We paid $105 to possess the decent folks of Beaver Island Boat Company to fill our 2020 Audi A6 Allroad on the ferry. This vehicle is a kind of a dream come to life.
It is a good instance of the rare European station that has made the jump out of forbidden fruit to completely comprehended and federalized automobiles for sale in U.S. dealerships. But that does not mean it will be a commodity.
This Allroad is the single wagon one of the vehicles at the hull (we are certainly not counting on the Dodge Journey).
Plus, it will be an unusual sight in the U.S. since we do not anticipate Audi will market over just a couple thousand annually. But strangely, the Allroad is a part of a fad –one with market appeal.
HIGHS: it is a wagon, sublime ride quality, claws the Allroad cosmetic.
Posh wagons in this way are experiencing a little resurgence in the USA. A number of them are festooned with pieces of plastic body cladding and adjustable-height suspensions cribbed out of SUVs, but we understand wagon aright once we see you.
However, Audi outdoes all of them, offering two dimensions of the cart (the A4 and A6) such as Volvo in addition to a high-resolution version (the 591-hp RS6 Avant) such as Mercedes and Porsche.
Beaver Island is home to approximately 600 yearlong residents. When tourism picks up in the summertime, the only time you’ll notice anything resembling a bunch is as soon as the ferry docks and lets passengers off.
Waiting to disembark, we are transfixed by the ferry employees’ choreographed motions since they unload all types of automobiles –bicycles, construction equipment, and enormous box trucks.
Eventually, our Soho Brown Allroad departs the boat, and we put out to find out what this little rock in the center of a lake has to offer you.
But few of those routes seem anything like that which we often push back home, and a number of them extend the definition of”road” For example, about the map, Gull Harbor Drive seems to be a gorgeous waterfront byway on the northwestern tip of this island.
It isn’t, as we figure out when we press beyond”Road Closed” signs to understand that this narrow dirt route fades to the lake’s crystal-clear water.
We head toward the opposite end of the island King’s Highway–among the few paved streets –and struck dirt as we start along East Side Drive.
We pick the automobile’s Allroad driving manner, which increases the body 1.2 inches through the typical air springs. (There is also an extra 0.6-inch lift accessible below 22 mph)
Subdued V-6, gearbox clunkiness at low speed, double touchscreen distraction
Frankly, we can likely traverse any of the island’s most well-maintained dirt streets just fine within an A6 sedan. However, isn’t it fitting to go exploring in this subtly rocky wagon?
Here is the type of mild adventuring which Allroads are meant for, and the A6’s brownish paint and grey wheel-arch cladding combine beautifully with all the vivid-green trees, bright-blue water, and rich-tan sand which compose the Beaver Island landscape.
The Allroad’s raised ride height, revised suspension installation, and long-roof bodywork aft of those B-pillar would be the sole significant differences in the A6 sedan.
Both will be otherwise mechanically indistinguishable and powered with the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, making 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and also uses a discreet 48-volt hybrid.
This makes it a half-second slower in the two metrics than the 2019 A6 sedan that is 155 lbs lighter.
At the northern end of this island, notable 25-mph speed-limit signals have us moving at a slower rate, even though we see no more posted limitations in the more distant areas to the south east-west.
The dual-clutch transmission shifts quickly and efficiently but displays just enough clumsiness at reduced rates to wonder why Audi does not utilize Z.F.’s peerless eight-speed automatic, as it will at the Q7 SUV on this motor.
Audi’s dual-touchscreen infotainment installation is just another questionable choice. We are not too concerned with the joys of working the weather controls quiet Beaver Island, in which the streets are mostly empty.
But again in the hustle and bustle of ordinary life, we favor Audi’s older, less distracting MMI installation, which utilized satisfyingly tactile knobs and buttons on the dashboard and an automatic inkjet control on the console.
We are somewhat disappointed to discover that we’ve got a mobile service on a lot of the island. Connecting into the Allroad’s in-car Wi-Fi system feels wrong in a location such as this, but there is a certain amount of connectivity you anticipate in a car beginning at $66,895.
Our well-optioned Prestige version contains such luxuries as ventilated and heated front seats, a head-up screen, and soft-close doorways –decals for $72,910. That is enough to net you a beautiful plot of land on Beaver Island, or even a tiny rustic cottage.
Most folks will not ever think about both of these odd purchases, however. Just because you understand the island exists does not mean that you’ll go there, and only because station wagons such as the A6 Allroad can be found in the U.S. does not mean people will purchase them.
But perhaps that is the purpose. An A6 Allroad would not look quite as desirable if you watched one on each corner, and Beaver Island would not feel so beautifully manicured if it had been overrun with tourists.
These kinds of hidden jewels are undeniably unique but do not spread the word also broadly. And should you have a trip to Beaver Island, then don’t forget to bring along a fantastic book for the ferry ride.