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Allroad Plus


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"Doug Doern isn’t your everyday allroad owner. Sure, allroads benefit from a high percentage of enthusiast drivers, yet it’s a select few in that group that want to not only drive such a versatile yet high performance car, but also improve upon it to such a degree. It’s fewer still that can boast being an Audi certified expert technician.

 

Like many Audi owners, Doug is fascinated by what has come to be known as the OEMplus philosophy, where owners upgrade their cars, doing this in a fashion that fools the eye into thinking it is something Audi themselves might have built. Common practices of the philosophy are picking up a set of larger OEM or replica wheels, and raiding the corporate partsbin from other models or other markets. In some cases, this is easily done. In others, such as Doug’s, this is neither cheap nor easy. The result is an allroad that you are likely not to see matched. Even still, Doug has managed to keep the car “under the radar” to the casual observer with little education in Audis.

 

Believe it or not, the 2005 Ebony Pearl allroad you see here is a leased vehicle. Doern picked it up for his daily use, fairly loaded and with Audi’s color-matched option that gives the allroad a more streamlined look from the factory. This was a good start, but clearly just a start for Doug Doern.

 

Doern’s goal was to build an allroad Plus. ‘Plus’ in the Audi lexicon denotes a limited production model with a little something extra. In the case of the C4-chassis S6 Plus, this meant a V8. In the case of the C5 RS 6, this meant extra power and unique equipment. In the case of this head-turning allroad, that ‘little something extra’ is actually quite a bit.

 

 

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Underneath the hood, this allroad benefits from Bosch Sport 110 turbo bypass valves and a cat-back Milltek exhaust sourced from PG Performance with K&N filter in the stock airbox. Doug runs the car on 94 Octane fuel all the time, easily found near his British Columbian residence. Topping it off, the allroad also has an engine cover from the B5 S4 with red “Biturbo” script, though Doug tells us a carbon-fiber unit from the B5 RS 4 is in the mail and will be installed shortly.

 

To help the car handle, Doug added some h-sport swaybars – augmenting the already trick suspension and giving it an extra edge. The car was then aligned on suspension Level 1, the setting Doug uses most often.

 

 

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Also adding to the firmness of the ride are a set of 20”x9” sport wheels sourced from the A8 W12 partsbin. These polished and forged wheels are of the same familiar B5 RS 4 design that most Audi owners have become accustomed to, however their larger diameter and polished face make them stand out from other Audi wheels considerably. These handsome rims are wrapped in Falken FK 452 tires (275 30 20) and filled to 37 PSI. Doug even managed to retain the factory tire pressure monitoring system, with sensors mounted in the new wheels. And, to make the wheels have just the right positioning in relation to the fender lips, Dough had Todd Hastings of Hyperformance fabricate some custom bolt-on spacers.

 

Hyperformance’s skills were also utilized in machine work for final and proper brake fitment. Forget the usual Porsche caliper upgrade, Doug took the “could have been built by Audi” mantra to the next level when it came to installing stoppers on this allroad Plus. A full set of rotors and calipers from the RS 6 were ordered and installed, complete with braided hoses and Lucas/TRW Type 402 pads.

 

 

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Inside, the RS 6 brake system wouldn’t be complete without a full stainless steel pedal set from the RS 6 plus – including dead pedal, brake pedal cover and electronic throttle pedal assembly.

 

Doug plans additional OEM alterations to the interior, with parts already on order, but not yet delivered at the time of our photo shoot. These include a European navigation system with Bluetooth module and all aluminum interior pieces to replace the wooden interior trim that comes stock in the allroad. Beyond that, Doug says he’d love to do a set of the European full Recaro seats if he can find the right seats at the right price. Given what he’s already pulled off, we wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen.

 

 

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Moving to the outside, it would take a well-trained eye to catch the subtle modifications made to the car. However, that well-trained eye should take note, there are many subtle changes made to tailor the car to Doug’s tastes. At the rear, license plate trim and rear hatch spoiler from the European-only RS 6 Avant was installed. From Skoda, Doug sourced a more subtle-looking “stubby” antenna. Then, it was off to Mastercraft Collision to color-match the new parts, along with the grille surround, the chrome strips below the headlights, the impact strips on the bumpers and even the original equipment trailer hitch. Talk about attention to detail.

 

Besides the seats, the trim and the carbon fiber engine cover, what else does the future hold for this allroad Plus? Doug’s got a couple of ideas, especially regarding the transmission. Depending on what the car’s Tiptronic can handle, Doug would like to add a paddle-shift steering wheel that retains the radio controls. Doug also mentioned he’s been talking to HPA about fabricating some lower front fascia grilles that would allow him to delete the foglights for improved airflow while maintaining the factory look. With that in mind, a further power upgrade might also be in the cards once the car comes off lease. Or, by the time his lease is up, Audi could make good on their promise of a Q7 TDI in the North American market. “If they bring in an S-line,” Doug says, “I might pull the parts off of it out and turn it back in.”

 

 

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If so, we’re guessing other allroad, A6 and S6 owners will be taking numbers to bid on Doug’s own amassed allroad partsbin. The sum of those parts combines to make one of the best-looking allroads we’ve seen yet - one that easily exemplifies the OEMplus philosophy and takes it to another level.

 

Is the allroad worthy of the “Plus” designation? We’d say decidedly “Yes!” Doug Doern has definitely earned it. In fact, we’d go one further. How about allroad RS-line. Audi’s got their S-line nomenclature for cars with that S-car inspiration. With all the RS parts on this allroad, “RS-line” might just be the answer."

 

 

 

 

 

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