Europeans have an affinity for station wagons, or estate cars as they're known in some parts. The idea of moving your family and belongings at high-speed and in comfort is universally respected. And probably the greatest wagon promoter of all is Audi, especially with its legendary RS2 and B5 RS4 models. These were wagon-only variants (known as Avant in Audi-speak) that could get your skis to the piste in record time.
One of the most regular requests to the office is that we feature more wagons in the mag, but good ones only come along occasionally, and too often they sacrifice the luggage space that made them so versatile in the first place. But when we saw this A6 Avant TDI belonging to Marco Forstmann, we knew we'd hit paydirt.
The 34 year-old lives near Cologne, Germany and works in the petro-chemical industry. As a certified Dubhead, his first car was a Mk1 Golf, after which he graduated to a Mk3 VR6 and more recently built a Mk2 16v turbo.
Apart from all being VWs, each was also repainted "NATO green" as Marco calls it. So when he needed something more practical, it was inevitable he'd stick to type.
He bought the '05 A6 Avant in 9/09, attracted to its big 2.7L V6 diesel motor. These are highly sought after in Europe for their fuel-sipping ability as much as their distance-swallowing 270 lb-ft at 1400rpm, 180hp and 33mpg (US, ombined).
"I knew what I'd do as soon as I bought it," Marco explained. Within five weeks, he'd assembled a group of friends and completed the transformation to pimped lowrider and could get down to the serious business of turning heads.
The speed of the conversion was largely thanks to a relatively new phenomenon; car wrapping. Where it used to take a paint shop weeks or months to do a color change, now vinyl can do the job in a day. And what's more, it can be removed if you want to change it, is easily repaired and there are some amazing custom finishes available.
So once Marco had the grey car wrapped in his chosen matte green, he also had the Audi RS6 front grille surround wrapped in matte black, as well as all the chrome, the Audi Allroad door blades and the rear diffuser section.
The next task was discovering the perfect stance. He achieved this with two crucial elements. The first was the GAS V1 air suspension from Melovan in Belgium. With some minor modifications to the front and rear subframes, Marco is able to lower his Avant into the weeds.
He controls the system from a unit in the ashtray that instructs the Viair compressor to fill the two custom tanks mounted in the trunk. These were wrapped in the same green vinyl and live in the spare wheel well.
The second element was the wheels. These are 20x9'' Bentley items painted matte black and matte green to match the car. With their 41mm offset and identical bolt pattern, they simply bolted to the A6 without any problems.
As his daily driver, Marco found one with the nicest possible interior, boasting stock leather and alcantara trim, GPS navigation and the MMI system. All he added is an Audi R8 steering wheel.
The motor currently remains stock as well, although he hopes to upgrade the ECU software over the winter.
So there you have it; an instant makeover that took the Avant from humdrum to thumbs-up. It's certainly inspiration for anybody trying to modify on a budget - since a great deal was achieved with a few parts - or somebody who needs to transport the family but still wants to make it in the Euro scene.
2005 Audi A6 Avant TDI V6
Owner: Marco Forstmann
Location: Wesselinf, Germany
Occupation: chemical industry
Drivetrain: stock six-speed manual transmission
Suspension: German Airride Systems V1 air suspension, Viair 460 compressor, custom 15-liter and 10-liter air tanks
Wheels & Tires: 20x9'' Bentleys Muliner wheels ET41, black centers, green rims, center caps and bolts, 245/30 R20 Achilles ATR Sport tires
Exterior: matte green vinyl wrap including US-spec bumpers, matte black RS6 grille and front badge, Allroad door blades, tailgate de-badged, RS6 LED driving lights, Xenon headlights
Interior: Audi R8 steering wheel, stock leather/alcantara upholstery
Thanks: Thommzn, Sheggy, Markus, Patrick. Geert from melovan.be