Why The Audi RS2 Is A Proper 90s Hero Car – Car Throttle

25 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Why The Audi RS2 Is A Proper 90s Hero Car – Car Throttle
Audi RS2

Why The Audi RS2 Is A Proper 90s Hero Car

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The RS2 is the original super-estate (image source: Favcars)

During the early 90s, Audi was a bland brand. The legendary Quattro died in 1991 only to be replaced by the 227bhp S2 Coupe. It was plenty fast enough, but someone in Audi thought they could do better.

With a bit of help from Porsche, they came up with the RS2 Avant that set the template for every bonkers-fast Audi to come.

When the RS2 was launched in 1994, its numbers made startling reading. Here was a mid-size family estate with 315bhp and 302lb ft of torque from its 2.2-litre, 20-valve five-cylinder engine. And it would crack 60mph in under five seconds and run on to the far side of 160mph. Those were Ferrari-baiting numbers .

But it got better. When it was tested by Autocar, they cracked the 0-30mph run in just 1.5 seconds . That was quicker than the McLaren F1, the fastest car they had ever tested at that point. So you could legitimately call the RS2 the fastest car in the world. Up to a point .

The 160mph package was finished off with a mean-looking bodykit (image source: Carsourcing.com)

Obviously, the RS2 needed some pretty hardcore running gear to back up the monstrous motor. That was where Porsche came in: they designed the Audi#8217;s brakes and suspension, supplied the 17-inch #8216;Cup#8217; wheels from the 964 Turbo and provided a beefy six-speed #8216;box that fed the RS2#8242;s power to the road via quattro 4WD.

The 160mph package was finished off with a mean-looking bodykit with deeper bumpers and sills than standard, and a reflector bar on the tailgate. Though you could tell it apart from a normal Audi 80, the effect was still subtle enough to fool any chancers into thinking they had a hope of running away at the lights.

It was luxurious too, thanks to a plethora of Audi options, which were thrown at the super-estate#8217;s interior. Well, they had to considering the insides of a boggo Audi 80 were about as well appointed as the inside of a barrel. A beautifully made barrel, but a barrel nonetheless.

And that just would not do in a car with a near-£50k price tag.

RS2s featured a big reflector bar on the tailgate (image source: Favcars.com)

Audi RS2

The RS2 was a true original. No one had ever seen anything like it when it landed in #8217;94. It was a proper family car that could leave just about every supercar of the day for dead on pretty much any road.

It was a bit crude though. There was a lot of turbo lag, with most of the power coming in north of 3500rpm. Combined with rather vague steering, it could make building a rhythm on a winding road challenging. But get it right and the RS2 was devastatingly effective.

By all accounts, it still holds up today.

The RS2 lasted just 16 months, sending the old 80 out with a bang before the new A4 arrived. 2891 RS2s were built at Porsche#8217;s Rossle-Bau factory, rather more than the planned run of 2200 as demand was so strong. 180 right-hand-drive cars were produced, most of which came to the UK.

Before the RS2 came along, load luggers were usually found on the school run (image source: Evo.co.uk)

It was never a common sight on UK roads, but now there are less than 100 RS2s left. You pay what you have to if you want one now #8211; I found two for sale, one for £12,000, the other for £30,000. Personally, I#8217;d get the cheaper one (which has 155k miles), turn the engine up to 400bhp and fit Porsche 996 brakes for the ultimate 90s family hauler.

But the RS2#8242;s legacy goes far beyond its credentials as a modern classic. With it, Audi invented the mega-estate. Before it came along, load luggers were usually found on the school run, or pounding the motorways with a boot full of samples.

The RS2 could have been a saloon or a coupe, but for some reason Audi chose to unleash the performance potential of the boxy body to create a phenomenon.

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Audi RS2
Audi RS2
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