LAUNCH

The Audi A6 C5 rolled off the assembly line as a sedan from April 1997. The public premiere took place formally at the Geneva Motor Show in 1997. The station wagon (Avant) was introduced later in March 1998. From mid-1999, the sporty S6 variant was offered as a sedan and avant with a performance-enhanced eight-cylinder. From mid-2002 Audi released the sporty RS6 version based on the C5.

In October 1999, the C5 was the first Audi vehicle to receive the Multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission.

In addition, to the manual transmission and the Tiptronic automatic transmission, the Multitronic could be ordered as a third transmission option with selected engines. While the front end of the previous model A6 C4 was technically based on that of the Audi 100 C2 from 1976, the new multi-link front axle design introduced in 1994 in the Audi A4 and Audi A8 and two years later in the VW Passat 3B was used in the A6 C5.

A variant for off-road use was presented in mid-2000 based on the Avant. Thanks to variable air suspension for increased ground clearance, special terrain reduction and reinforced body areas, the Allroad quattro made it possible to use it off-road.

The vehicle design was created by Claus Potthoff.

A6 V8 & TURBO MODELS

In April 1999, the V8 engine was launched on the A6 C5. Since the S6 C4 with the 4.2-liter unit was only produced until October 1997, no V8 engine was available for the upper middle class from Audi for the period up to the market launch of the A6 C5 4.2. A special feature of this model was the modified body, which later formed the basis for the S6 and RS6.

To emphasize the performance of the model, the A6 4.2 was given a different “face”. For the first time, the air inlet below the front bumper was integrated into the design with a chrome frame, which later gradually led to the “single-frame grille” on all Audi models.

Audi issued a technical data in advance during February 1999, which listed another V8 engine. It was the 3.7-liter unit with 191 kW that comes from the Audi A8 D2. It is believed that there were only a very small number of this vehicle produced. A special feature according to the technical data is an available front-wheel drive.

Due to the differently designed, shortened front end compared to the predecessor and successor models, the five-cylinder in-line engines familiar from the predecessor series C2, C3 and C4 no longer fit into the engine compartment. This was the first time that a turbo engine with five cylinders was no longer offered in the Audi A6 C5. Instead there was a V6 turbo gasoline engine with a displacement of 2.7 liters. This engine could be combined with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (“Quattro”).

Facelift

In May 2001 a facelift was introduced. The facelift included: changes to the engine range and the chassis, noise insulation and body rigidity have been improved, and the appearance has been slightly revised.

The most noticeable changes were:

  • Visible tailpipes;
  • Side indicators in clear glass;
  • Clear glass reversing tail-lights;
  • Projector headlights now with 3.5 “lenses and bi-xenon headlights with dynamic luminaire width regulation”;
  • License plate frame on the boot door in glossy black;
  • Revised colour coded bumpers;
  • Revised grille and modified grille surround in the bonnet;
  • Exterior mirrors on the passenger side in the same size as the one on the driver’s side;
  • Changed instrument cluster with chrome surround and LED lighting changed from red to white
  • Interior with soft lacquer coating;
  • Introduction of the CAN bus;
  • Revised engine range;
  • Improved exhaust gas values;
  • From mid-2002 Audi released the RS6 version based on the C5;

In April 2004 the A6 C5 sedan was replaced by a completely newly developed successor the Audi A6 C6 sedan. The Avant continued to be manufactured until March 2005 when the Audi A6 C6 Avant was introduced.

