Audi has a reputation for making sporty, yet reliable, vehicles. The A-series sedans don’t look like they could barrel around a race track at respectable times, but responsive engines and well-tuned suspension ensure that the drive is as fun as it is practical. The new 2009 Audi A6 3.0T Quattro embraces this paradox to the fullest. It is unassuming, elegant, and it will knock your socks off when you put the pedal down.
The A6 is the middle child of the A-series sedan family, between the A4 and the A8, and when it was initially released it seemed more like an attempt to capture a market segment than a fully realized vehicle. With the arrival of the 3.0T Quattro, the A6 has staked its claim, and is arguably the best A6 ever. The 3.0T in the name refers to the 3.0-liter V6 supercharged engine, which produces 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. This is an elegant Audi, though, so it doesn’t have the normal supercharger whine or any rumbling of cylinders. The acceleration is smooth, strong, and quiet, which is exactly what the A6 is about. 0-to-60 mph takes 5.4 seconds, very impressive for a car that weighs a little shy of 4,200 pounds.
The ride quality is up to Audi’s usual standard. The A6 is roomy and comfortable, while not being overly large and bulky. The dashboard gadgets and computer system are a breeze to work with and capture an ease-of-use that is elusive on many other company’s interfaces. Also, the next version of this interface system will be hitting Audi models later this year and promises to be even better.
This new A6 is really all about the engine, though, so here’s a closing fact. The V8 engine option for the A6 (which is also found in the A8) is only slightly stronger than the 3.0T, having 50 more horsepower and 15 more lb-ft of torque. However, the V8 gets 16 mpg city / 23 highway, while the 3.0T gets 18 mpg city / 26 highway. The extra fuel economy and the minimal drop in power from the V8 model, and the fact that the V8 costs $5,750 more, makes the 3.0T the only real option for an A6. Picking another engine option would be a bit silly. The 2009 A6 3.0T Quattro is the best of both the A4 and A8 worlds, and will likely prove a big hit for Audi.