The first generation allroad shares its platform with the second generation "C5" Audi A6 mid-size car / executive car and its rear end is almost identical to the A6 Avant, the station wagon version. The main differences are an advanced air suspension system, larger wheels with all-terrain tires and flared and unpainted bumpers, giving it a distinct appearance and more overall flexibility over varying terrain. Audi's Torsen-based quattro permanent four-wheel drive system is standard equipment for all versions. It is believed that Audi introduced the allroad due to the success of the Subaru Outback, however on a larger platform and with a larger, more powerful engine.
The allroad was designed with the capability to tackle rough road conditions in mind; its standard adjustable air suspension system can lift the car high enough to provide 208mm (8in) of ground clearance and a low-range mode, absent from other quattro-equipped vehicles, can be selected with the touch of a button. When used in conjunction, the two systems made it possible for the allroad to complete an official Land Rover test-course, thus far it is the only car-based SUV that has been proven capable of doing so in testing.