This ’04 Audi A4 proves utes aren’t dead, they’re just DIY
If you’re still mourning the loss of the Chevy El Camino, Ford Ranchero, VW Caddy, Dodge Rampage, or Subaru Brat, there’s some good news. Smyth Performance offers kits to transform sedans and SUVs into utes that actually look kind of awesome.
We spotted this interesting 2004 Audi A4 pickup on Bring a Trailer, and we immediately began thinking about the best places to put its newfound utility to work. With open storage in the back, the all-wheel-drive turbo ute is now nicely suited for a weekend trip to the autocross or road course, with the bed filled with camping gear and a set of race rubber mounted up and ready to bolt on.
The auction had six days left and the bids had only reached $5500 when we came across the Audi. That’s a steal for such a unique ride. We’re sure there will be a couple more bids before it’s all said and done.
Why convert a desirable Audi A4 Ultrasport with its six-speed manual ‘box and turbocharged, all-wheel-drive powertrain into a ute? The owner explained that they wanted a safer, more comfortable version of the VW pickup that was long since out of production.
Manufacturers have shied away from offering utes and even regular-cab compact trucks in the United States because consumers prefer four-door pickups. To fill the gap, Smyth Performance offers conversion kits that turn an Audi A4/S4 into a ute after some very cavalier application of a saw, which removes a generous amount of sheetmetal and frame from the B-pillar back. In their place goes quite a bit of sturdy aluminum to reinforce the chassis, plus an aluminum bed and fiberglass body panels.
If an Audi isn’t your thing, Smyth also offers ute conversions for the Subaru Impreza, VW Jetta/Golf, VW New Beetle, Dodge Charger, and now the WJ Jeep Grand Cherokee. Would you be willing to step in where the factory left off to get the ute of your dreams?