The big news for the Audi A6 is the return of an S6 model, which uses the same V10 engine as the S8.

On A6 sedan models, the available 4.2-litre V8 now has FSI direct-injection gasoline technology, which raises horsepower levels over the 2006 version.

On A6 models, the S Line package is now available on the Avant (station wagon). Other changes include a trip computer and driver information centre as standard equipment and a new cupholder, metallic trim instrument cluster, smaller satellite radio antenna, as well as a new overhead centre console borrowed from the Q7. The CD player gains MP3 capability; headlight washers are added to the Cold Weather Package; a premium leather dashboard is now a stand-alone option on the 4.2; and a 19-inch, 20-spoke wheel is available as an upgrade on the S Line package.

Exterior colour changes are Quartz Gray Metallic instead of Atlas Gray Metallic; Ibis White replaces Arctic White; Phantom Black Pearl Effect is now available; Daytona Gray Pearl Effect is available with the S Line; and inside, Cardamom Beige replaces Beige.

The A6 is available as a four-door sedan with a 3.2-litre V6 or 4.2-litre V8; the Avant wagon is 3.2-litre V6 only. All use a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. While a 3.2-litre front-wheel drive sedan is available in the U.S. market, all Canadian A6 models use Quattro all-wheel drive.

The S6 sedan uses a 5.2-litre V10 with FSI direct fuel injection technology, a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual mode and wheel-mounted paddles, sport suspension, and Quattro all-wheel drive with a 40/60 torque split.

Features on the A6 3.2 include 17-inch alloy wheels, curtain airbags, 12-way power-adjustable heated leather front seats, trunk-mounted 12-volt power outlet, LED taillights, front and rear fog lights, dual-zone climate control, glovebox-mounted six-CD changer with ten speakers, cruise control, power child safety rear door locks, anti-theft alarm system, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, leather-wrapped four-spoke multifunction wheel, and Bluetooth phone preparation.

The 4.2 sedan adds bi-Xenon self-levelling adaptive lights, premium leather upholstery, Bose premium sound system, sun blinds, power sunroof, auto-dimming exterior and interior mirrors, garage door opener, and electric tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with automatic entry feature.

The 3.2 Avant has the same features as the 3.2 sedan, plus power sunroof, split folding rear seat, and roof rails.

Features on the S6 include 18-inch alloy wheels, side and curtain airbags, power-adjustable steering column, S6-specific grille, bumpers and wheel flares, black-painted calipers, power sunroof, bi-Xenon headlamps with adaptive lighting, front and rear fog lights, automatic climate control, leather heated sport seats with memory, auto-dimming power-fold exterior mirrors, Birch Gray interior wood inserts, pass-through with ski sack, premium six-CD stereo with thirteen speakers, Bluetooth phone prep, rain-sensing wipers, and satellite radio preparation.

The A6 is a well-done blend of luxury and performance, a step up from the A4 but not into the A8’s ultra price-tag. The 3.2-litre does a great job of moving the A6 around, and the 4.2-litre adds even more muscle, but for the ultimate approach, look at the V10-powered S6, which gives you the S8’s power in a smaller vehicle and at less cost, although the price is still quite a jump from the A6 models. The Avant, an all-new added model in 2006, offers all of the sedan’s charms with increased cargo-carrying capability.

Connect with Autos.ca