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It's good to know that Allroads lead to roam

THE arrival of the giant Audi Q7 all-wheel-drive will not mean the end of the company's crossover Allroad station wagon.

The German brand says it is still committed to the Allroad, despite the introduction of the Q7 and the smaller Q5 that will follow it.

A new model is expected in Australia next year. It could even make the Melbourne Motor Show in March.

The new Allroad is already on display at Audi's headquarters at Ingolstadt in Germany, where it was priced from $86,700 with a 171kW, 3.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine.

Final engine choices for the new Allroad are yet to be finalised and it is possible Australia may receive a diesel only.

At the moment the Allroad is sold with the choice of two petrol engines -- a 2.7-litre turbo and 4.2-litre V8 -- and a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel.

"We are unsure what engines we will take. It's possible it may only be the diesel," Audi Australia spokeswoman Anna Burgdorf says.

The Allroad display car was wearing 245x45 ZR18 Pirelli P Zeros and is defined at the front by a more accentuated single-frame grille that has more vertical elements in the egg-crate design.

Before the Allroad arrives, Audi Australia will have hot versions of the S6 and S8 this November and December, respectively.

Each is powered by a V10 engine, the first of its type from Audi aimed to bridge the gap between the 4.2-litre V8 and the 6.0-litre W12.

The V10's maximum torque of 450Nm kicks in at 3000 revs, giving it a wide curve -- an unusual trait for a V-angled 10-cylinder.

The V10 engines weigh 220kg, 15kg more than the 4.2-litre V8.

Audi has tried to find a balance between a sporty and torquey engine. It fires along with 331kW at 7000 revs but does not have the pace of BMW's V10 in a 0-100km/h thrash because it doesn't rev as far as the BMW motor.

The S6 has a special instrument cluster and carbon-fibre trim on the centre console. Its chassis and suspension have been optimised for the six-speed, S-tronic, double-clutch, sequential gearbox.

There are 18-inch brakes, but it's not available with ceramic stoppers, which are on the S8, W12 and RS4 sedan.

Differentiation between the S6 and S8 in the nose is subtle -- the S8 gains a unique airtake design that has integrated fog lamps. The S6 has carbon-fibre slats.