2012 Audi A6: Mobile Office Solutions

2012 Audi A6

During a recent week-long stay with the Audi brand, there were so many opportune and pivotal moments experienced with the all-new seventh generation A6, that I had to utilize my iPhone’s video function to re-capture reality in order to enhance this article with exactness and precision.  Yes, of course the presumptuous technologies and features in this mid-size luxury sedan were quite impressive and just a little mind-boggling to fellow passengers. Think about it though, what team to do you want to be on when the buzzer sounds – the assimilators or the innovators?

We first experienced the driving pleasures of the 2012 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro Auto Tiptronic in Sicily, Italy earlier this spring. Its 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 310 horsepower is efficient, fun and dynamic. Incorporate Audi’s rear-biased quattro permanent AWD drive system and an 8-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, which uses paddles that allow drivers to control the A6’s power band, and you have a vehicle that is poised to satisfy an owner’s mileage expectations (19-mpg city / 28-mpg hwy), the challenges of increment weather driving, and the gratifications of a smooth and intelligent package. Moreover, advanced safety enhancements such as Audi pre sense plus; Audi side assist; Audi adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go; and Night vision assistant with pedestrian highlighting will leave traditionalists pondering their contrarian impulses and wondering when they should jump ship. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have protracted their position in the segment, enamoring U.S. auto patrons with style, technology, innovation and performance. Previously it was arduous to deny them. With successive improvements in every category of automotive engineering, it’s quite difficult to now ignore “Truth in Engineering” aka Audi.

2012 Audi A6Though the aforementioned German compatriots have auto enthusiasts hypnotized with their progressive silhouettes — a category where Audi sedans have fallen a bit short — there is a very distinct outlook when you compare interiors and connectivity. And, lets not forget the many benefits of quattro, which comes pretty much standard in the majority of Audi’s lineup. Oh, and there’s Audi’s panther-like full LED headlights and massive, domineering grilles to leave you itching for more. Any rearview mirror will showcase a predator in the rear when an Audi vehicle approaches. They just need greater emotional side and rear profiles.

People want connectivity wherever their path guides them. Let’s use myself as an example. At my house and home office we have a high-speed fiber-optic network for everyone’s computers, the girl’s iPads and of course their favorite, Apple TV. On the go, I’m either in Panera Bread using their free network or utilizing Verizon’s 4G Mifi when I remember to charge it. Since all of my reading, research, news, updates and social media come from the Internet, I have to be connected. So, why wouldn’t I want that on the road in my vehicle, where a majority of my time is consumed both with personal and work related activities and issues? Audi Connect has solved that problem! Now don’t get me wrong — Audi is not the first automaker to incorporate Internet in their vehicles — but they are the first to do it properly, and with luxury amenities included.

I’ve always been a fan of rotary dialed multi-media systems such as BMW’s iDrive, which has now been supplanted by Audi navigation plus with MMI touch. It’s easy to scroll, and prevents the driver from leaning forward to operate touch screen applications. To begin, my vehicle was enhanced with the Prestige package which offered the 8” NVIDIA 3D graphics display, Google Earth navigation, dual SD card slots, a 60 gig hard drive for storing data and much more. The base system comes with a 6.5” screen. Upon start-up of the ignition the display emerges from the dash. From there you become embroiled with its exorbitantly multitude of connectivity features.

2012 Audi A6My first experience with the U.S. version of the system was from the backseat (amazing leg-room by the way) of our $60,130 ($49,900 MSRP) A6 with my wife. That evening we had a driver escort us home from dinner. So we both pulled out our iPads and completed some personal family tasks like the annual summer vacation planning. Audi Connect uses T-Mobile’s network to allow the vehicle to link up to eight different devices to the Internet. Now fully engaged, I opened the Skype app and made a few international calls. The next day I decided to exploit my time with the vehicle and position the A6 as a mobile office. Using Bluetooth to pair my iPhone I first set the mood with healing music from Pandora. Next I opened my MacBook Air and began filing my story and exchanged emails with co-workers. A 14-speaker Bose surround sound system with 630 watts was packaged in my vehicle, however, I much prefer the superiority of the optionally available 1300-watt Bang & Olufsen system with its embedded tweeters that rise from the dash when the car is started. Nevertheless, I could listen to my phone’s voice notes and video audio. I even let the kids experience the extended sound while they watched Rio on the way to summer camp.

Locating destinations can be no more joyous. Many navigation systems have beleaguering minds of their own. Not Audi’s navigation plus though, with MMI touch. The automaker has partnered with Google, which has incorporated Google Earth into the 3D display allowing you to zero in on exact destination inputs. If you request more info on your desired destination, Google will bring up pictures and more defined locale descriptions just as if you were surfing from a computer. Real time weather, traffic, fuel prices, news and more are additional conveniences.

There is much more to expound upon regarding Audi’s connectivity capabilities. Will the average consumer be overwhelmed by all of their advanced technology? It’s a fallacy to believe so, as this phenomenon has become the standard expectation from savvy and technologically competent consumers. Audi seems logically perched in the perfect driving position. Perhaps you should experience Audi’s connective wonders for yourself!

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