When Audi first revealed its Allroad in America, it was supposed to be the luxurious answer to the Subaru Outback. The idea is that it’s a sporty and luxurious car that can do some light off-roading and handle some rougher terrain. However, the first-gen Audi Allroad was an unreliable mess that was more of a hassle than anything else. It’s highly unreliable 2.7 liter bi-turbo V6 was a disaster and its air suspension was almost always broken, to name just a few things. So what happens when someone buys an old broken-down one and tries turning it into an off-roader?
Some pretty awesome happens, that’s what. A man by the name of Garrett Davis decided to purchase an Audi Allroad that already had its timing belt snapped and air suspension that was on the fritz. So it was basically dead. However, Davis already had the same engine, except it was from a B5-generation Audi S4, so he had something to swap it with. Thankfully, the Allroad he bought was one of the rare ones with a six-speed manual transmission, so this is essentially an Audi S4 powertrain in a wagon. Awesome.
He then spent a grueling few weeks of pulling the old engine, doing the timing belt on the new engine while it was on a hoist and putting the new engine in the car. He also installed a new clutch and replaced all sorts of gaskets and what not. Basically, refreshed the entire powertrain before putting it back in the car. All in all, Davis only spent $2,679.15, which is incredibly cheap.
Then, he tweaked the air suspension to lift the car up enough to give it around 11 inches of ground clearance. It then got some knobby tires and a roof box, giving it a real-deal off-roading look. To be honest, with the higher ride height, chunky tires and Quattro all-wheel drive, the humble Audi Allroad is actually a pretty good companion when the terrain gets rough. It won’t challenge a Jeep Wrangler, but it will certainly make Subaru owners jealous.
The Audi Allroad gets a really bad rep for being horribly unreliable and completely unworthy of anyone’s time. However, this project was very cheap (although incredibly time consuming) and seems worth it. It looks cool, probably drives awesome and is certainly one of the more interesting Audi builds we’ve ever seen. Bravo, Mr. Davis, bravo.