New Audi A6 Avant breaks cover

We won\'t get the wagon in America.

Audi introduced the brand-new A6 about a month ago at the Geneva auto show. Wasting no time, the brand just unveiled the Avant variant it will sell in certain global markets.

Like the sedan, the wagon receives evolutionary tweaks such as a wider grille. It's not a drastic step away from the outgoing model; it still looks like an A6. Designers gave it a more dynamic look by punching out the rear wheel arches and giving it a faster roof line that's sportier than before. The rear end gets re-shaped lights connected by a strip of trim.

The most significant changes are inside, where Audi's latest wagon borrows technology from the stylish A7 and the bigger A8. The dashboard and the user interface look like they come straight from the A7. Two driver-oriented screens run the infotainment system and a third screen replaces the analog instrument cluster. Audi explains the top screen goes black when the car turns off to blend into the rest of the dashboard. It turns on automatically when it detects a passenger opens one of the doors.

Cargo capacity checks in at 20 cubic feet with five passengers on board. Folding down the 40/20/40-split rear bench yields 59.3 cubes. Audi promises the front and rear occupants benefit from more space than before.

Audi hasn't released technical specifications. The Euro-spec A6 sedan comes with either a turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 rated at 340 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque or a 3.0-liter TDI V6 tuned to pump out 286 horsepower and a solid 457 pound-feet of twist.

The gasoline engine shifts through a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel works with an eight-speed automatic. Both spin the four wheels via Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system. And, significantly, mild hybrid technology comes standard regardless of fuel type. Both engines receive a belt alternator starter (BAS) which keeps gas mileage in check.

Audi made some of the suspension components out of aluminum in order to reduce weight. Buyers can choose one of four setups: a standard steel suspension, a sport suspension, an adaptive suspension, or a full air suspension. Progressive steering comes standard, and four-wheel steering is found on the list of extra-cost options.

The new Audi A6 Avant will reach showrooms in Europe before the end of the year. High-performance S6 and RS 6 variants will follow. As of writing, the brand has no plans to sell the Avant alongside the sedan in the United States.

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