By Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 10--A6 FINISHES AS A SILVER MEDALIST: The 2005 Audi A6 is the best midsize sedan the brand has ever built, but there are so many excellent midsize sport sedans on the market that the stylish new A6 ends up only slightly above average in its class.
Beginning with the Mercedes E-class and winding up with the new Lexus GS and Infiniti M, every midsize sport sedan has been replaced over the last two years.
The segment is an embarrassment of riches, and cars that would have led the pack three years ago are also-rans today.
The A6's virtues include standard all-wheel-drive, a carefully crafted interior and a dynamic and sporty-looking body. Power comes from a 255-horsepower 3.2-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 or a 335-horsepower 4.32-liter DOHC 40-valve V8.
The V6 uses direct gasoline injection, a new technology that Audi uses …