As on the A8, MMI can also be supplied with DVD navigation. A DVD provides more than ten times the storage capacity of a conventional CD-ROM, coupled with a noticeably faster access time. This kind of capacity is able to cover not only the route directions for one country but almost the entire Western European road network on one single data carrier, relieving the driver of the annoying job of changing the CD when crossing borders.

A further advantage is that the navigation system calculates the route much more swiftly than on CD-based systems. This is particularly noticeable during map loading and when using the zoom function. This allows a flowing zooming in and out and enables the map to be moved in all four directions. As an alternative, the navigation system can also be operated using voice control.

Adaptive Cruise Control

As on the Audi A8, the new A6 Avant, and parallel the saloon, comes as an option with an intelligent "travelling companion": second generation radar-aided adaptive cruise control that automatically maintains the right distance from the vehicle ahead. Supplementing the optional cruise control function, this system significantly enhances driving convenience by automatically controlling the speed of the car relative to the vehicle ahead and the distance chosen.

A new feature in the latest generation of adaptive cruise control is the fact that the angle recorded by the sensor has doubled, clearly improving the detection range especially on winding country roads. And for the first time, the system can be combined with manual gearboxes.

Hidden discreetly out of sight, the system sensor is fitted behind the trim grille on the coolant air intake. While the car is on the move, it emits radar signals that determine how far ahead the next vehicle is. A computer then establishes whether that distance is increasing or decreasing based on the change compared with the previous measurement, and adjusts the car's own speed correspondingly by manipulating the accelerator or the brakes.

The Audi development engineers have deliberately limited the intensity of possible acceleration and that of brake intervention and very definitely designed the distance control as a convenience system. The adaptive cruise control system is configured such that when another vehicle that is travelling at a completely different speed is approached, the driver is alerted both visually and acoustically to the need for a conscious, situation-appropriate response. The speed range used by the system is between 30 and 200 km/h.

Adaptive headlights and daytime running lights

As on its saloon counterpart, ultra-advanced innovations are to be found behind the clear-glass covers of the A6 Avant's headlights: the dynamic technology of adaptive light, and daytime running lights in conjunction with xenon plus technology - a combination not found on any competitor model.

The new A6 Avant, too, comes with light units in Audi's typical "tube" look. Featuring anthracite-coloured trims, the tubes for the high and low beams appear to hover almost freely in the air, giving the front-end design of the car its very own touch of high-tech.

The headlights on the new A6 Avant come in three different versions: halogen headlights in free-form technology fitted as standard, xenon plus headlights with daytime running lights, and the xenon plus system with the dynamic adaptive light system that "can see" around a bend. It does this by pivoting the ellipsoidal module for the high-beam and low-beam headlights in synchronisation with the line of the road or a bend as the car is being driven. This greatly improves illumination of the road in front of the vehicle and to the sides, making it easier for the driver to anticipate the course of the road ahead.

Published : 11/11/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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