The new A6, the realtime impressions

Hi folks,
yesterday I was invited to the presentation of the new A6 at my dealer.
In europe the A6 is generally presented these days and Austria is no
exception.
When I saw the new body the first time on pictures I was disappointed about the grille. No, not disappointed, I was startled. The back appeared to be nice but the front was odd.
Now, you folks who saw the pictures, know what I mean.
Finally I saw it in realtime and I instantly was converted. This car is a beauty.
The rear end is even better than I thought and the front is amazing. It does not at all look clumsy or odd or heavy. The grille fits _very_ nicely between those headlights and the line of the car is just fantastic.
Now for the interior:
The car had the 3.0l TDI engine (225 HP) and they had two of them standing there de facto fully loaded. You could sit inside and feel around, the batteries were actually connected so one could check the displays et al.
What I instantly liked were the seats. Leatherseats with excellent side support. I saw with enlightment that they reintroduced the extendable support for your upper legs. (Although, while pulling it out I hurt my finger ;-).
The parking brake is now electrical, so no lever, just a tiny flip up/down switch.
Seating comfort is great and the increased legroom is very nice. I'm 186 cm tall (roughly 6'1) and if I sit comfortably in the front for driving and then change to the rearseat behind the drivers seat there is enough legroom for someone like me for a long trip.
Feel and touch is very nice and firm.
The MMI (Multi Media Interface) is handy, but I did not have the time to play around a lot with it.
However, what set me back a little that it is in fact impossible to add an aftermarket radio to the car. I asked the head of the austrian Audi sales and they confirmed that it is not planned that this is possible. That means that you either have an Audi radio/navigation etc. or none (if that's possible anyway.
There is just no DIN slot anymore available to insert a radio or in dash CD or whatever.
And worse, you can hardly upgrade the system you bought in the beginning to a better one (unless it's audi). And the better ones have the larger displays. So all in all it might be a bit hard to change anything there. Better buy everything right from the start.
The salesman also told me that the MMI electronics is fully integrated into the cars electronics so messing around with it could mean messing around with drive electronics et all. Not somehting one wants to do lightheartedly.
But I'm sure the aftermarket industry will have their own developments out soon :-)
The Cruise Control is still on a (now separate) stick behind the steering wheel. I.e. not on the wheel as with the BMW's. I regret that, but test driving the A4 I got used to it fairly quickly.
All in all I must say I liked the interior and the feeling of room, yet at the same time of close surrounding like a glove. Hard to describe.
I could not drive the car (the test cars will be available beginning of may) but I definitley plan to.
Oh and the Avant will be released by spring next year. By end of this year the car will see a third diesel engine with 2.7 liters and 177 HP.
Regards
Wolfgang
--
* Audi A6 Avant TDI *
* reply to wolfgang dot pawlinetz at chello dot at *
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I could not agree more! A beauty.
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I could not agree more! A stunning beauty!
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I have no serious problem with the new exterior (even if the rear looks a lot like a Saturn LS), but I am appalled by the pictures of the new dashboard.

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On Sun, 25 Apr 2004 13:04:59 -0400, "Saintor"

Hmm.. Honestly, looking at it, it did not bring up any bad impressions. It's split left and right of the central info display but that's nothing I would consider ugly.
But as always, tastes do differ.
YMMV
Wolfgang
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Wolfgang Pawlinetz wrote:

I don't like the interiour either, not because it's bad, but because it looks old. It's almost a copy from BMW's old-3-series dashboard, same kind of alignment and almost same kind of curves, just bit more polished wood.
I've seen it, it might have looked nice 1995, but it looks old and dum now. I like a lot more the way Audi has it in old-A6, A4, new-A3. No splitting.
And what's with that wheel? That's the ugliest I've ever seen. If they couldn't come up with a nice good design, then they could have just used the old one, it looks more elegant.
- Yak
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On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 02:49:22 +0300, Michael Burman

I don't know the old 3 series dashboard.
http://www.audi.at/de/images/bilder/modelle/gross/615.jpg
looks quite ok to me.
I like that they reverted to the old location of the ignition key on the dashboard instead of the steering column.

I guess that they thought it's a nice good design. Otherwise they would not have implemented it.
Yeah. Looking at it again the wheel is not that nice. Maybe that'll change over the next months.
Btw. the pic does not really relate the look/feel of the real thing.
I can only suggest you go there and sit in one.
Hnnnnnice.
Regards
Wolfgang
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I love it! In fact, I love Audi's dashes in general and the new A6's takes everything I like/love about the A8's an slightly retouches.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Steve Grauman) wrote:

What I do dislike about recent Audi dash designs is that they have dropped the oil temperature and volt meters.
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Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')

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Just curious - which model A6 Avant TDI have you got? I've got an old shape 5-cylinder 140bhp one and I love it to bits.
Peter
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There was a 5-cylinder TDi A6 in Europe?
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On 25 Apr 2004 23:24:30 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Steve Grauman) wrote:

Yes. A 140 HP diesel engine with 5 cylinder. IMO the best diesel at that time. Far superior to the BMW's 524.
It was later used in Volvos for a certain time.(if I'm not totally wrong).
Very quiet engine, smooth, strong. Had some oil leaks but that was something known and could be maintained properly.
Regards
Wolfgang
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Europeans get all the good engines, it's not fair. How come they went to a 4-cylinder TDi and didn't evolve a direct injected 5 cylinder? And more curiously, why the hell didn't they continue to evolve the turbo 5? A 2.5 litre I-5 with a K03 or K04 Turbo attached could easily make 240-250Hp and could be a *solid* base engine for the A6 and upper-level engine for the A4 here in the U.S. Saab continues to use Turbo 4s and Volvo has continued to use Turbo 4 and 5 cylinder engines (T6 excepted). Either that, or Audi could've turbo'd the 3.0 litre 30 valve for an easy 260Hp to match the G35, probably with near 300 Ft. Lbs. and would've saved the development money they spent engineering the new 3.2 for the A6.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Steve Grauman) wrote:

I believe that the I5 was dropped because it was too long. The requirement to improve performance in crash tests, and to keep bonnets (hoods, to you guys) short and low, dictated the move to I4, V6 and 8 engines. Even fitting the V8 into the A6 required the nose of the car to be extended.
--
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On Sun, 25 Apr 2004 22:11:27 +0100, "AstraVanMan"
The 150 HP V6 1999.

I can imagine. That one has the nicest dash ever (with the long sweep to the right) and the 5 cylinder is super quiet.
Good car. Stick with it :-)

Regards
Wolfgang
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