Audi's bold moves set 2012 A6 sedan apart from competitors


In order to stand out, Audi's offering some new technologies to make the car more efficient. Luxury buyers want lots of features and cars seem to keep getting heavier.

The new A6 is actually a bit lighter than the car it replaces thanks to, among other things, extensive use of aluminum in the body.

"It's very important to stop this downward spiral of heavier and heavier cars that keep coming because we want them to be bigger and more comfortable, have more luxury in them, but they need to be more efficient also," said Anthony Faulk of Audi of America.

That also means the latest technology under the hood, an optional supercharged V-6 with direct injection. It's V-8 power with better fuel economy.

The A6 competes in the luxury sedan category where technology often plays an important part is people's decision on which car to buy. The A6 one-ups its competitors with new features that include a Google Earth navigation system. Instead of just a graphic, you get actual satellite photos.

The car also becomes a Wi-Fi hot spot so passengers can get the Internet on things like iPads or laptops, but not the driver.

There's not just a general browser in the head unit, this is Internet that enhances your driving experience not gives you something else to do besides drive," Faulk said.

Audi has been making bold moves. Another car they launched this year is the A7 with an unusual feature: a hatch at the rear. There's lots of cargo space and it too has the option of the Google navigation system.

Audi will just have to get Americans used to the idea of a luxury hatchback. So far, it's a bit of any oxymoron in the U.S.

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