Audi A6 C5 is the successor of the A6 Audi A6 C4 but unlike its predecessor it had more powerful engines and a more striking design. The new C5 was designed to meet head on the leading mid-size luxury car brands, the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E Class. The new C5 had a newly Italian designed body which gave the sedan an aerodynamic shell. The new C5 now boasts of a coefficient of drag of 0.28.
The first A4 C5 was in saloon variant then the following year after its release, the Avant body became available. In the United States, the C5 was opened to the market in 1998, first in saloon and then the following year, 1999, the Avant. To comply with the North American standard, the different models were fitted with slightly protruding front and rear bumpers that are quite different from the European models. They also had child seat tethers. The North American available models are: the 2.8 liter, 30 valve V6 engine; the 2.7 liter bi-turbo V6 engine and the 4.2 liter 40 valve V8 engine. The V8 were different from the European counterpart since for the North American market, Audi change the exterior body panels by giving it more flared wheel arches, different headlamps and grille designs and larger brake. The all wheel drive quattro remained a standard even for the North American market.
In 2002, (for the North American market) the A6 C5 had a new headlight and grille design, new accessory body moldings and red to amber taillight color. New engines were also introduced to the US: the 2.0 liter powerplant engine replaced the 1.8 liter engine; the 1.9 liter TDI had an increased maximum output of 130 PS (128 hp/96 kW) and 310 Nm (229 ft/lb) and had the 6-speed gearbox; the 2.4 V6 was given additional 5 hp; the 3.0 liter engine with 220 PS (217 hp/162 kW) replaced 2.9 V6 engine; 2.7 liter turbocharged engine had an increase maximum output of 250 PS (247 hp/184 kW) and 330 Nm (243 ft/lb); and the V6 diesel engine was given increased maximum output of 163 PS (161 hp/120 kW) and 350 Nm (258 ft/lb). Then new V6 diesel engine with 180 PS (178 hp/132 kW) and 370 Nm (273 ft/lb) was also introduced to the North American market.
The Audi RS6 model was also released in the North American market. The RS6 had maximum output of 450 PS (331 kW) and 560 Nm (415 ft/lb) and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.
The C5 was replaced in 2005 by the new C6 Audi A6 C6
Competition: Mercedes-Benz E class and BMW 5 series