Frankfurt. July 2011 – it’s amazing what the avant has become. In the 1970s, the addition to the audi 100 actually only stood for a hatchback model. The c3 version of the 1980s, which had already caused a sensation with its aerodynamically sophisticated body, became a station wagon for the first time, but with its still very slanted rear window it gave away usefulness. The rest is familiar audi history: the initially rather small-burg image is gone, the 100-successor a6 plays in the upper league and wears pinstripes, if desired even in chic wood applications that bring a bit of sailing yacht atmosphere into the living room. We drove the new a6 avant.
One for europe
China or the usa: europe is still the main market for the classy audi station wagon. In germany, 60 percent of all a6s sold are avant models, in scandinavia the figure is as high as 80 percent. Evolution rather than revolution is the motto for the design of the new a6 avant. The profile is sharpened by a few corners and edges, and the typical radiator grille at the front is framed by somewhat grim-looking headlights, which are optionally available with led technology. Growth hormones have been avoided in the dimensions, but the a6 avant remains a handsome vehicle at 4.93 meters in length. While the width increases only minimally, there is a tidy plus of seven centimeters in the wheelbase: 2.91 meters provide ample rear legroom. There’s enough room for the head, too, even though the roofline already slopes backwards from the b-pillar onwards. However, there is one drawback to this line: when entering the rear, you should retract your head in good time.
Up the leg
The volume of the luggage compartment remains virtually unchanged: between 565 and 1680 liters can be transported in the a6 avant. This puts the audi on a par with the bmw 5 series touring (560 to 1670 liters), but the space king of the luxury station wagons remains the mercedes e-class estate with 695 to 1950 liters. Audi has come up with a new way of opening the tailgate – already familiar from the vw passat: it is enough to make a slight lifting motion under the striker to make the tailgate swing open electrically. However, this gesture requires some practice to make the procedure work. 1340 euros is a steep surcharge; if you only need an electrically opening tailgate, you pay 690 euros. The width of the carpeted luggage compartment is 1.05 meters, with the backrests folded down, objects up to 1.93 meters long can be transported. The folded backrests provide a slightly rising flatness, but the low loading edge of 63 centimeters rewards us.