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2003 Audi Allroad Crossover Wagon

Audi's designers tried to blend two seemingly disparate concepts of a curve-craving sports sedan with a mud-loving sport-utility vehicle -- one a sleek pavement speeder that slinks snugly against asphalt, the other a boxy off-road machine hiked high in suspension to clear rough stuff on the trail. The vehicle produced by this mix is called allroad. It's a cool scheme based on Audi's A6 avant but with different body panels and protective armor cladding applied, plus a luxurious passenger compartment draped in supple leathers, glossy hardwoods and touches of satin-finished aluminum. The avant also packs more power, thanks to the bi-turbo V6 borrowed from A6 2.7T. The plant makes 250 hp. All torque translates through a six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic coupled to Audi's Tiptronic shifter. To control tire traction on pavement, the allroad comes with Audi's quattro system. As a bridge between a low-slung pavement cruiser and high-clearance SUV, Audi applies the magic of a height-adjustable suspension that moves the chassis up or down to one of four levels. The cabin has two front bucket seats divided by a center console and followed by a rear bench with twin indentations for two but wide enough for three. A third bench, facing the rear and sized strictly for children, is optional and can be removed. Burgundy Red and Cobalt Blue are two new tints for allroad.