Audi has their sights set on Mercedes Benz and BMW, and has publicly declared that they intend to be the number one luxury brand by 2015. Their mid-range A6 is key to achieving that goal, so Audi took the redesign of their executive sedan very seriously. The previous generation, launched in 2004 and refreshed in 2008, became one of Audi’s best sellers; the successor had to maintain Audi’s reputation for style and performance, but still draw new buyers away from other luxury brands.
Judging from the images recently released by Audi, I’d say they hit the nail on the head. The new A6 is a stunning car, and it has much more presence than the outgoing model. The previous A6 was good at blending into the crowd, while the new A6 excels at standing out from the crowd. Buyers of luxury sedans don’t exactly crave anonymity, so I’d say that the A6 will sell quite well on looks alone.
Looks won’t be enough for those of us who like to drive, and Audi will offer the A6 with a wide range of engines, including both diesel and gasoline options. The A6 will be available in front wheel drive or all wheel drive, utilizing Audi’s legendary quattro AWD system. Audi will even offer the A6 in a hybrid variant, which will offer 256 combined horsepower, but yield fuel economy approaching 38 mpg.
The 2012 Audi A6 is expected to hit dealer showrooms in mid-year 2011. You can expect a base price of roughly $48,000 for the sedan and roughly $54,000 for the wagon, with hybrid pricing coming closer to the model launch. I’ll give you a full review of the car once I’ve had a chance to drive it.