quattromog Avant – Q1_2022 quattro Magazine

words: Bill Cho, photos: Drew Carlson

Editor’s Note: This article originally ran in the Q1_2022 issue of quattro Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to quattro Magazine, please join Audi Club here.

When Kirk Koontz and his wife were expecting their first child, they needed a bigger vehicle for their off-roading experiences. But Kirk isn’t your typical first-time father, and he wouldn’t have any typical family mover. Kirk had already built the Coupe quattromog (Q1 2022 pp. 42-43), but after a camping journey, he and his wife were reminded just how small the Coupe was with all their gear stuffed into it. Normally it wasn’t a problem, but then they found out they were expecting. If that wasn’t enough, his wife informed him that a bigger quattromog must be ready to take the new family deep into the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree.

For a person who has never built or even dabbled in projects, this was an impossible task. To Kirk, with the experience he possessed, it was just a matter of finding an Avant and assembling the parts needed for quattromog XL. Here again, Kirk didn’t want to ruin a nice car. so he turned to Craigslist and “not nice” is what he found.

In what must have been the most base B8 Avant sold, Kirk found the perfect candidate. The windshield was cracked, the paint and panels were trashed, it had a salvage title, and the 2.0 TFSI engine had zero compression in cylinder one. The car had halogen headlights, no reverse sensors nor camera but it did have several features the Coupe quattromog didn’t… plenty of space, a decent interior, and most important for those long hot four-wheeling drives, air conditioning.

Kirk found a wrecked 2011 A4 with a good engine. He checked with the dealer to confirm the oil consumption warranty work was done (it was), but he was in for a surprise when it showed up. You see, the engine wasn’t original to the A4; it was an updated EA888 out of a 2013 Q5, which meant updated pistons, rings, and timing components. Kirk was able to start the swap at 3pm, finishing around 2am the next morning. Later, he added an APR Stage 2+ tune, a 034Motorsport high-flow downpipe with catalytic converter, and an ECS Tuning Luft Technic intercooler and charge pipe boosting the power to over 287 hp and 341 lb-ft torque.

The suspension was next, as it is what made the quattromog XL the quattromog XL. Naturally, he looked at A4 allroad springs but discovered he only gained 1.2-inches over a regular Avant. The B8 A4 shares the same MLB platform as a Q5, meaning that the suspension was identical with the exception of the springs. After consulting with Bilsten and doing his own research, he found the Q5 suspension also sat only 1.2-inches higher when he factored in the difference in tire size; same as the allroad. Luckily for him, H&R makes 1-inch lift springs for the Q5 which meant a 2.2-inches lift on an A4 Avant. He also custom fabricated his own 6-inch suspension lift. CV joints were replaced with RCV Performance Ultimate 930 ones and the front axle shafts were custom made from Dutchman Axles. He fabricated extended control arms which were more than 8-inches wider than stock.

To carry this load cross country, Kirk chose Motegi Racing MR141 16×7.5 wheels in white and BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA/KO2 225/75R16 tires. H&R 30mm spacers pushed the wheels out. Minor trimming was needed up front but surgery was need for the rear. When the Avant was dropped, the wheels and tires were hitting the fender opening and the rocker. Making room with the use of a hammer, he sealed it with a rubberized coating and covered them with 90 mm universal fender flares. To protect the undercarriage, ECS Tuning supplied ¼-inch thick aluminum engine and transmission skid plates.

To complete the overlanding look, Hella 500FF auxiliary driving lights were mounted on a Yakima Load Warrior basket which carried shovels, matlock, a Hi-Lift jack, traction boards, and a full-size spare. The stainless steel brush guard up front was custom fabricated, and a tow hitch brought up the rear. The interior saw only a couple of upgrades besides a new windshield; TT RS heated front seats were installed as was a P3 V3 digital gauge.

It would be an understatement to say that quattromog XL was a labor of love; after all, he created his own ultimate cross-country allroad so his family could take adventures together. What started with a Coupe quattromog for Kirk and his wife ended with an Avant quattromog for his ever-growing family. Of course it may not be the end, as nothing can stop someone who is so skilled and determined.