced a decade ago in Europe and brought to the United States in 2006, the A3 is Audi's entry-level model for the North American market. Roughly a foot shorter and about 400 pounds lighter than an A4 2.0T Avant Quattro, the front-drive Audi A3 Sportback presents a strong argument for buying a bargain sport wagon, provided one goes easy on the options. With the same powerful turbocharged engine as its bigger brother, the A3 2.0T performs like a sport sedan that happens to have a maximum cargo capacity of 56 cubic feet, just 3 cubes less than its larger sibling. And just because this is Audi's entry-level car doesn't mean the company cuts corners on quality. The cabin's design and materials are up to the lofty standards that Audi has set for the industry, meaning everything fits tightly, moves with precision and looks and feels top-shelf.

Slowly but surely, small European wagons are filtering into the States, so the Audi A3 does have some competition. But those who appreciate the distinct German flavor of Audi, meaning one of engineering excellence combined with an upscale cabin, will find plenty to like in the A3 Sportback.

Current Audi A3

The Audi A3 is available in 2.0T and 3.2 Quattro trim levels. Slip inside and it's readily apparent the A3 continues Audi's tradition of utilizing first-class materials throughout the cabin. Real metal rings around the dash vents and Audio controls are accented by the solid action of the gear selector and climate-control dials. Standard features on the 2.0T include dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, one-touch power windows, keyless entry and a 10-speaker sound system. Step up to the 3.2 Quattro, and the list grows to include amenities like leather SEATs, a power driver SEAT and satellite radio. Options include xenon headlights, a navigation system, a sunroof and an upgraded sound system. But go crazy on the options and the A3's sticker will rapidly approach uncomfortable levels.

Enthusiasts will appreciate the 2.0T's engine, a sprightly turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a broad power band. If you want Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, you have to go with the 3.2-liter V6 hooked up to the automatic. Both are offered with a standard six-speed manual transmission: Audi's six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic that allows rapid, rev-matching gearchanges via paddles next to the steering wheel is offered as an option.

As with the rest of the Audi family, the A3's chassis strikes an agreeable balance between athletic handling and a comfy ride. Its steering does a superb job of dampening out unwanted road vibrations and kickback without marring the sublime feedback enthusiast drivers crave. At the same time, the suspension keeps the A3 buttoned down without transmitting harsh road impacts to the cabin.

Past Audi A3s

The Audi A3 was introduced as a 2006 model in the United States and has received only minor features changes since.

audi a4

When people think of heroes, names that come to mind are John Wayne, Superman or perhaps Gandhi. When Audi executives think of their heroes, the A4 certainly makes the short list.

The Audi A4 holds the distinction of single-handedly reviving the flatlining Audi after the brand's big sales slump some two decades ago. Launched in the mid '90s, the A4 quickly proved a favorite among luxury-car buyers thanks to a handsome, well-finished cabin and available Quattro all-wheel drive. Tight panel gaps, high-quality materials and firm, comfortable SEATing give the interior the proper European ambiance, while a supple ride, responsive handling and willing performance make the Audi A4 a great road trip choice.

Although those core characteristics have been part of the A4's personality since day one, this compact sport sedan has become increasingly polished with each successive generation. Three generations of the Audi A4 have been produced to date and have been typically available in convertible, sedan and wagon body styles. No matter what year of A4 you look at, know that this vehicle will provide athletic performance and a comfortable and inviting cabin. Add in the appeal of all-wheel drive (a serious asset for those who live in inclement parts of the country) and it's easy to see why the A4 is such a credible hero.

Current Audi A4

Buyers can purchase the current A4 in sedan, convertible (called a Cabriolet) and wagon (Avant) configurations. Two trims are available: the 2.0T and the 3.2. Base 2.0Ts offer standard features like a power driver SEAT and dual-zone climate control. Step up to the 3.2 and the list grows to include features like heated leather SEATs and 17-inch wheels. Option packages are available that facilitate the addition of features like a navigation system and an upgraded sound system.

Under the hood, buyers may choose between a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 or a 255-horse 3.2-liter V6. All wagons are available only with Audi's Quattro system; sedans and convertibles come with either Quattro or front-wheel drive. As far as transmissions go, options vary by body type and trim; the A4 may be had with a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

This generation of the Audi A4 has been available since 2006 and has long impressed us with its impeccable cabin design and materials, as well as its nimble handling. Its host of body configurations and optional, rough-weather-friendly all-wheel drive only add to its appeal. The A4's only blemish concerns the fact that its engines come up a bit short in the area of low-end torque.

