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In the wake of the all-conquering Range Rover Evoque - which we made our car of 2011 - this new Audi A6 allroad quattro seems a bit beige. But it still remains an immensely usable car and one that should question our nation’s increasingly insatiable appetite for an all-singing, all-lumbering red-blooded SUV.

That penultimate suffix denotes something rather simple. It is, in a nutshell, a higher riding A6 estate. Or in Audi marketing speak, “…when the asphalt ends, it just keeps on driving”.

How? FACTS: the new A6 allroad sits six centimetres higher than the standard estate and uses adaptive air suspension, lowering and raising that smart-looking body by 15mm and 35mm respectively when required. Visual indicators come via wider, flared arches, a single-frame grille, roof rails, together with stainless steel covers protecting the front and rear underbody.

See more pics of the Audi A6 allroad

It only comes as a 3.0-litre V6; Audi is offering the petrol 310bhp V6 that hits 62mph in 5.9 seconds, and three versions of the V6 diesel, in 204bhp, 245bhp and 313bhp variants. That last unit is a twin-turbo and pushes out 479lb ft of torque, coaxing the allroad to go from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds.

As the name suggests, you get all-wheel-drive, and Audi has paired the most powerful diesel to an eight-shifter auto, the other three engines using the seven-speed S tronic ‘box.

It’ll go on sale in Germany from Spring 2012, with the entry level diesel costing €54,600 (approx £45k). Do you really need that SUV?

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