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Revved Up: Tested: Audi A6 Avant 3.0TDI quattro SE.

Byline: Paul MYLES

QUATTRO has always spelled sport with Audi and now they've blended that sporting intent with a full-on family estate that's a diesel to boot, writes PAUL MYLES.

And while many blends can fail to promote anything but involuntary yawning, here's a car that can deliver the thrills nearly as well as delivering the shopping.

While this big motor enjoys a mammoth carrying capacity of 1,660 cubic litres with the rear seats folded, you'd better lash the goods down tight because the driver will not be able to resist throwing the Avant around the twisty stuff.

A fruity 225 horsepower turbo diesel engine will power the A6 to 60mph in just over seven seconds thanks to weight-saving aluminium wings and bonnet on the galvanised steel chassis.

And the superb quattro four-wheel drive system, tempered in the white-hot theatre of world rallying, makes this car hold on to corners like they're going out of fashion.

It came as little surprise that Audi made much of its sporting history during the launch of the Avant on the winding roads in Le Castellet near the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France.

Yet when you've had your fill of burning rubber, the Avant is as smart and civilised a mode of executive travel you can hope for.

The engine is so quiet the fuel tank flushing experts are going to have their work cut out with owners filling up with petrol instead of diesel. Elegant, practical and a hoot to drive.REVVED-UP

RATING85 Details and prices of all the Audi range are on - www.audi.co.uk

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Prices from pounds 32,310 on the road
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 8, 2005
Words:278
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