For 2005, the Audi A6 undergoes a complete redesign. At first it just looks like the massive new corporate nose has been added, but it’s much more than that, with all-new styling, new mechanicals, and numerous technologies that the company is showcasing in its midsize sedan.

Audi has hinted that more engine choices will follow, but for now, the A6 comes with a 255 hp, 3.2-litre V6 or a 335 hp 4.2-litre V8. The V8 initially appeared in the S4 and has been retuned for the A6.

The new V6 is the first application of Audi’s Fuel Straight Injection (FSI) technology in North America. Fuel is injected directly into the intake port, rather than the combustion chamber, through an injector on the side of the cylinder head that’s fed by a single-piston pump and common rail fuel line. The system delivers higher torque and power output with lower fuel consumption.

Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and Audi’s famous Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive.

Torsional stiffness is improved by more than 34 per cent over the 2004 model, for reduced vibration. A four-link front suspension is mated to a self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension from the A8.

Among the techno-goodies are MMI (Multi Media Interface), a computerized system controller that is similar to BMW’s iDrive but slightly less annoying; electromechanical parking brake; a proximity sensor that unlocks the doors and allows for keyless starting; Bluetooth interface for mobile telephones, which can be operated through the MMI or the multifunction steering wheel; bi-xenon adaptive cornering headlamps (standard on the 4.2); light and rain sensor; and residual heat function, which blows warm air into the cabin after the car is turned off. It’s a nice feature when you’re waiting for someone in cold weather and don’t want to leave the engine idling.

Other standard features on the 3.2 include 16-inch, seven-spoke alloy wheels, heated washer nozzles, front and rear fog lights, puddle lights in all four doors, red ambient LED lighting for the front centre console, 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats, leather interior, and leather-wrapped shifter knob.

The 4.2 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable steering column, auto-dimming exterior mirrors with memory, integrated garage door opener, premium Volterra full leather upholstery, genuine wood inlays, auto-dimming interior mirror and rear luggage cover.

The A6 is built in Neckarsulm, Germany.

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