Look closely: it's not what you think. I promise you, it's not an Audi S6 with its perfect stance and cool wheels, but rather a base A6 model dressed to impress. "We call it our Faux6, because it's an A6 with all the aggressive OEM S6 body parts," explained Josh Segelson from OEMplus.
Before writing the car off as all show and no go, let us remind you it still gets 33mpg, and the venerable 2.0T TSI still has sufficient passing power, thanks to some well chosen modifications, without the insurance premiums associated with the 420hp V8 twin-turbo in the S6.
"The 2.0T has more than enough power and also returns great fuel economy, even though you wouldn't expect such a big car to be this economical," Josh said.
You also wouldn't expect a base model A6 to look this good. But then, most people aren't the Program Brand Manager at OEMplus. "I've owned four Audis and two VWs, but after a run of A4s, I wanted to step up to a bigger platform that could comfortably seat four and also had the build quality and amenities only big cars have," Segelson continued.
In case you live under a rock and didn't know, OEMplus is the essential supplier for most VW or Audi project builds in North America. The company specializes in finding parts that are only available on these car in other markets, specifically Europe but increasingly China as well. They scour the manufacturer's parts catalogs to find different mirrors, grilles, wheels, spoilers, interior items, etc. They'll also ship parts from models we don't get here, like Audi RS3 pieces that will fit on our A3 Sportback. Their intention is to allow US tuners to build cars in the OEM+ style - cars that look relatively stock to the uninitiated, but are a treasure chest of rare grooves for the aficionado.
"We're an Audi, VW, Lamborghini and Bentley tuning shop and specialize in finding European-spec components for late-model VAG vehicles, along with custom VAG builds and projects," Segelson said.
With that in mind, the A6 was bought as a testbed for parts development and fitments, which began a few weeks after taking ownership. And just a few short weeks later, the sedan had an OEM S6 facelift with its bumpers, side skirts,trunk spoiler, rear valance, E-code Bi-Xenon headlights and one of the coolest OEMplus additions: retrofitted surround cameras.
"In addition to front and rear cameras, we fitted the special side mirror-mounted units with all the OEM wiring routed through the doors and neatly out of sight. It's just like the factory-equipped cars," Segelson explained.
What does it all mean? Well, not only can Josh safely look around corners for oncoming cars with the nose of his car creeping into the lane, but parallel parking is made easier by the plethora of cameras that show the driver where the car is in relation to the curbs. It's impressive technology and something anybody can add to their car.
Other electronic upgrades include LED interior lighting and, another personal favorite of mine, the OEM electronic trunk. "The electronic trunk retrofit was another time-consuming addition because not only did we have to decipher the appropriate wiring, but also route it like factory and program the computer to communicate with the electronic components," Segelson said. But, like all of the work at OEMplus, it was factory fresh.
That's not all. By the time you read this, OEMplus will have retrofitted the factory motion-sensor trunk function that allows it to be opened or closed with a swipe of a foot under the rear bumper. They've also added European-spec LED headlights and the tail lights, working out the techniques and coding so customers don't experience any hiccups.
Dressed in the correct clothes, the A6 needed the correct stance, which was provided by KW V3 coilovers and adjustable control arms. It also received a set of 21x9" Audi Titan wheels, which look gorgeous and were wrapped in 255/30 Nitto Invo tires.
As you'd expect, the Audi received underhood enhancements, consisting of a Milltek cat-back exhaust and APR stage 1 software to give the 2.0T a noticeable kick in the backside. And shortly after our photoshoot, Segelson and the OEMplus crew did what many considered the impossible: retrofitting OEM Audi S6 six-piston Brembo front calipers with 400mm rotors. and it didn't require serious modifications. Hey, we told you they were good!
Although Segelson doesn't plan getting too crazy with his daily driver, he assured us there's still more tricks up his sleeve, thanks to an expansive catalog of OEM parts and the expertise to get it ordered, fitted and working.
2013 Audi A6
Orange County, CA
Program Brand Manager, OEMplus
2.0L four-cylinder TSI 16v with APR Stage 1 software, Milltek cat-back exhaust
stock Tiptronic transmission
Audi S6 six-piston Brembo calipers, 400mm rotors f*
KW V3 coilovers, adjustable control arms
Wheels & Tires
21x9" OEM Audi Titan wheels, 255/30 R21 Nitto Invo tires
OEM S6 front and rear bumpers, side skirts, aluminum mirror caps, E-code Bi-Xenon headlights and surround cameras
LED lighting, Video-In-Motion, OEM electronic trunk operation, illuminated door sills
*Added after the photos