The new A6 finally receives Audi's revised powertrain layout -- first seen in the A5 -- which sees the engine placed slightly rearward. The engine is still located completely ahead of the front-wheel center line, but a switch to a 40/60 rear-biased all-wheel-drive system bestows the A6 with handling that belies its front-heavy layout. Partly constructed of aluminum, the new A6 weighs about 80 fewer pounds than its predecessor and its aerodynamics have been improved, contributing to the car's impressive fuel economy numbers. A three-inch wheelbase stretch shortens the A6's overhangs, and a substantial 2.9-inch increase in width improves not only the car's stance but also its interior room. And the interior is where the A6 really impresses -- with its beautifully designed and executed shapes, as well as whizbang gadgetry. The navigation system can fuse Google Earth images into the maps it displays, a mobile internet hot spot for up to eight devices can be set up, and the MMI system uses a touch pad on the center console that can read your handwriting. The A6 is available with a head-up display and numerous active safety systems, including lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning, active cruise control, and Audi Pre-Sense Plus, which activates protective measures if it detects an imminent collision. Given the A6's prodigious speed potential (the V-6 can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds), safety technologies are welcome.
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