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Audi A6 Allroad returning

The new Audi A6 allroad quattro will be launched in Australia in the third quarter of 2012.

The final piece in the A6 jigsaw puzzle was dropped from the local line-up late last year after being on sale in Australia since 2001 in both petrol and diesel guises.

The former was dropped in 2006 and it stayed diesel-only until last its disappearance last year. 

Audi says the A6 allroad comes with a claim of fuel use reductions by as much as 20 per cent, depending on which of the four engines is chosen - although Audi Australia is tightlipped on what's coming here.

The sole petrol engine for the new model is the supercharged three-litre V6 already seen in the current line-up, but offering 228kW and 440 Nm, kicking the crossover wagon from zero to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds and claiming 8.9 litres per 100km, although not when you're flat-out testing the acceleration claim.

The diesel offering is three output variations - 150kW and 450Nm, 180kW and 580Nm or the twin-turbo powerplant's 230kW and 650 Nm, with thirsts starting at 6.1l/100km.

Audi says it will soon offer a low-emissions "clean diesel" 180kW engine variant, although it's not likely in Australia in the short term.

The twin-turbo 230kW/650Nm three-litre gets the eight-speed automatic (the rest are seven-speed twin-clutch autos) and drops the time to 100km/h to 5.6 seconds.

The new A6 gets the company's staple all-wheel drive system, albeit with the addition of the torque vectoring system, which brakes the wheels on the inside of the curve to help the car turn more easily.

The new car has the sedan's electro-mechanical power steering, as well as the option of variable-ratio "dynamic" steering and the clever differential that sends power left and right across the rear axle during "enthusiastic" driving.

Among the fuel-saving systems is "drive select," which allows the driver to alter the car's functions to run in an economy mode.

The new A6 allroad carries over the adaptive air suspension, which was standard on the outgoing car and can drop the normal ride height by 15mm at cruising speeds and can raise between 35 and 45mm for rougher roads, with variable-speed hill descent control for the more adventurous.

Standard fare in the A6 allroad quattro also includes 18in and 235/55 tyres, but optional wheels up to 20in are on offer. The new Audi A6 allroad quattro will be available in Germany from spring 2012, starting from 54,600 Euros - it will be launched in Australia in the third quarter of 2012.

Audi Australia says it's too early to talk specifics on engine options, specifics on equipment and pricing - the outgoing car was priced at about $104,000 but when the model first arrived it started just under $100,000, but Audi won't say if it will sneak into the five-figure price bracket.

The new A6 allroad quattro is 4940mm long, 1900mm wide and 1470mm tall, only slightly longer but 38mm wider and nearly 50mm shorter in overall height over the outgoing model. Audi says the use of aluminium has shaved about 70kg from the weight of the outgoing model.

The Audi A6 allroad quattro will have available LED and xenon lighting technology, as well as getting extra trim bits on the door sills, wheelarches, a different grille and underbody protection.

The infotainment system - MMI in Audi-speak - has the added function of showing the vehicle pitch as a nod to its all-terrain aims.

The luggage compartment boasts 565 litres of cargo space (with folding rear seats upping it the storage space to 1680 litres) and a load-restraint rail system.

Also on the features list is a head-up display, ambient LED cabin lighting, four-zone climate control, a panoramic glass roof, automatic parking assist system which steers for the driver,and the keyless entry and ignition and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

There's also optional Bluetooth car phone (standard on the outgoing car) but the new model gets internet connectivity and an in-car wireless hotspot.

The allroad will also have radar-based adaptive cruise control with stop and go function that applies maximum braking (below 30km/h) if it senses an impending impact, the pre-sense accident prep system (in a number of guises), lane assist, side assist blindspot warning and the night vision system

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