With this, Audi really entered the premium class

With this, Audi really entered the premium class

Frank Wilksen is a veteran of Broom’s editorial board. He has worked as an automotive journalist for over 55 years and tested a large number of cars both at home and abroad.

Some cars remember it better than others. Frank now shares the memories with all of his Broom readers. This time it comes to the 1997 version of the Audi A6 – the model that seriously positioned Audi as a full-fledged competitor to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Although I thought my first generation Audi 100 Avant, the GL 5E, from 1980 was a great car, I have to agree with those who claim that the car that really put Audi at the top of the premium class was the A6.

Then I’m not talking about the latest generation of the Audi 100, which in the last years of its existence was renamed the A6 for practical and market reasons. The name change was dictated by the desire to harmonize the model designations, because Audi already had the A4 and A8. With that, the 100 series suddenly became called the A6 from 1994 to 1997. In addition to the name change itself, most cosmetic changes were made, and what usually comes with a “facelift.”

This is how the new generation A6 was presented to the press by Harald A. Møller in 1997. Photo: Møllerarkivet

significantly larger

In 1997, a new large family car called the A6 appeared. And now something really happened. The wheelbase has been increased by 7 centimeters and the width by 3 centimeters, while the length has not changed almost, just over a centimeter. The car also became taller – the height of the sedan was a few centimeters, while the Avant model “grew” in height by a full five centimeters.

The result was a car that became noticeably larger. Not least, the increased wheelbase did a lot for the space in the back seat. The design has become more rounded in shape, which is the most obvious confirmation that this was a new car – although it still had the designation A6.

Also from the rear, the car showed itself in terms of design.  Photo: AUDI AG

Also from the rear, the car showed itself in terms of design. Photo: AUDI AG

Front wheel drive – or quattro

Inside and out, the car gave off a much more powerful feel than the outgoing model, and from day one it positioned itself as a natural – and attractive – alternative to both the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The new driving environment was impressive, and it also largely made the overall impression of the interior. Elegantly executed with beautiful details.

Externally, the changes were relatively small from its predecessor. There were new headlights and taillights, a new grille, and corresponding changes to the chassis, engine and gear options.

All generations of the Audi A6 were delivered with front-wheel drive or with the Audi quattro all-wheel drive system. The car has also been the basis for Allroad models since 1999.

The 100 is considered one of the most important Audi cars of all time.

good performance

Like its main competitors, Audi also offered several types of engines, both petrol and diesel. This was also the case with the important 1997 generation. Here, the engine list contains a large number of gasoline and diesel versions.

The smallest petrol engine was a 1.8-liter turbo with 150 horsepower, but many opted for a 2.4-liter, 2.7- or 2.8-liter V6. The largest engine available was a 4.2-liter V8. They were delivered with a maximum power of 300 hp, while the power of the V6 engines was from 165 to 193 hp.

Whatever you choose, you will get good benefits from your purchase. All engines, even the smallest turbo, were agile and accelerating. Even with the 1.8 liter, the A6 ditched 0-100 in 9.5 seconds, and was good for a top speed of about 220 km/h. With a 2.8-liter V6, acceleration decreased from 0 to 100 to 7.9 seconds, while the top speed increased to almost 240 km / h.

Driver's seat with good luxury opportunities... Photo: Audi

Driver’s seat with good luxury opportunities… Photo: Audi

fast diesel engines

Audi was (and it is!) smart cars, but it had to compete at the level that Audi wanted. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz also had an incredible amount of gunpowder in their model programs at the time, regardless of whether it was a 5 Series or an E-Class!

The range of diesel engines for the A6 in 1997 was limited to two engines – a 1.9-liter TDI with 110 hp, and a 2.5-liter TDI with 150 hp. Diesel engines were also resilient, and were seen as fast and efficient for their time. Even the smallest had a top speed of 200 km/h and ditched 0-100 km/h in just over 12 seconds, while the larger V6 engine was good for a top speed of 222 km/h and went from 0 to 100 km/h in less From a little 9 seconds ago, which wasn’t a daily diet at all in the late ’90s!

The Avant station wagon model had the look, too.  Photo: Audi

The Avant station wagon model had the look, too. Photo: Audi

Automatic transmission was expensive

There were also many types of payment systems to choose from. Perhaps the most preferred was the five-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, but there were still very few who preferred the manual – 5- or 6-speed. Of course, this choice was also about money, because the additional cost of the automatic transmission price was still very high at this time. Audi wasn’t affordable cars in the first place…

The 3.0-liter V6 was a dream engine for many.  Photo: Audi

The 3.0-liter V6 was a dream engine for many. Photo: Audi

Audi A6 Avant 1.8L quattro 1997 – some numbers:

Engine: 4 cylinder, 1.8 liter, 150 hp. The maximum torque is 210 Nm at 1750-4600 rpm.

Driving: all-wheel drive – choice between manual transmission or tiptronic automatic transmission.

L x W x H: 4.80 x 1.81 x 1.48 m

Wheelbase: 2.76 m

Net weight: 1,355 kg

Allowed gross weight: 1,905 kg

Trailer weight with brake: 1300 kg

Luggage compartment: 551 liters

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h: 9.4 seconds

Maximum speed 217 km/h

Fuel consumption, mixed driving: 0.81 l / ml.

Once upon a time, this brand was small and strange

Still available at Finn

The 1997 generation Audi A6 is still for sale in Finn. At the time of writing, I saw, among other things, a sedan with a 1.8-liter gasoline engine being offered as a repair object for 8000 kroner after throwing away 210,000 km.

The 1997 quattro Avant 2.8 quattro with 174 hp, sport seats and manual transmission is on sale for 110,000 kroner – but after that it has gone no more than 119,000 kilometers, so there should be plenty of cars left. Otherwise, the car looks very well equipped, is EU approved until 2024 and has almost new unproven winter tires – one owner.

Two 1998 models also appeared – both with a length of 230,000 km, and prices from 35,000 to 45,000 crowns.

1983 Audi 100 – the car that made aerodynamics exciting

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