"I was looking for an alternative vehicle," recalls Jason Baker, regarding his 2006 A6 Avant. "Something besides an SUV or minivan. Something utilitarian, fun to drive and cool. It had to be cool."

Basically, he just described the Audi Avant. Baker likes to describe his Audi as Bakerized, a vehicle modified for increased visual appeal and performance. Obviously, both are subjective terms, but we like what we see. Here's what a Bakerized A6 Avant looks like.

Though common in Europe, Avants are a rarity in the States. This car distinguishes itself even further with a Caractere aerodynamic package, a system that replaces the front and rear clips, and includes a small rear roof wing. Devoid of any badging, the Avant had its front-bumper amber parking lights relocated to the headlamp housings and wired for city light provisions. The headlamps were later treated with MadAudi's brows, a simple stick-on touch that manages to change the car's entire demeanor. The entire front end is coated with 3M Clear Bra.

Resting slightly lower than a stock Avant, this car rides on Eibach sport springs and includes Koni's remarkable FSD shocks and struts. DPE alloy wheels measure 9x20 inches and were custom-cut to the proper Audi offset, then shod with Nitto Invo tires (255/30). It also wears StopTech brakes in front, 15-inch cross-drilled rotors and six-piston calipers. Hawk pads and braided stainless steel lines complete the binders.

Like all Audi cars, the Avant's interior is brilliant, but this particular vehicle even more so. Baker's liberal use of Alcantara throughout the cabin looks like something from Audi's special werks program. MadAudi sourced the S6 shift knob and installed Hella Twin air horns for their distinctive classic European sound.

Although equipped with a fine sound system, Baker took it several steps further by replacing all the factory drivers with special Rockford Fosgate units and that company's proprietary Interactive Signal Processor (see 'Stereo lab' sidebar).

Future upgrades will include a Borla exhaust, Recaro sport seats and S6 side mirrors. But to be honest, this Audi is as good as they come. It's utilitarian, maneuverable and very cool. Mission accomplished.

2006 Audi A6 Avant

3.2-liter V6, dohc, 24-valve
Six-speed automatic
Eibach sport springs, Koni FSD shocks and struts
Front: StopTech six-piston calipers, 15-inch vented/cross-drilled rotors, braided stainless steel lines
*Wheels And Tires
DPE S-5, 9x20
Nitto Invo, 255/30
Power: 255 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 243 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
0-60 mph: 7.4 sec.
Top Speed: 130 mph (limited)

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