1 Feb 2002
Understandably, Audi didn’t mess around much with the A6’s superb styling, but it did undertake a thorough engineering revision underneath.
For the former, there was a front-end redesign with new headlights and a double grille, restyled tail-lights and fresh wheels.
The latter saw body rigidity increase, the front suspension components revised, brakes boosted, stability control included as standard and an upgrade for engines and transmissions – all in the name of greater dynamic abilities.
Plus the cabin was extensively revised.
Out went the 2.8 V6 for a new 3.0 V6 producing 160kW/290Nm, the 2.4 V6 now pumped out 125kW and a 184kW/350Nm 2.7 bi-turbo V6 quattro sedan was introduced.
Meanwhile, the 4.2 V8 and S6 engines were carried over into the improved A6 range. Interestingly, in front-wheel drive-only models, the five-speed Tiptronic automatics made way for a smooth and frugal CVT Multitronic transmission in the 2.4 and 3.0 V6 cars.
In March 2004 the C5 models all gained extra equipment to see the models through to the arrival of the all-new C6 in late 2004.
But this was not before the ultimate expression of the series was unleashed on the local market, the barnstorming RS6 quattro sedan and Avant wagon, featuring a 331kW and 560Nm output maximum.
Audi also launched an Allroad version of the A6 wagon. The Allroad was an interesting failure, because even though the 4WD didn't lure enough buyers due to its diminutive proportions, it did prise open a niche for buyers needing some off-road ability but without the SUV bulk.