One Fast Frog
Kermit-the-Frog green. That is how Jason Dale, owner of Black Forest Motorsport in Cheektowaga, N.Y., describes his 2002 Audi Allroad 2.7T Quattro.
While the semi-off-road ability of the vehicle may make it different than your average wagon, Dale admits it’s the color that immediately stands out for people.
“When you see it in person and clean, it’s a really good-looking car,” Dale says. “The interior looks bright and scary in pictures, but it’s a really nice, well-put-together combination,” he adds, explaining how it’s a mixture of green and gray on the inside.
What Dale was looking for when he bought the Audi was a vehicle with a six-speed stick and option for a third seat.
“I was specifically looking for a European wagon with a manual transmission,” Dale said. “My shop works on nothing but European cars, so I needed an image car of some sort. The third seat was necessary for the few times that the kids wanted to bring friends to the movies, and for those of us who used to have to ride in mom and dad’s old Country Squire wagons, playing tailgunner was the best seat in the house.”
With ample seat space out of the way, Dale set about adding some extra speed to the Allroad so he could race it on drag strips.
“It’s what they call a stage-three car, when you upgrade the turbos,” Dale explains, noting that the 2.7-liter engine’s turbos are larger than the originals, increasing horsepower from 250 to 350, and torque from 258 to 370 lbs-ft. “The hardcore Allroad Audi guys like to have the wagon and dust off things like Camaros. To be honest, you don’t see a lot of stage-three Allroads.”
In fact, he’s almost certain it’s the only one in town.
Getting the Audi to that point, however, took a lot of work. Since it was “dead stock” when he bought it, the first thing he did was install GIAC software—the software needed to help the car bypass horsepower restrictions.
“A software upgrade nets me 65 horsepower over stock,” Dale explains. “So that’s why I went with the one-size-larger turbos. I was looking for more power than just a software upgrade can give me.”
To help get that power to the pavement more effectively, Dale also installed a short shift kit.
There have been ancillary upgrades as well, or what Dale calls complimentary upgrades, for better handling—Hotchkis sway bars, for example.
“That wasn’t a power thing, but more of a feel thing,” Dale says.
But just because he was trying to make the car handle better doesn’t mean he didn’t give the car some ferocity. When he installed the Magnaflow 2.5-inch stainless exhaust system, it was much too quiet. Rear mufflers were cut out, and a straight pipe with 4-inch polished tips put in their place so they roared while he drove around road courses, drag strips, and the slick tracks for ice-driving events he attends.
“It’s more for fun,” Dale says of the races, adding that it’s really the only time he gets to test out the added horsepower and torque. “As far as track events go, I’m into the local European car enthusiast community. There’s a lot of general get-togethers and I tend to participate in those.”
Of the three Audis he owns, Dale says his Kermit-the-Frog-green Allroad is driven daily. After installing fueling and meth injection upgrades, Dale admits he’ll have created one fast frog.