Nestled between the cylinder banks is a belt-driven compressor huffing enough air through the manifold to deliver 300 peak horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque between 2,500 and 4,850 rpm. In the A6, the engine was developed to deliver instant, seamless acceleration at freeway speeds. And it does. Flawlessly. The belt driven blower means turbo lag is nonexistent and with this much grunt available at the flick of an ankle, it could easily replace the V8 before long. Although the engine – shared by the 333 hp 2010 Audi S4 – has been slightly detuned, the 4,123-pound A6 gets to 60 mph in just under six seconds and you’ll never be struggling to merge onto the highway or make a pass on a two-lane road.
Also updated for 2009 is Audi’s all-wheel drive setup, and like the versions employed on the new A4 and A5, the reworked Quattro system features a 40/60 front-to-rear torque split. Approaching the limits of grip, the A6 offers a more balanced feel, eliminating much of the understeer traditionally associated with 50/50 AWD platforms. Power is transferred via a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that allows the shift lever to be pushed to the right for manual gear selection.