Following hot on the heels of the new Audi A6, the Avant version has big boots to fill. The current generation A6 Avant is one of the most successful estate cars in history. We are particularly fond of the RS version which has earned its reputation as the market-leading family car.

The new Audi A6 Avant offers much the same blend as the old model. It delivers between 565 and 1,680 litres of load capacity while offering performance and comfort by the bucket load. The interior has also been completely refreshed with the latest in Audi’s fully digital MMI experience.

The rear end of the Avant looks less and less like an estate car with every generation. With a tapered rear hatch, the design hides it’s almost five-metre length extremely well. The tailgate has electronic opening as standard with an optional sensor control. Interior space is said to be class leading while we expect the A6 to share the same acoustic dampening qualities as the new A7 and A8. It has a drag coefficient of just 0.27.

Audi will also pack the A6 with a huge number of safety systems. LED headlights are standard with three versions available including the HD Matrix LED headlights. Two packages will be available called “City” and “Tour”. In addition to the standard emergency braking assist, the driver assistance systems will also include adaptive cruise assist with narrowed road assist.

All engine options are fitted as standard with a mild hybrid system which we have already experienced in cars such as the A7. The belt alternator starter recovers up to 12 kW during braking through the 48 V system and the electricity is fed into a separate lithium-ion battery. Between 55 and 160 km/h, the A6 Avant can coast with the start-stop kicking in at 22 km/h. Power is transferred to the road either through a seven-speed S tronic or an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox with optional sport differential.

In Europe, early customers will get the choice of a 3.0-liter TFSI V6 with 340 hp and 368 pound-feet of torque or a 3.0-liter TDI V6 rated at 286 hp and 457 pound-feet. Other options will become available later in the year and into next year.

Dynamic all-wheel steering is an option. Four different suspension variants are on offer too with standard steel-spring suspension, a sport suspension system, a suspension system with shock absorber control and adaptive air suspension with controlled shock absorbers. The electronic chassis platform (ECP) actively distributes the drive torque between the rear wheels with the settings adjustable through the Audi drive select dynamic handling system.

The interior is typical modern Audi. A stylish, minimalist look uses a black panel surface with an MMI touch response display. The lower 8.6 inch display is used for climate control, comfort functions and text input.

Four equipment lines are available, each with its own color concept: sport, design, design selection and the S line sport package. Various seat options are available, an air quality package with two different fragrances as well as an ionizer, a large panoramic glass sunroof and adaptive windshield wipers with integrated washer jets.

No word on pricing or availability yet.