Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The midline sedan reached the 8th generation in 2018 with the launched of the new A6.
The A6 was a strong rival for the Mercedes E-Class and the BMW 5-Series.
The new A6 was offered in four trim levels: Premium, Sport, Premium Plus and Prestige.
The sportier version of the A6 was represented by the S6.
The Premium model looked good even if it was the base level, with the specific Audi aggressive front end and the sporty back with the beautifully designed taillights.
From the side, the A6 looked like a larger sedan. The base model also came with 18-inch alloy wheels.
The impeccably crafted interior was equipped with nice and soft leather upholstery and it was a nice combination of sportiness and luxury.
Heated seats were offered standard and offered great support and comfort for the driver and the passengers.
Plenty of room was offered and the back seats were great for adults as well, with decent legroom and headroom for a comfortable long journey.
The load area also offered great room for luggages.
The base version included a standard sunroof.
Performance wise, the A6 was available with two engines: an entry level 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine developing 252 hp and the more powerful 3.0 6-cylinder supercharged powerplant with 340 hp. Both engines were mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The A6 would have reached 100 kph in around 6.7 seconds with the 2.0-liter and around 5.1 seconds with the supercharged engine.
Even with the entry level engine, the A6 offered adequate power to offer a fun, comfortable ride.
The 2014 version of the Audi A6 was more efficient and power, with an even more attractive exterior design.
The mid-size luxury sedan climbed up the ladder and was a direct competitor to the Bavarian automaker.
The exterior design changes included anew headlamps and taillights, refreshed bumpers and a more aggressive-looking grille. New paint colors were added and new alloys were brought with the new version.
The engines were revised as well, along with some of the transmissions.
What didn’t change as much was the interior. And for good reasons. The interior was beautifully designed, with remarkable high quality materials that enhanced the luxury offered.
While the engine options were quite a few, 2014 came with a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 powerplant that produced 310 hp and 325 lb.-ft of torque. With this engine, the A6 could rocket to 100 kph in around 5.2 seconds, which was quite a quick time among the midsize sedans.
Other engine options included a 2.0-liter with 220 hp and a 3.0-liter V6 with 240 hp.
Safety wise, the standard equipment included antilock disc brakes and stability control. Optionals such as front and rear parking sensors, lane departure with lane keeping assist and a blind-spot warning system were available for the base trims, and included in with the upper trims.
Introduced in 2005, the audi A6 was a strong competitor for the BMW’s or the Mercedes’ models.
For 2011, the A6 became even more attractive with new flashy LED running lights and a trunk spoiler.
The interior of the A6 was one of the best in its class due to the premium quality materials used, as well as the technology included.
The A6 was a balanced combination between utility and great styling.
Available in two body shapes, users could choose between a 4-door sedan and a wagon also known as the Avant.
The trim levels available were Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.
The Premium trim level came with a 3.2-liter or a 3.0-liter engine and included an extensive list of great features, such as 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, a sunroof, 8-way power seats with lumbar adjustment, part-leather upholstery, Bluetooth and many others. With the 3.0-liter engine came also heated front seats.
The Premium plus added bigger alloys, rear parking sensors, LED running lights, driver memory functions and self-leveling xenon headlights.
The top of the range, the Prestige trim came with adaptive headlights, keyless ignition, a rearview camera to ease parking and a premium Bose audio system.
Optionally available, the S-Line exterior package gave the A6 a sportier appearance.
The A6 was part of the Audi’s effort to be recognised as a premium European automaker.
Already at the 3rd generation, the premium midsize car was a worthy competitor in the luxury sedan class.
For 2008, the A6’s visual appeal was increased with the S-line exterior trim package being added to the new generation, with updates including a new grille and a new bumper, as well as a rear diffuser and 18-inch alloys.
To complete the sporty exterior, customer wanting added sportiness to the interior could add the S-line interior package that included sport seats and a 3-spoke steering wheel.
Two versions were offered for 2008, a 3.2-liter V6 and a 4.2-liter V8 engine, corresponding to 3.2, respectively 4.2 trim levels.
The standard features on the 3.2 trim level included 18-inch alloys, a trip computer, leather seating, interior wood trims, automatic climate control and a 10-speaker audio system. The Avant added a sunroof.
The top of the range, the 4.2, came with adaptive xenon headlights, a sunroof, heated front seats, an upgraded leather upholstery and auto-dimming mirrors.
A premium package was also available for the 3.2, including the majority of the features included in the 4.2 trim.
Standalone options included 19-inch alloys, a tweaked suspension, rear park assist with a back-up camera, lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, voice-recognition technology and a navigation system.
