At long last, Audi has revealed its answer to the X213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain, and that is the new A6 allroad quattro. The A6 allroad continues a tradition that spans over 20 years, with this being the fourth generation model.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room. The A6 allroad quattro rides up to 45 mm taller than the A6 Avant, with the default ground clearance being at 139 mm. This, according to the automaker, highlights its off-road qualities.

It’s equipped with adaptive air suspension with controlled damping that’s been tuned specifically to boost its off-road capabilities. Ride height can automatically be adjusted depending on driving speed. When the highest ride height (lift mode) is selected, the body is raised by 45 mm, although top speed in this mode is capped at 35 km/h. Drive any faster and the ride is lowered by 15 mm.

In off-road mode, the ride height is locked in at 169 mm (+30 mm over standard ride height), which covers speeds of up to 80 km/h. Besides the specially adapted suspension, the A6 allroad features hill descent control and tilt angle assist as standard. The former limits descent speed to 30 km/h, whereas the latter provides visual warning to the driver when the risk of tipping over is detected.

A special ABS programme is included to aid braking when traversing loose surfaces. In off-road mode, all the relevant dynamic handling systems and stabilisation controls – which have been specially programmed – work in tandem to deliver the best possible traction and performance.

Speaking of performance, in Europe, the A6 allroad quattro is powered by the 3.0 litre V6 TDI engine that’s available in three states of tune. The entry-level 45 TDI produces 231 PS from 1,750 to 3,250 rpm and 500 Nm of torque, sufficient for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h. Average fuel consumption is rated at 5.8 litres per 100 km (based on WLTP protocols).

In the A6 allroad quattro 50 TDI, the engine produces 286 PS and 620 Nm of torque between 2,250 and 3,000 rpm. The century sprint is done in 5.9 seconds, while the fuel consumption is between 5.9 litres to 5.8 litres per 100 km. The top-of-the-line engine 55 TDI unit generates 349 PS and 700 Nm of torque from 2,500 to 3,100 rpm. The 0 to 100 km/h sprint is done in 5.2 seconds and consumes an average of 6.5 litres of fuel per 100 km. Towing capacity is rated up to 2.5 tonnes.

All three TDI engines come standard with Audi’s 48-volt mild hybrid electrical system. In the real world, Audi says the system reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.4 litres per 100 km. The system incorporates a belt alternator starter (BAS) as the central MHEV component, which helps recover up to 8 kW of power during braking and feeds the electricity into a 10 Ah lithium-ion battery. As usual, Audi cars with MHEV tech can coast with the engine off.

An eight-speed tiptronic automatic is the gearbox of choice, with wheel-selective torque control to complement the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. As an option, the sport differential distributes the power infinitely variably between the rear wheels – this active torque vectoring provides the ultimate boost in terms of dynamic handling and traction.

For design, the A6 allroad quattro gets special exterior attachments to visually separate it from the A6 Avant. This includes a Singleframe grille with vertical aluminium struts, aluminium blade and underbody protection, allroad-specific roof rails mounted on bars and the window slot trims, as well as aluminium diffuser trim and tailgate garnish (available in black too).

Of course, the biggest difference is the wheel arch trims which are finished in contrasting scandium gray as standard. However, these can be painted in body colour or in gloss black for a small fee. The contrasting sill trims on the sides also come with allroad logos. Wheel sizes range from the standard 18-inch to 21-inch items, the latter plucked from the Audi Sport range.

Other optional extras include aluminium exterior pack and black styling package with dark attachments and trim strips. There are 11 paint colours to choose from, including the special Gavial Green, which takes its cue from the specific colour of the first model in 1999.

Inside, the cabin comes in three colours – Black, Pearl Beige and Okapi Brown. As standard, the seats are upholstered in black cloth and partial leather. Alternatively, customers can opt for the perforated Valcona leather as well. The standard graphite grey inlays on the regular A6 have been swapped out for two wood variants and one in aluminium. Again, the cabin can be further customised, especially with Alcantara/leather sport seats and birch wood inlays that match the exterior paint.

Otherwise, the cabin is pretty much a carbon copy of the regular A6. The driver gets the familiar 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit, while the centre dash gets a 10.1-inch infotainment screen up top, as well as a smaller 8.6-inch display below for climate control, comfort functions and text input. Audi MMI navigation plus with LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as head-up display are available, too.

Finally, there’s Audi connect online services, myAudi app (with NFC to unlock and/or start the car), the 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, and a range of driver assist systems. This includes efficiency assist, adaptive cruise assist, emergency assist, intersection assist and exit warning.

To coincide with the launch of the new A6 allroad quattro, Audi is launching the “20 years allroad” edition model. There are three paint colours available – Gavial Green, Glacier White and Soho Brown. The Audi rings and exterior mirror housings are finished in gloss black, and it sits on exclusive 19-inch wheels. Black sport seats with leather/Alcantara upholstery is standard, as are aluminium inlays and illuminated door sills. Prices start from 61,500 euros (RM290k) in Germany.