If you're shopping for a used A4, keep in mind that relative to second-generation A4s, the current generation offers refreshed styling, a revised chassis and more powerful engines. The sedan and wagon got these upgrades in 2006 at the start of the generational cycle, but the Cabriolet wasn't updated until the following year, in model year 2007. At that time, the Cabriolet was also endowed with a new acoustic soft top, which served to give it a quieter ride.

Past Audi A4 Models

The A4 has long been one of our favorite vehicles, and it's been a frequent winner of our annual "Editors' Most Wanted" awards over the years. This impressive Audi is an excellent buy on the used-car market, regardless of which generation you choose.

The second-generation A4 was produced from 2002-'05. Compared to the first generation, it benefited from a redesigned body structure and new sheet metal, as well as changes that made it sportier. It was motivated by either a 170-hp 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter 220-hp V6. Both could be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. (The CVT first became available with this generation.) The A4 Cabriolet made its debut in this era, first appearing in model-year 2003. In editorial reviews, we praised the A4's refined interior and sharp handling. As with third-generation models, its only drawback concerned a slight lack of low-end torque.

The first-generation Audi A4 (1996-2001) was a huge success for Audi, helping to put the automaker in the same league as its respected German luxury-car competitors. This was attributed in no small part to the A4's handsome Teutonic looks, impressive performance and stylish, well-constructed interior that set a precedent for future Audi models. A five-speed manual was standard, with Audi's five-speed Tiptronic automatic offered as an option. As is the case today, the base engine was a turbocharged four-cylinder, while the upgraded model came with a naturally aspirated six. Note that the A4 was initially available only as a sedan; the Avant didn't join the lineup until 1998.

This generation offered all the usual A4 strengths, like good looks both inside and out, and available all-wheel drive. Weaknesses included a lack of rear legroom and a somewhat confusing dash layout.


AUDI AG, (Xetra: NSU), commonly known as Audi (pronounced /ˈaʊdi/), is a premium luxury German automobile manufacturer which produces Audi branded cars, with headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria. Audi has been an almost wholly-owned (99.7%) subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen AG) since 1964 (when the group was formerly known as "Volkswagen Audi Group" - VAG), and is held in ownership by its shareholders – hence the term "Aktiengesellschaft" or "AG". The company evolved from Volkswagen Group's takeover of both Auto Union, and NSU Motorenwerke AG (NSU), the former having incorporated the historic Audi company which was founded in 1910.

Audi's corporate tagline is Vorsprung durch Technik, meaning "Advancement through Technology". This German-language tagline is also used in other European countries, including the United Kingdom, and in other markets, such as Latin America, Oceania and parts of Asia including Japan. The North American tagline is "Truth in Engineering", but in Canada the German tagline Vorsprung durch Technik is now used in advertising.

Audi's history is one of the most multifaceted stories ever told in the history of the automobile. The Audi emblem with its four rings signifies one of Germany's oldest automobile manufacturers. It symbolises the amalgamation in 1932 of four formerly independent motor-vehicle manufacturers: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. These companies formed the roots of what is today AUDI AG.

The origins of Audi

Audi Type EThe company traces its origins back to 1899 and August Horch. The first Horch automobile was produced in 1901 in Zwickau. In 1909, Horch was forced out of the company he had founded. He then started a new company in Zwickau and continued using the Horch brand. His former partners sued him for trademark infringement and a German court determined that the Horch brand belonged to his former company. August Horch was forced to refrain from using his own family name in his new car business. Horch immediately called a meeting at the apartment of Franz Fikentscher to come up with a new name for his company. During this meeting Franz's son was quietly studying Latin in a corner of the room. Several times he looked like he was on the verge of saying something but would just swallow his words and continue working, until he finally blurted out, "Father – audiatur et altera pars... wouldn't it be a good idea to call it audi instead of horch?". "Horch!" in German means "Hark!" or "listen", which is "Audi" in Latin (compare audible). The idea was enthusiastically accepted by everyone attending the meeting. [2] It is sometimes (incorrectly) believed that AUDI is a backronym (a reversed acronym) which stands for "Auto Union Deutschland Ingolstadt".

Audi started with a 2,612 cc (2.6 litre) four cylinder model followed by a 3564 cc (3.6 L) model, as well as 4680 cc (4.7 L) and 5720 cc (5.7L) models. These cars were successful even in sporting events. August Horch left the Audi company in 1920. The first six cylinder model, 4655 cc (4.7 L) appeared in 1924. In 1928, the company was acquired by Jørgen Rasmussen, owner of DKW. In the same year, Rasmussen bought the remains of the US automobile manufacturer, Rickenbacker, including the manufacturing equipment for eight cylinder engines. These engines were used in Audi Zwickau and Audi Dresden models that were launched in 1929. At the same time, six cylinder and four cylinder (licensed from Peugeot) models were manufactured. Audi cars of that era were luxurious cars equipped with special bodywork.


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