Audi has released details of its redesigned A6 sedan which debuts at the Geneva motor show next month.

Obvioulsy evolved from the slippery shape of the previous model. The new car’s most distinguishing feature is an enormous grille first seen last year on the Nuvolari concept car and subsequently ‘productionised’ for the A8 W12.

At 4.92 metres long, 1.86 metres wide and 1.46 metres high, the new car is about 100mm longer, 50mm wider and the same height on a wheelbase stretched 83 millimetres to 2.84 metres. This gives extra front legroom and extra rear knee room. Front shoulder room is up 23 millimetres, with an extra 6 millimetres at the rear. The luggage capacity on both front-wheel-drive and quattro models is 546 litres.

Audi is claiming an industry world first for the combination of xenon daytime running lights and active cornering lights.

Consuming very little energy, the daytime driving lights offer the benefit of enhanced safety and visibility with virtually no additional fuel consumption and, as a result, no increase in CO2 emissions, unlike use of conventional low-beam headlights during the day.

Audi will offer three petrol and two diesel engines. The diesels are the two litre TDI and three litre V6 TDI while the base petrol motor is a 2.4-litre, 177bhp V6. A 3.2 litre FSI V6 developing 255 bhp and a 355bhp 4.2 litre V8 are also available.

Transmissions are six-speed manual or six-speed ‘Tiptronic’ automatic transmission with manual mode. There’s also a CVT ‘Multitronic’ from the old A6 updated with seven shift stages in ‘manual’ Tiptronic mode. The 4.2 petrol V8 and the 3.0 TDI diesel have Audi’s ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive as standard and it’s optional with the 3.2 FSI engine.

Despite rumours the redesigned A6 would have an all-aluminium body, the new car is constructed in steel with body torsional stiffness improved 34%. Multiple links are used for the front suspension and the rear setup is the self-tracking trapezoidal-link design from the A8. Audi will next year offer the new A6 with adaptive air suspension with air springs and adaptive damping.

Inside, Audi has adapted the A8’s MMI multi-function control system to the completely restyled A6 cabin and switched to an electromechanical parking brake.

The new A6 hits European showrooms in May.