ROAD TEST

View from the top

The Audi A6 allroad quattro blends practicality with style and is the perfect vehicle to tackle the snowy high altitude mountain roads that lead to the modernist French ski resort of Flaine

WRITER John Silcox

PHOTOGRAPHER Christoffer Rudquist

FORTY YEARS AGO FLAINE WAS ONE OF EUROPE'S MOST FASHIONABLE RESORTS, AND NOW IT'S BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT

Exploring the French Alps can be a daunting task in winter but it's a very different experience when sitting at the helm of the Audi A6 allroad quattro Sport. Freezing temperatures, steep climbs and hairpin bends don't seem so formidable from inside the vehicle's spacious and comfortable interior. The power of the 3.0-litre diesel engine transferred to all four wheels makes you feel ready to tackle any obstacle.

Our destination is Flaine, a brutalist masterpiece of Bauhaus architecture that smashes the stereotype of chocolate-box alpine ski resorts and celebrates concrete and harsh lines in every form. Forty years ago Flaine was one of Europe's most fashionable resorts, and now it's back in the limelight after being chosen to house a new project from one of France's leading hotel companies. The Terminal Neige Le Totem hotel offers a modern twist on retro design and will appeal to a new generation of art and architecture lovers looking for an alternative winter holiday.

Exploring the French Alps can be a daunting task in winter but it's a very different experience when sitting at the helm of the Audi A6 allroad quattro Sport. Freezing temperatures, steep climbs and hairpin bends don't seem so formidable from inside the vehicle's spacious and comfortable interior. The power of the 3.0-litre diesel engine transferred to all four wheels makes you feel ready to tackle any obstacle.

Our destination is Flaine, a brutalist masterpiece of Bauhaus architecture that smashes the stereotype of chocolate-box alpine ski resorts and celebrates concrete and harsh lines in every form. Forty years ago Flaine was one of Europe's most fashionable resorts, and now it's back in the limelight after being chosen to house a new project from one of France's leading hotel companies. The Terminal Neige Le Totem hotel offers a modern twist on retro design and will appeal to a new generation of art and architecture lovers looking for an alternative winter holiday.

FORTY YEARS AGO FLAINE WAS ONE OF EUROPE'S MOST FASHIONABLE RESORTS, AND NOW IT'S BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT

AUDI A6 ALLROAD QUATTRO SPORT

Price £57,400 OTR  
Engine 3.0 BiTDI 320PS  
Transmission eight-speed tiptronic  
Drivetrain quattro all-wheel drive  
0-62mph 5.5 seconds  
Top speed 155mph (electronically limited)  
Efficiency 

43.5mpg combined*,

172g/km C02*

 

*Standard EU test figure for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. With 19-inch wheels

When more ground clearance is required to negotiate a challenging snow drift, the car's lift mode can be engaged at the push of a button, raising ride height by 10mm. Along more substantial off-road trails, the driver can even monitor the angle of the slope ahead on the MMI display.

However, the main function of the eight-inch screen in our test car is to relay a host of infotainment information – on this trip the satellite navigation 3D view has been especially useful to orientate ourselves.

Even at more than 8000ft in altitude, the car runs extremely smoothly and happily attacks the steepest climbs without straining the engine. Despite the demanding terrain, the fuel gauge remains steady confirming the car's healthy combined fuel consumption figure of 43.5mpg*, which is impressive when you consider this vehicle is capable of producing 320PS and sprinting from 0-62 in just 5.5 seconds.