Don’t let Audi’s subtle changes to the A6’s exterior and interior styling fool you: Under the hood is a supercharged V6 powerplant that represents an entirely new direction for the German automaker.
And don’t be fooled by the “T” attached to the 2009 A6 3.0T’s trunk lid. Although it traditionally designates turbocharging at Audi, the 3.0-liter engine mounted under the hood is, in fact, supercharged.
The same 3.0-liter engine, in a 330-hp state of tune, will replace the more potent but less efficient 4.2-liter V8 in the next S4. Audi will reveal the S4 in October at the Paris motor show. It goes on sale in Europe next spring and is to arrive in the United States next fall.
We sampled the new engine for the first time in a European A6 3.0T developing 290 hp–some 60 hp shy of Audi’s existing 4.2-liter V8. But with a generous 310 lb-ft of torque available from 2,500 rpm through to 4,850 rpm, the A6 3.0T quattro’s 0-62 mph acceleration and top speed matches that of the A6 4.2 quattro at 5.9 seconds and 155 mph, according to Audi.