At long last, it seems to be a good time to be an Audi wagon fan in America. First Audi dropped the news that it will, at last, be sending us the ultimate in forbidden fruit longroofs: the Audi RS6 Avant. Now the luxury brand is looking to expand the A6 wagon lineup further with the all-new 2020 A6 Allroad, and it even comes with the signature feature that hopefully won’t be so troublesome this time around.
In the early 2000s, Audi gave us the Allroad 2.7T Quattro. It was a very cool car with a biturbo V6, all-wheel-drive, and a fully-adjustable air-suspension that could give the car a sedan ride height at high speeds or lift it up over seven inches when the conditions called for it. These early Allroads were even available with a manual transmission.
American Audi fanatics discuss these Allroads with both awe and fear. The turbo V6 could get a bit finicky as the miles added up and usually, it wasn’t a matter of if, but rather when, the air-suspension would fail to give the Allroad that “slammed” look long before it was fashionable in some circles.
Audi has come a long way since those days, and the all-new 2020 A6 Allroad is trying to get a slice of the upscale wagon pie currently occupied by the Volvo V90 Cross Country—and to a certain extent the Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
The new car will share similar components with the updated A6 sedan such as the turbocharged V6 making 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Of course, there will be no three-pedal option this time but rather a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission paired with standard quattro AWD.
Unlike the A6, the Allroad will have the same cargo space as the A6 Avant that is exclusive to other markets. And the new Allroad brings back the height-adjustable air suspension with settings designed for both on and off-road situations.
The Audi press release breaks down the settings as follows:
-Auto: provides the most balanced engine and chassis response (5.5 inches of ground clearance)
- Comfort: lighter steering feel and smoother throttle input makes smooth and comfortable driving (5.5 inches of ground clearance)
- Dynamic: heavier steering feel along with immediate throttle responses and sporty gear changes (-0.6 inches lower)
-Individual: driver chooses each setting according to preference
-Offroad: provides increased ground clearance (+1.2 inches) at speeds up to 21.7 mph
- Lift: provides an additional 0.6 inches of lift above Offroad mode, when traveling under 21.7 mph
Audi says the Allroad, at its maximum height, sits 1.8 inches higher than the A6 sedan to enable additional clearance over rugged terrain for a total ground clearance of 7.3 inches. A difference of 1.8 inches doesn’t sound like much but I guess if you’re really taking your Allroad on all the roads, some of which aren’t paved, that extra clearance can pay off.
While the air-suspension in the original car could problematic and costly, I should note that similar wagons such as the V90 and the E450 also have an optional air-ride suspension.
Pricing has not yet been announced but, I would expect the A6 Allroad to carry a premium over the A6 sedan, and that has a starting price of around $62,000 for the V6 model.