This week we’re at the helm of Audi’s mid-sized sports sedan, the A6. This particular model gets a zestier power train than the manual gearbox-equipped A5 coupe we recently tested, here powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 making 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, rather than the 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque generated by the turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder that powered the A5.
While the current batch of plug-in hybrids are seen as some of the most environmentally friendly vehicles on the road today, it’s tough to beat the environmental credentials of a hydrogen fuel cell car, whose emissions are just a few drops of water. Audi has gone a step further with the Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro Concept, adding an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery that can be recharged via a power socket, giving the fuel cell vehicle even more flexibility. But perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that this one actually sounds fun to drive.
The Quattro that started it all is a beauty to behold, and thanks to the Paul Eddleston at Braid Wheels USA (remember that superb Subaru “Rally Wagon” we featured a while back?) Multimedia Editor Chris Amos got to experience one firsthand. And, of course, he brought along the video equipment to take us all along for the ride.
What Audi has done with the new A6 is take a car that was always highly competent in a highly competitive class, and made every little thing markedly better with added technology, better looks, and excellent driving dynamics. Vorsprung durch Technik indeed.
Joining the luxury four-door fastback/liftback/coupe craze for the 2012 model year is the Audi A7, and we just happen to have one sitting in our parking lot. Equipped with a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, Audi’s signature Quattro all-wheel drive, and an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox, the A7 looks to provide a real alternative to the more expensive Mercedes-Benz CLS and the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo.
While the outgoing C6-generation Audi A6 made a significant splash at its start of sales in 2004, winning World Car Of The Year honors, the somewhat featureless exterior eventually blended into the woodwork. Worse, the car never really won any hardcore dynamics comparisons, not even in the limited-run RS6 treatments. All the same, that A6 was the best-selling car in that lucrative premium segment worldwide in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
We here at Winding Road have certain things we love. One of our primary objects of infatuation is the Audi R8. Regardless of V-8 or V-10, hardtop or Spyder, we are big fans of Audi’s halo car and its ability to switch between ho-hum daily driver and track-time cruise missile while costing considerably less than most mid-engined supercars. So naturally, we were excited when we heard about this car, the R8 GT.
Audi has just unveiled the Quattro Concept. With a turbocharged inline-five producing 408 horsepower and Quattro all-wheel drive, the new Concept carries on the proud name of this rally legend. With a six-speed manual transmission, Audi expects the Quattro to hit 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds.
The huge torque from this 3.0-liter TDI engine, coupled with Audi’s Quattro system, gives the Q7 the ability to get up and go with great quickness. Accelerating with a smart start, and building easy speed through low to medium revs, the Q7 feels quite athletic both around town, and on the freeway.
The Audi RS5 coupe really has everything going for it if we stare it down while it’s sitting still or if we study the spec sheet. How can you go wrong, after all, with a 444-horsepower, latest-generation, 4.2-liter FSI V-8 with all that power maxing out at the 8250-rpm redline? The torque comes out to assist nicely, too, at 317 maximum pound-feet between 4000 and 6000 rpm.
The current generation of the Audi TT has been on the market since 2007, which means it is just about due for an update, and the crew from Ingolstadt has done just that for the 2011 model year.
Ah, Miami in November (almost December). What better place for Audi to officially take the wraps off of its 2011 A8 flagship? The new sedan’s design is a proper evolution of the Audi styling language we’ve seen infused on the A4 and A5 in recent years, but there’s a whole lot of new-ness to this car, namely those sexy headlamps.