Torque fest

You won’t see this diesel for dust

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

BE­NEATH the bland cook­iecut­ter cor­po­rate shape, this Audi con­ceals two se­crets, one un­likely, the other wildly im­prob­a­ble.

First this A6 four-door is a quite the sports sedan, cov­er­ing 0-100km/h in 5.1 sec­onds. Sec­ond — this is the cliche-crush­ing bit — the donk that gets it to that rate so rapidly is nei­ther blown six nor V8 petrol. It’s a diesel.

Audi’s bi-turbo diesel V6 is fa­mil­iar from the topline Q5 SUV and A7 lift­back yet in this stealth sedan it has the great­est im­pact.

The iden­tikit shape is mid­way be­tween the bland A4 and A8 — noth­ing to see here, folks. Or, you might think, hear — other than the in­dus­trial clat­ter that’s syn­ony­mous with diesel.

Yet when the right foot’s down the fet­tled and ad­justable ex­haust note sounds like an en­raged go­rilla. Not ex­actly the sub­lime au­ral ex­pe­ri­ence of Audi’s still nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V8 but still closer to a petrol pow­ered sound than diesel.

I sulk when swap­ping the de­li­ciously mad RS4 Avant, with its op­er­atic 4.2-litre V8, for this A6. But on a law- abid­ing 300km of open-road cruis­ing (with the oc­ca­sional furtive burst of ac­cel­er­a­tion) , I barely miss the for­mer. Torque is the key, the sedan’s Mount Ever­est of New­ton me­tres trans­mit­ted via an eight-speed auto to all four wheels, a wave to surf from as low as 1450rpm.

With nor­mal throt­tle open­ings that tide comes on all but in­audi­bly, largely de­nud­ing you of ac­cel­er­a­tive sen­sa­tion; yet this is the quick­est diesel on the road.

De­spite its bulk, this A6 doesn’t lose in­ter­est when the tar­mac curves. The steer­ing feel, how­ever, is never sat­is­fac­tory — too light in any drive mode set­ting, as is the Audi way — it’s not the nose that pushes wide when the A6 is shoved too hard into a tight cor­ner but the tail, the sports diff al­low­ing a bit of play.

That’s one of the bat­tery of op­tions fit­ted to our car, part of the $2245 drive se­lect kit. With this and sports seats, Teknik pack­age, nice paint (an out­ra­geous $2880), the $118,800 sticker blows out to $129,480 plus on-roads.

Paul Pot­tinger

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