Short Take Road Test: 2009 Audi A6 3.0T Quattro
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2005 to 2014.
By K.C. Colwell of Car and Driver
If it's true that Audi is headed for a future of fuel-conscious supercharged V-6s and turbocharged four-cylinders instead of its current stable of powerful but carbon-plundering V-8s, V-10s, and even a W-12, the first entrant in that scaled-down scenario has arrived, the A6 3.0T Quattro.
With an Eaton four-lobe supercharger — capable of boosting the intake pressure to a maximum of 11.6 psi — married to a 3.0-liter V-6, the A6 3.0T Quattro makes 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. This is basically the same engine that will power the upcoming 333-hp 2010 Audi S4.
Mash the gas from a stop, and the 3.0T delivers linear power that propels the 4114-pound sedan to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, 1.5 seconds sooner than the old 255-hp, 3.1-liter A6 Quattro hit that mark. Sure, the BMW 535i xDrive and Mercedes E550 4MATIC are quicker, but the BMW requires twin turbos, and the Benz has eight cylinders. More importantly, neither can match the 3.0T's 18 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. A big surprise is that this new Audi even outruns the current V-8-powered A6 4.2 Quattro — despite the bigger engine's 50-hp advantage.
Nice, too, is the absence of a supercharger's whine, as buyers in this class might think twice before plunking down $52,425 to be hounded by a shrill whistle on their daily commutes. (Some staffers were so surprised they got out of the car to search for the "3.0T" badges on the front fenders; the "T" now refers to both turbo- and supercharged engines.)
Previous A6s with 18-inch wheels were not fit for the broken roads of Michigan. Audi engineers must have been reading our pages because the retuned bits suspending this model perform much better. No longer is every road imperfection transmitted to the vehicle's occupants. Once again, staffers were in disbelief that the car was riding on 18s and stepped out to examine the tires themselves.
If this is Audi's future, maybe we won't be missing those big-bore engines that currently reside alongside this force-fed six.