Audi dropped the covers on its new A6 last year, but we've been patiently waiting for the return of the Allroad. The wait is now over, as Ingolstadt's answer to the crossover craze is literally rising above the crowd with extra ground clearance and bit more gruff to its exterior. There's also some off-road tech inside, and to further celebrate the occasion, Audi will offer up a special "20 years allroad" edition to honor the introduction of this model back in 1999. There is some bad news for those seeking an A6 Allroad in North America, however. This gem will remain a product exclusive to the European theater. For now, anyway.
The crux of the new Allroad is, naturally, its underpinnings. The wagon sits 1.8 inches (45 millimeters) higher than the normal A6 Avant, offering 5.5 inches (139 mm) of ground clearance for easier access down the roads less traveled. It utilizes a standard-issue adaptive air suspension tuned specifically for the Allroad, allowing the ride height to be adjusted up or down should your backcountry travels lead you to twisty tarmac. The ride height can also be dialed in to raise and lower depending on speed.
Working with the Allroad's underpinnings are tech features inside normally associated with dedicated off-roaders. The A6 offers hill descent control and tilt angle assist for more difficult terrain, with speed control that keeps velocity under 30 km/h (18.6 mph) or less if the driver wishes. This is in addition to other assists such as independent four-wheel braking, which can help keep the wagon pointed in the direction you want while trying to slow your descent on slippery slopes.
Power comes via three different tunings of Audi's 3.0-liter TDI V6. Base models offer 228 horsepower (170 kW) with 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque, while the midrange Quattro 50 TDI delivers 282 hp (210 kW) and 457 lb-ft (620 Nm) of twist. The range-topping Quattro 55 TDI packs 349 hp (257 kW) and a stump-pulling 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque, which Audi says is also enough to shoot the big A6 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.2 seconds. All Audi A6 Allroad models feature mild hybrid tech and shift gears with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission.
It won't be hard to identify the Allroad from the outside. Aside from the increased ride height, the A6 Allroad wears a unique grille and gray trim around its fender flares at all four corners, not to mention a prominent roof rack. An optional aluminum exterior package or black styling package adds further distinctiveness to the Allroad line.
The 2020 Audi A6 Allroad will go on sale in European markets this month, with a starting price of €61,500.