Safety wise, the new models came with antilock disc brakes, stabilibty control and front-seat and rear-seat side airbags available.
Tested for frontal and side impacts, the A6 earned the top rating.
In 2004, Audi introduced the third generation of its mid-size sedan, the A6.
It was the big step ahead in the company design language that followed over the years.
Audi was struggling to find a good corporate image and the 2004 A6 showed the way. Satoshi Wada, the designer that drew the lines for the third generation of the Audi A6, imagined a big, single-piece, grille. It looked somehow like a trapezoidal shield with the bigger side up. The shape was also the ideal shape of a masculine body with larger shoulders.
The third generation of the A6 featured that Single-frame grille but crossed with the license plate cross-member. The curved greenhouse followed the second generation of the A6 design. It was more of an evolution than a revolution for the Audi mid-size car.
Inside the vehicle, there was enough room for five adult passengers. The platform was used only for the A6, and it helped gain a big interior room, despite having a longitudinally mounted engine. The dashboard featured a newly developed infotainment unit that could have been accessed via a rotary knob and few buttons placed on the center console. It was the beginning of the Audi MMI (Multi Media Infotainment).
Under the hood, the A6 was offered with some economic, diesel, engines but also with some other powerful versions. Apart from the rocket-monster V10 RS6, the top version was a 4.2-liter V8 engine. It was offered with manual or automatic transmission, with front or all-wheel-drive.
The second generation of the Audi A6 was released at the 1997 Geneva Motor Show and it was a big step up over its predecessor.
In 2002, it received a facelift that improved its look and performances.
When the second generation of the A6 was introduced, most of its engine versions were considered powerful enough for it. In just a few years, the Audi marketing department found out that some of them need to be adjusted or replaced. After they gathered all the data, the modification list was done and, in 2001, the facelifted version came with all the modifications performed.
A facelift cannot be done without changes to the exterior look, or it wouldn’t be noticed by anyone. Considering this, the 2002 A6 featured new headlights with clear lenses for the headlights and new design for the taillights. A new set of 17” light-alloy wheels was introduced.
On the inside, the 2002 A6 featured a revised interior. There was a sense of American luxury with the introduction of storage compartments in the door but it still needed a real pair of cup-holders in the center console. The interior designers worked to improve the look with wood trim on the dashboard and door panels.
For the drivetrain, the 2002 Audi A6 changed its base engine. The initial 1.8-liter 20valves (five per cylinder) was replaced by a healthier 2.0-liter. For the diesel engines as well the base 1.9-liter TDI unit was tweaked to offer more power. Another change was for the 2.8-liter V6 gasoline unit which was replaced by a 3.0-liter. The base versions, either diesel or gasoline, were not available with the all-wheel-drive system.
The second generation of the Audi A6 was, in fact, the first true A6 and not a re-badged Audi 100, as its predecessor.
It was launched in 1997 and it was a big leap over the previous generation.
The 1997 Audi A6 went through major changes. It was bigger and more spacious inside. It still featured a longitudinally installed engine and it was offered with front or all-wheel-drive system. The car was more comfortable than the Audi V8, which used to be the German car-maker flagship.
From the outside, the 1997 A 6 featured a rounded bodywork, with almost no flat surfaces on it. The rounded front end, with embedded headlights and curved surfaces were on the biodesign trend of those times. The greenhouse was like a wide arch over the five seat interior. Even the trunk lid was curved over the back of the car, despite the aerodynamically reasons to make it flat and straight. The design was more important than that detail.
Inside the cabin, there was a roomy interior with ample front seats. In the rear, due to the center tunnel, the middle seat didn’t offer enough legroom. But it offered enough shoulder and headroom, despite its sloped rear. The car was offered with on-board computer an option for integrated telephone.
From the technical point of view, the 1997 A6 was offered with a big choice of engines, both diesel and gasoline between 1.8- and 4.2-liter. Depending on the versions, some were mated to a 5-speed manual while other came fitted as standard with a 6-speed manual. The 1997 model also offered a Tiptronic 5-speed automatic transmission.
Audi introduced the first generation A6 model in 1997, replacing the former Audi 100 on the executive car segment.
Initially considered more of an Audi 100 facelift, the new A6 was available to the large public in two body styles: sedan and avant. The saloon model featured slight exterior changes compared to its 100 predecessor, such as revised front and rear lights or a newly-designed grille. Most of the A6 models fitted with diesel engines would also benefit from the innovative ‘quattro’ permanent all-wheel-drive system. The model was discontinued in 1997 to make room for the second generation C5 A6.