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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Best Large Car Over $60,000 Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro, $116,500 Driveline : 3.0 litre; V6; 7 speed S-Tronic DSG Fuel economy: 6.0L/100km; diesel Safety Features: ABS, CA, DFSA, ESP, TCS ANCAP: Not Rated GVG: Naturally enough, there’s been a changing of the guard this year in some of Australia’s Best Cars 15 categories, with a number of wor thy new winners emerging. But a number of the usual suspects have r isen like cream to the top yet again. The A6 3.0 TDI Quattro, albeit a new model since 2010, is in the latter category. The new seventh-generation A6 showcases plenty of Audi’s technological innovation and engineering skills. But as their lowly pricing scores reveal they don’t come cheap, even if they aren’t the dearest in the class, and prices have risen substantially for the new model. On the plus side, as befits luxury models, the standard features and safety scores are high, with both scores equal best-in-class. Eight airbags are standard including side airbags for front and outer rear seating positions and full length curtains. For those looking for additional creature comforts and more advanced safety and driver assistance features, options are plentiful but, as is typical of the class, venturing there isn’t for the faint-hearted with some wallet-w ilting prices. Options include sports suspension, adaptive air suspension, he ad-up display, sports differential, night vision assistant (uses thermal imaging to detect and alert the driver to animals and pedestrians), advanced lighting systems, adaptive cr uise control, Bang and Olufsen 1,200 watt audio system and four-zone air conditioning. There are three engines currently in the range, but we scored the volume selling models, the 3.0 -litre TFSI petrol and the 3.0 -litre TDI turbo-diesel. The V6 petrol is now supercharged rather than turbo-fed and compared to it predecessor delivers an extra 7 kW and 20Nm. The V6 diesel is now lighter and punches out an extra 4 kW. Claimed torque is a muscular 500Nm. Both are mated to smooth, slick-shifting seven-speed dual clutch transmissions instead of the previous six- speed auto. Combined with the light-weight body structure, both engines endow the A6 with cracking performance for near best-in-class scores. Best Large Car Under $60,000 Ford FG Falcon EcoLPI XT $42,790 Driveline: 4.0 litre; 6cyl; 6 speed; Automatic Fuel economy: 12.5L/100km; LPG Safety Features: ABS, ESC,TCS, CA, DFSA ANCAP: GVG: Having your cake and eating it too has typically been a rare luxury when it comes to LPG cars. Sure, LPG is around half the cost of petrol, but this has traditionally been tempered by diminished perfor mance, efficiency, gas availability and a boot with the usable space of a shoebox. Ford’s new generation LPG Falcon, the EcoLPI, is challenging most of these old stereotypes. The way Ford has successfully made the EcoLPI perform like a petrol car while still offering the advantages of LPG has contributed strongly to its victor y in the large cars under $60,000 category of Australia’s Best Cars. In considering the Falcon EcoLPI, the majority opinion of the judges was that Ford’s efforts in producing an LPG Falcon that was as good to drive, if not better than a comparable petrol Falcon deser ved recognition. One of the key advantages of the EcoLPI is its liquid phase LPG injection system, which was a major step forward from the ventur i-style vapour system used on the previous E-Gas Falcons. According to Ford, traditional vapour LPG systems turn liquefied gas into vapour form before feeding it into the engine via a venturi in the throttle body. In the EcoLPI Falcon, the liquid phase injection system takes the LPG in liquid state all the way to the injectors. Ford says this means the LPG can be injected into the intake ports in a more precise and controlled manner, which delivers better fuel economy, reduced CO2 emissions and greater engine performance. Like the petrol Falcon, the EcoLPI utilises Ford ’s tried and true 4.0 -litre in-line six-cylinder engine. What will surprise some is that the LPG-fed power plant has slightly more power and torque than the petrol version. Australia’s Best Cars December 2011 / January 2012 53
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012