Thursday, February 9, 2012

In simple terms: Audi A6 looks hot, goes fast

This review originally appeared in the January 2012 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California -- No fooling, here’s what the sticker said on this recent ride: 2012 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro Auto Tiptronic Sedan.

They almost needed two stickers to fit that name on there. For simplicity sake, here’s what you need to know: It’s an Audi sedan. It looks hot. It goes fast.

Got your interest? OK, keep reading.

This A6 is a definite player in a crowded field of luxury sport sedans. As I said, it looks most racy for a four-door, including a wide-open-mouth grille ready to devour slowpokes.

The look is backed up by a 3-liter supercharged V-6 topping out at 310 horses. Performance is not so much brute-like as it is velvet hammer. Nailing the gas produces butter-smooth acceleration that wowed me and several passengers I took along on rides.

The eight-speed Tiptronic transmission is a wonder, handling the gearing chores with seamless perfection.

The smooth blast can fool you, however. Believe me, you are nearing three digits on the speedometer before you realize it, so care during operation is advised, unless you like chatting with highway patrol officers in the middle of your commute.

Base price on the new A6 is a C-note short of $50,000, but the tester was dressed up with extras that brought the bottom line to (deep breath!) $57,470. Throw in what you can expect to pay for gas with federal ratings of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, and you’re talking about some serious change.

Alas, the car was mine for only a week, so I savored extras that included 19-inch performance tires, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and a sport-tuned suspension.

A flat-black interior was simultaneously imposing and sexy, loaded with comfort/convenience controls – so many linked to little, tiny buttons that mastering the dash without looking down takes some doing.

For me and others, this is a fantasy car, which is fiscally challenged journalist-speak for: I can’t afford it, but I sure had fun driving it.

For those who can afford it, I salute you. And a dash of envy comes free of charge.

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