What's New for 2000
There are two new models joining the A6 2.8 and A6 2.8 Avant. The first is the A6 2.7T powered by a turbocharged V6 engine. The second model is the A6 4.2 powered by a virile V8.
For 2000, Audi has added two new versions of the A6. Both of them are considerably more powerful than the A6 2.8 Sedan and the A6 2.8 Avant Wagon that were previously offered in America. The A6 2.7T Sedan has a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 that produces 250 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque. Audi has used two small turbos rather than one large one to make the engine more responsive. In a nice tip of the hat to enthusiasts, the 2.7T comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. A five-speed Tiptronic-controlled automatic transmission is a no-cost option.
The Audi A6 4.2 Sedan features the 4.2-liter V8 normally found in the larger A8 Sedan. Obviously Audi's challenge to the V8-powered BMW 540i and Mercedes-Benz E430, this engine produces 300 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque. This engine comes only with a five-speed Tiptronic-controlled automatic transmission. Beyond the engine, the 4.2 also comes with more aggressive styling, bigger wheels and tires, and more standard equipment.
For 2000, the 2.8 Sedan and 2.8 Avant get an optional five-speed manual transmission. Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system is optional on the 2.8 Sedan and standard on all of the remaining models. This system constantly monitors the grip of the tires. When one of them starts to lose traction, the quattro system automatically applies power to the tires with the most adhesion to the road surface.
All of the A6 models feature an interior that is one of the best in its class. Audi greets drivers with a generous amount of supple materials and features. As a bonus, A6 buyers can choose from three different types of interiors. The atmospheres -- Ambition, Ambiente and Advance -- differ in their use of texture and appearance of the seat upholstery, and the color and type of genuine wood and aluminum trim.
The A6's styling is unmistakably Audi, with a swept greenhouse and muscular fenders. However, the A6 isn't a stunner like the A4. The rounded sheetmetal and sharply creased trim detail don't blend well to our eye, and the taillights on the sedan appear to have been lifted from Chevrolet's lowly S-10 pickup. From some angles, the car looks great. From others, it appears somewhat dumpy and jumbled. Front overhang can appear especially out of balance. Fortunately, the gracefully swept greenhouse on both the sedan and wagon lends a touch of class and elegance to an otherwise characterless profile.
Despite these nitpicks, we believe the A6 is an enticing choice in the hotly contested entry-level luxury class. If you're looking for a wagon, the A6 Avant should serve nicely. But our personal favorite is the A6 2.7T. This version offers better acceleration than the 2.8 and nearly equals the 4.2. It also doesn't cost much more than the 2.8, and certainly costs less than the 4.2.