Is the A6 good enough to take executive crown off BMW?
THEY say a picture speaks a thousand words - this one utters just three.
Vorsprung durch Technik.
According to Audi it is not only their company slogan but a "lifestyle" and if that way of life were to be summed up then the new A6 is getting busy livin'.
If ever a car were the embodiment of a dream - this is it.
Now, one man's dream is another's nightmare and BMW, Mercedes and Lexus had better sit up and take notice.
The 'Advancement Through Technology' mantra has been physically translated into a luxury saloon and the VDT is no longer a clever catchphrase.
No Sir, it's there at the touch of a button ... lots of buttons.
In fact, there is so much technical wizardry that you can see, let alone can't, it will leave your head ina spin.
State-of-the-art gadgets lurk behind every single switch and plasma screen.
Yes, a pop-up plasma screen which displays among other things sat-nav with speed limit, stereo/CD, DVD player, laser-guided cruise control and wait for it ... Night vision with pedestrian detection.
Available as an optional extra, the thermal imaging camera identifies a person between 15 and 90 meters away (see inset pic) with yellowing definition and as the car gets closer the silhouette changes to red while sounding an alarm if the driver doesn't slow down.
The camera - cleverly stowed behind the last ring on the bonnet cluster - also highlights the hottest area of the car in front like the tyres and exhaust.
It is quite possible to drive this car in complete darkness through a pitch black city street without lights and out the other side without a scratch.
Yea me too, but did I mention the WiFi hotspot?
At the mere flick of a button between the air con and CD loader is a built-in internet connection - enabling passengers to use laptops, iPads and iPods while also allowing the driver to access Google Earth imaging for the latest up-to-date street maps.
Then there is the Head Up display which flashes current speed, navigation, cruise control, speed limits and any driver assist system in use onto the windscreen so the pilot never has to take their eyes off the road.
Now, if those amazing gizmos don't blow you away then the styling will. Its dashing good looks come straight from the A8 but the new chassis has been to the gym and has firmed up from its perkier rear end to a more aggressive snout.
The front is particularly alluring with the LED lights and indicators giving it that now distinctive Audi signature.
Inside, it's pure luxury from the off with leather seats as standard and the build quality of the cabin is as you'd expect - top notch.
The handling and poise of the new beast is a world apart from what current owners have come to expect.
Thanks to the use of lighter and toughened aluminium in the chassis, bonnet, doors and boot lid - 20pc to be exact - the A6 is remarkably more agile and therefore less thirsty than its older brother.
Take the entry-level 2.0-litre TDI - which is similar power and matches the poke of the BMW 520D at 177 bhp and CO2 emissions of 129g/km (annual road tax of €156) while returning 57mpg and you begin to look at the A6 in a new light.
Even the more muscular 245bhp, 3.0-litre TDI Quattro emits only 156g/km (tax Band D/€ 447 road tax) and will manage 47.9mpg at the pumps.
There's no doubting that the A6 is a brilliantly engineered saloon which is addictive to drive but it needs a lure to take BMW buyers.
Priced at €43,300 it's just a smidgen cheaper than the 520 but the now legendary extras list will eat into that little lead.
and, when suited and booted with all the goodies, would absolutely spank the Mercedes E Class in a heartbeat.
The BMW on the other hand is a tougher cookie and although the A6 is more than capable of taking it's Bavarian cousin out - it just lacks the killer punch.
For one, its coming in €1,000 dearer at €43,300 and is once again is being murdered by the extras list.
The now trademark Audi LED lights - which is as synonymous as the entwined bonnet rings and VDT - is a whopping €4,176 on the Quattro which is akin to charging a massive wad of cash for the Blue propeller on its rival.
Still, it's a mega motor and, in time, expect to see more and more of them in executive car parks.
I'd certainly swap My 5 Series for one but it'd have to be the 'Suzy' (Quattro) with all the whistles and bells!
Oh by the way Suzy came with an eye-watering €46,500 of jewellery on her including ;