• The Audi 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine is a crucial component in VW's Amarok success.
• An Audi fan has converted a B6 A4 1.8T sedan into a single-cab.
• The A4 bakkie conversion kit was purchased for R50 000 from Smyth Performance.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Audi has never built a bakkie, but its 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine is a crucial ingredient to the enduring success of VW's Amarok double-cab.
That said, the elegant Audi sedan design language would easily translate into a very tidy single-cab street bakkie. And to prove this point, somebody has meticulously spent the time, effort and money to convert a B6 A4 1.8T sedan into a single-cab.
Audi originally built the car in question as a 2005 model year A4 sedan, with a 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine and manual gearbox. Afterlife as a compact German executive sedan, this A4 was destined for greater things, when it was purchased as a project car platform, in 2017.
Image: Bring A Trailer
Discovering the appeal of a front-wheel drive German bakkie platform
Audi's A4 would hardly be the first choice if you required a German sedan as your bakkie project vehicle platform.
BMW's 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz's C-Class are far superior options, in theory. Why? They are both rear-wheel drive, which is the preferred configuration for a bakkie, instead of the A4's front-wheel drive layout.
Despite this, an intrepid American Audi enthusiast recognised that the B6's handsome proportions and slick styling, which has aged remarkably well, simply had to fulfil its destiny as a single cab.
For R50 000, an A4 bakkie conversion kit was purchased from Rhode Island specialist, Smyth Performance. This included all the bits required, to convert the A4 sedan to a single-cab. And the result is stunning.
Image: Bring A Trailer
If a conversion like this was available in SA, do you think it would work locally? Please email us your thoughts.
It is an Audi - so lots of aluminium
The new rear section has fibreglass left and right quarter panels, whilst a rear sliding rear window seals the rear of the cab. Supporting the juncture between this A4 bakkie's fibreglass loadbox structure and cabin, are aluminium B-pillar reinforcements measuring 45mm in diameter.
One of the most noticeable design details is how those rear wheel arch mouldings are shaped into the load area. The A4 sedan has fully independent rear suspension, unlike a conventional bakkie with its leaf-sprung live axle at the rear. To accommodate this unusual rear suspension set-up, for a bakkie, the A4 single-cab's wheel arches are slimmer and longer.
Although the A4's tailgate is steel, the loadbox's internal structure is aluminium and uses similar 45mm internal aluminium braces. To access the full-size spare wheel, which would be underneath the loadbox on a normal bakkie, you need to lift this A4 single-cab's loadbox floor.
There is no official load rating specification for the A4 bakkie conversion, but with an aluminium loadbox, you won't be able to carry much more than some braai wood or dogs in the rear. But that misses the entire point of this B6 bakkie.
Powered by a 132kW 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine and shifting via a six-speed manual gearbox, this A4 single-cab delivers entirely adequate performance.
With Audi's regarded cabin architecture and interior design, this A4 bakkie offers a compelling argument that German executive sedans from the mid-2000s, make excellent street single-cabs even if they are front-wheel drive.
See the original listing here.