Inside, the car gains front sports seats with electrically adjustable lumbar support, S line emblems embossed in the back rests and black ‘Speed’ cloth upholstery with leather side sections. These are complemented by special S line decorative facia inlays in brushed aluminium, a three-spoke sports steering wheel trimmed in perforated leather and perforated leather covering for the gear knob. A black cloth headlining completes the look.
Drivers of S line models also have the option to stand further out from the crowd by adding exclusive S line exterior identifiers at an extra cost of £1,100 (or £875 for 4.2 quattro models). These include a more sporting design for the front bumper, which also gains automatic headlamp washers, a unique S line front grille design inset with a discreet S line emblem and a special rear bumper treatment incorporating a body-coloured lower diffuser.
The new A6 has arrived in Britain with three advanced new V6 engines, all of which will be available in conjunction with the S line specification. A 177PS 2.4 petrol kicks off the range, followed by a 256PS 3.2 petrol with FSI direct petrol injection and a 3.0 TDI V6 with 225PS. A compact V8 petrol unit with 335PS powers range flagships. Waiting in the wings for both SE and S line models are a 140PS 2.0 TDI, available from September, and a 177PS 2.7 TDI, due in December.
The latest Audi dynamic suspension complements this advanced engine technology - the new fully independent multi-link set-up is available with either standard, Sport (20mm lower than standard) or S line (30mm lower than standard) settings and in either front-wheel-drive or quattro four-wheel-drive configurations. Irrespective of the setting chosen, it gives an excellent compromise between handling composure and ride refinement. Braking performance is also maximised in S line versions (except 2.4 and forthcoming 2.0 TDI S line) by a larger 17-inch ventilated disc braking system.
Ride and handling in the new A6 benefit from a 34 per cent increase in body rigidity compared with the previous model, and from a wheel base extension of 83mm. This extra length also brings obvious advantages in terms of ‘packaging’, significantly enhancing passenger space, particularly in the rear. Longer, wider, more spacious and with more boot capacity than all key rivals, the new A6 S line can meet the needs of its passengers as fully as it can its driver.
As well as its spacious layout, the well appointed cabin of the new A6 is also notable for its outstanding build quality, its style and its technological content. A version of the Multi Media Interface (MMI) control system seen first in the Audi A8 is fitted as standard to all A6 models, as are useful enhancements such as cruise control, a CD player, automatic light and wiper activation and servo assisted boot lid locking. From 2005, options including adaptive light cornering lights, electronic tyre pressure monitoring and radar-assisted distance control will also be added.Published 17 July 2004