PGA Cars, Inc., the new partner of Audi in the Philippines, recently launched the 2005 A6 in casual ceremonies held at the newly renovated Audi dealership in Greenhills.

The newest version of the A6 has been highly anticipated as it is the first mainstream production Audi to display the new design evolution of the Audi brand, as well as the first Audi to display technological progression and introduce never-before-seen levels of comfort and performance within the luxury sedan segment. "This car has been extremely well received in other markets. In fact, even before its launch in Europe, some 12,000 customers had already ordered. Since then, close to 108,000 units have been sold worldwide," said Claudius Meynert, Audi Asia-Pacific director in an interview after the launch.

Indeed, based on many aspects, from awards garnered to underhood performance to interior creature comforts, the new Audi A6 is sure to break a few rules and notions within the luxury car sales/marketing arena.

Break out the chips

Much like Michael Jordan and the Boston Celtics teams of the 50s and 60s, the Audi A6 owns a lot of chips, or awards garnered. For one, the luxury sedan was awarded the inaugural title of "World Car of the Year" at this year's Canadian Auto show in Toronto, Canada from a panel of 48 judges, all distinguished motoring journalists from around the world and representing all the major automotive markets throughout the globe.

Bending but not breaking rules - outside

The new A6 is designed to veer away from conventional automotive notions in engineering, styling, comfort and luxury. For example, the new A6 will be the first of ten cars that the brand will launch in the Asia-Pacific region over the next five years.

Another example would be the new A6's striking exterior. Looking at the car from the front, the new trapezoidal single frame grille best represents Audi's new design direction. Low-slung windows and a coupe-like roofline, combined with sweeping lines that extend from the roof to the fenders, show an architecture that is typically Audi and gives the vehicle a sense of forward motion, symbolizing the potential performance under the hood of the sedan.

Low slung rear lights wrapped distinctly around the inside characterize the rear end of the car. A chromium strip visually divides the luggage compartment lid from the rear bumper in a horizontal manner while simultaneously creating a striking connection between the light units.

Adaptive xenon headlamps are standard in the new A6, it allows the driver to see upcoming bends more clearly, with the headlights following the course of the road ahead as a function of steering angle and road speed. This is a significant improvement in active safety for the driver, with the new A6 as the first in the new Audi line to offer the said technology.

Bending but not breaking rules inside

A quick look at the interior shows the sweeping changes in the A6 line. The high and wide center console, with controls and instruments located for easy reach, accentuate the sporty exterior and makes the driver feel as if he or she is "one" with the car. Inspired by the interior design of its flagship A8 sedan, the German automaker's interior designers and engineers opted for an electro-mechanical parking brake incorporated into Audi's proprietary multi-media interface (MMI) control terminal.

The MMI, located right behind the gearshift lever and integrated beneath the top dashboard cover, is right smack within direct line of sight of the one behind the wheel for quick and easy glancing every so often. Also, located within the steering column of the new A6 is Audi's Servotronic power-assisted steering, which makes parking a breeze and improves road feedback at high speeds.

The electro-mechanical parking brake within the MMI take the place of a conventional handbrake and acts as an emergency brake or drive-off assistant, making it unnecessary to release the brake manually when starting off on an incline.

Refined details have contributed immensely to making the new A6 a true full-sized luxury sedan. Vehicle acoustics were given a high priority in the development of the new sedan, with noise levels from different sound sources reduced by the fine-tuning of dynamic characteristics of the car's chassis and body. Additional sound insulation measures within the bodywork further enhances the pleasant impression of smooth, quiet motoring.

Bending but not breaking rules - safety

The safety concept of the new A6 also establishes a new benchmark. This applies not only to the occupant cell but also extends to numerous details in the design of the interior and restraint systems. For example, the new A6 is equipped with dual-stage front airbags, sideguard curtain airbags, active headrests (for driver and shotgun passenger) and a belt use reminder.

Bending but not breaking rules under the hood

To be introduced in the Philippines as A6 powerplants are 2.4L V6 (177bhp, 230Nm) and 3.2L V6 (218bhp, 290Nm) gasoline variants equipped with Multitronic continuously variable automatic transmissions.

PGA is confident that with the new A6, they will be able to get even a small piece of the luxury car segment pie. "The new Audi A6 is positioned head-on against traditional luxury car segment players. We are confident that the A6 will provide a refreshing alternative for many drivers who may no longer be content with driving the same car as many luxury car aficionados, while simultaneously expecting high standards of luxury car performance and quality," said Miguel Coyiuto, PGA Cars, Inc. president.