2012 Audi A6 Unwrapped

Audi’s next generation A6 has been officially unwrapped by the folks from Ingolstadt, Germany.

At first glance I see a fairly conservative makeover, drawing design cues from the recently redone big-brother A8 flagship. The front and rear fascias share a definite familial resemblance. Full LED headlamps, similar to those on the A8 will be an option, as well as a 20-inch wheel package.

Engine choices for the U.S. have yet to be announced, but I expect the main powerplant to be a supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6, with 295 hp and 325 lb-ft. A regular aspirated V6 rated at 201 hp may be available as well. Europe will have the option of three turbodiesels and an upcoming Hybrid powertrain. Will the Hybrid make it to the States? The folks at Audi are mum on this at the moment.

The interior is up to Audi’s usual high standards of design and technology with a choice of various wood veneer or metallic trims, ambient lighting, massaging seats and a top shelf audio system from Bang & Olufsen.

The target competition for the A6 will be the Mercedes E-class, BMW’s recently redone 5-series and Infinity’s M. How will it stack up to these rivals? Check back in a few months to find out…the A6 is due in U.S. showrooms mid-summer of 2011. If you appreciate understated yet sporty elegance, this may be the car for you…