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Audi A6 2.7T quattro

Audi

Review

RECENT rationalisation in the Audi ranks has led to simpler line-ups of both the core A4 and A6 ranges; the changes to the A6 means it actually beats its arch-rival BMW in the number of variants available. If that's a good thing, it serves to complicate matters when it comes to unravelling the different models in the range - especially as one of the key changes involves widening the availability of quattro four-wheel drive.

Now, a quattro variant is available with every engine choice except the entry 1.9 TDI. Significantly, SE variants of the A6 have been given a more value-orientated specification with prices reduced by between ú600 and ú1,120 compared with previously. The arrival of the twin turbocharged 230bhp 2.7T quattro, tested here and priced at ú34,150 on-the-road (ú35,300 for the attractive Avant estate), plugs the gap between the 193bhp V6 2.8 quattro sport and the 300bhp V8 4.2 quattro, and gives Audi a car to compete on power terms with the V8-engined BMW 535i. Pricewise, however, it is more on a par with the ú33,995 six-cylinder 528i Sport, and considerably cheaper than the ú36,995 535i, pointing to a value package at the premium end of this market sector.

Audi's badging isn't as clear as BMW's when it comes to placing models in a 'hierarchy', particularly now that the 2.7T joins the range. 1.8T and 2.4 V6 models are available in Standard, SE and SE quattro forms, while the 2.8, 2.7T and 4.2 models are now rebadged quattro Sport. It's still a confusing range despite the simplification measures: prices now start at ú23,000 for the 1.9 TDI and rise to ú52,250 for the S6 quattro.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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