OK, we spend most of the time here oogling exotic machinery, discussing the merits of slick tires and track pads, data gathering systems and other tracktard delights . However at least some of us need to consider the practical side of things, like daily transportation, hauling kids and dogs and the astounding amount of "stuff" that always seems to need moving from one place to the next.
For the past six years, that mission has been admirably carried out by a 2002 Audi S6. The Battleship as it was known was a great car for us. In 2002, with its 340 hp, it was the most powerful station wagon available for sale in the US. It was priced competitively with the 290 hp BMW 540 T, a car that I had also considered at the time. The Audi was larger, more powerful and frankly a better deal.
The S6 certainly hauled and it has been reasonably trouble free for the 94000 miles I put on it. The biggest fault with the car was that while its stiff suspension is probably great for taking wide autobahn sweepers at 120 mph, it was not the best tuning for the nasty, potholed streets of NYC. This eventually led to the quite common (for Audi) need to replace some of the suspension components as the car reached the 70000 mile mark. Also, CV joint rubber boots were strangely fragile, needing to be replaced a number of times.
It is quite a cool car, that generation A6 has one of the best "old school" car interiors, lots of room and unstoppable in the snow.
But at 94000 miles it is time so, the the hunt for a replacement is on!
Here are the requirements in no particular order:
-It needs to be able to carry two small children, a large Weimaraner and an obese Dachshund.
-it needs to be sporty and rewarding to drive,and look nice.
-it cannot in any way shape or form resemble a van, mini or otherwise.
-it should get better gas milage than the S6 which got a very "old school" 18mpg highway /9 city if driven gingerly.
-it needs to have a certain subtle "cool" factor.
-it should have all the modern conveniences, Nav, bluetooth, ipod etc.
What do you Axis of Practical tracktards suggest?