FrontRunners: Avant Garde

Even amid the parade of motorized exotica at this summer’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the new Audi A6 Avant (www.audiusa.com) attracted its share of onlookers. The wagon, which Audi showcased at the August event, sports the sleek lines and single-frame grille common to all new Audi front ends. This visual bravado is reinforced by a high-revving, direct-injection, 3.2-liter V-6 that apportions 255 hp to all four wheels via a 6-speed Tiptronic transmission. On a jaunt down Highway 1 to Big Sur, the car accelerated through the passing zones as smoothly as its adaptive air suspension handled bumps in the winding road. But the true merit of the A6 Avant is found in its interior: The Multi Media Interface menu activates an overwhelming number of computerized systems, and with its cavernous backseat, the A6 Avant is easy on the legs as well as the eyes.

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