Audi RS2 Avant

Porsche and Audi joined forces and engineered the 315bhp RS2 Avant. Less than 3000 were made and even fewer were RHD.

The RS2 has a cult following and for good reason – it is widely regarded as one of the most important models Audi has ever built. What makes it such a landmark car? Well, it was the first ever to wear the RS badge and it was also the company’s first high-performance Avant estate. As such, it proved that fast cars could be practical, too.

Between 1994 and 1996, it was built as a limited-edition model and co-developed with Porsche. Under the bonnet, a highly tuned version of the firm’s tried and tested five-cylinder 20-valve engine produced 315bhp. This powered the RS2 to a top speed of 163mph and made it the fastest estate car in the world.

Audi manufactured most of its parts, but the car was assembled at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart. As a result, the firm’s name is included in the RS2 badge, while the Porsche logo adorns the red Brembo brake calipers. Enthusiasts will even spot that its 17-inch alloy wheels and door mirrors are identical to those found on the Porsche 964.

The famous sports car maker developed the Audi’s suspension and brakes, and the RS2 rode 40mm lower than the standard 80 Avant. With high-performance Dunlop tyres,it was an estate that rivalled the best handling sports cars of its day for cornering ability.

Porsche played with the chassis to ensure it was sharp, stiff and purposeful, and it worked its magic on the engine, too. With a revised camshaft, new exhaust and an advanced Bosch ECU, it powered the RS2 from 0-60mph in only 4.8 seconds. Even by modern standards it feels fast, but in the mid-Nineties its performance was startling.

The cabin still feels special, too. Sporty Recaro seats, carbon fibre trim, suede door inserts and a three-spoke sports wheel set it apart from lesser models. Fewer than 3,000 examples of the RS2 were produced, but that was enough for it to establish the winning blend of performance, practicality and desirability that fast Audi Avants still display today.

Details

WHY: The original fast Audi estate

In this review

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