AUDI A6 C5 REVIEW

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

ENGINES FROM 1997-2001

Model Fuel Cylinders / Valves Displacement in cm³ max. Power max. Torque Engine Code Acceleration, 0–100 km/h Maximum Speed Date
1.8 Petrol 4/20 1781 92 kW (125 PS) at 5800 min−1 168 Nm at 3500 min−1 AJP, AQE, ARH 11,3 s 203 km/h 12/1997–04/2001
1.8 T 4/20 1781 110 kW (150 PS) at 5700 min−1 210 Nm at 1750–4600 min−1 AEB, APU, ANB, AWT, ARK 9,4 s 217 km/h 04/1997–05/2001
1.8 T 4/20 1781 132 kW (180 PS) at 6000 min−1 235 Nm at 2000–4600 min−1 AJL 11/1997–10/2000
2.4 6/30 2393 100 kW (136 PS) at 5750 min−1 230 Nm at 3200 min−1 ALW, ARN, ASM 08/1997–05/2001
2.4 6/30 2393 120 kW (163 PS) at 6000 min−1 230 Nm at 3200 min−1 APZ, AMM, AJG 9,1 s 222 km/h 11/1998–05/2001
2.4 6/30 2393 121 kW (165 PS) at 6000 min−1 230 Nm at 3200 min−1 AGA, APS, AML, ALF, ARJ 9,1 s 222 km/h 04/1997–05/2001
2.7 T 6/30 2671 169 kW (230 PS) at 5800 min−1 310 Nm at 1700–4600 min−1 AJK, AZA 7,3 s 245 km/h 02/1999–05/2001
2.7 T 6/30 2671 184 kW (250 PS) at 5800 min−1 350 Nm at 1800–4500 min−1 ARE 6,8 s 248 km/h 05/2000–05/2001
2.8 6/30 2771 142 kW (193 PS) at 6000 min−1 280 Nm at 3200 min−1 ACK, APR, AMX, AQD, ALG 8,1 s 236 km/h 04/1997–05/2001
4.2 8/40 4172 220 kW (299 PS) at 6200 min−1 400 Nm at 3000–4000 min−1 ARS, ASG 6,9 s 250 km/h 04/1999–05/2001
S6 8/40 4172 250 kW (340 PS) at 7000 min−1 420 Nm at 3400 min−1 AQJ, ANK 5,7 s 250 km/h 09/1999–05/2001
1.9 TDI (VEP) Diesel 4/8 1896 81 kW (110 PS) at 4150 min−1 235 Nm at 1900 min−1 AFN, AVG 12,3 s 194 km/h 04/1997–04/2001
1.9 TDI (PD) 4/8 1896 85 kW (115 PS) at 4000 min−1 285 Nm at 1900 min−1 AJM 11,6 s 196 km/h 01/1998–04/2001
2.5 TDI (VEP) 6/24 2496 110 kW (150 PS) at 4000 min−1 310 Nm at 1500–3200 min−1 AFB, AKN 9,7 s 218 km/h 04/1997–05/2001
2.5 TDI (VEP) 6/24 2496 132 kW (180 PS) at 4000 min−1 370 Nm at 1500–2500 min−1 AKE 8,9 s 221 km/h 11/1999–05/2001

ENGINES FROM 2001-2005

Model Fuel Cylinders / Valves Displacement in cm³ max. Power max. Torque Engine Code Acceleration, 0–100 km/h Maximum speed Date
1.8 T Petrol 4/20 1781 110 kW (150 PS) at 5700 min−1 210 Nm at 1750–4600 min−1 AWT 9,4 s 217 km/h 06/2001–01/2005
2.0 4/20 1984 96 kW (130 PS) at 5700 min−1 195 Nm at 3300 min−1 ALT 10,5 s 205 km/h 06/2001–01/2005
2.4 6/30 2393 100 kW (136 PS) at 5750 min−1 230 Nm at 3200 min−1 ASM 06/2001–01/2005
2.4 6/30 2393 125 kW (170 PS) at 6000 min−1 230 Nm at 3200 min−1 BDV 9,3 s 224 km/h 06/2001–01/2005
2.7 T 6/30 2671 184 kW (250 PS) at 5800 min−1 350 Nm at 1800–4500 min−1 ARE, BES 6,8 s 248 km/h 06/2001–08/2005
3.0 6/30 2976 162 kW (220 PS) at 6300 min−1 300 Nm at 3200 min−1 ASN 7,5 s 243 km/h 06/2001–01/2005
4.2 8/40 4172 220 kW (300 PS) at 6200 min−1 400 Nm at 3000–4000 min−1 ARS, ASG, BAS 6,9 s 250 km/h 06/2001–08/2005
S6 8/40 4172 250 kW (340 PS) at 7000 min−1 420 Nm at 3400 min−1 ANK 5,7 s 250 km/h 06/2001–01/2005
RS6 8/40 4172 331 kW (450 PS) at 5700–6400 min−1 560 Nm at 1950–5500 min−1 BCY 4,9 s 270 km/h 07/2002–09/2004
RS6 plus 8/40 4172 353 kW (480 PS) at 6000–6400 min−1 560 Nm at 1950–6000 min−1 BRV 4,5 s 280 km/h 04/2004–09/2004
1.9 TDI (PD) Diesel­ 4/8 1896 96 kW (130 PS) at 4000 min−1 285 Nm at 1750–2500 min−1 AWX 10,5 s 203 km/h 06/2001–01/2005
1.9 TDI (PD) 4/8 1896 96 kW (130 PS) at 4000 min−1 310 Nm at 1900 min−1 AVF 10,5 s 203 km/h 06/2001–01/2005
2.5 TDI (VEP) 6/24 2496 114 kW (155 PS) at 4000 min−1 310 Nm at 1400–3500 min−1 AYM 9,7 s 219 km/h 06/2001–06/2002
2.5 TDI (VEP) 6/24 2496 120 kW (163 PS) at 4000 min−1 310 Nm at 1400–3600 min−1 BFC, BCZ, BDG 9,3 s 222 km/h 07/2002–11/2004
2.5 TDI (VEP) 6/24 2496 132 kW (180 PS) at 4000 min−1 370 Nm at 1500–2500 min−1 AKE, BDH, BAU 8,9 s 223 km/h 06/2001–08/2005

AUDI A6 C5 CRASH TEST

NCAP 3 STAR RATING