The Audi RS 2 was a limited-edition, high-performance five-door station wagon available from 1994 to 1995.
Audi RS2 Design and Introduction
Built in collaboration between Audi and Porsche, the Audi RS 2 is also know the Audi RS 2 Avant (for wagon) or Audi 80 RS 2. It was built on the same platform as the Audi 80 Avant, but designated as a P1 instead of the B4/8C it was based on. While the Audi Quattro was a significant achievement in the world of four-wheel drive rally-ready cars, the Audi RS 2 also helped bring the Audi name to the mouths and minds of car enthusiasts around the world. It was Audi’s first RS design, bringing extreme performance and driving ability to a five-door, five-passenger, four-wheel drive car. Now you could have it all. Practical, sporty, and downright fast. Now longer would daily drivers have to be boring, nor held to dry pavement for spirited driving sessions. Its primary market was Europe, although a few were sold to countries on nearly every other continent, including Hong Kong and New Zealand in Asia, South Africa in Africa, Brazil in South American, and both Canada and the United States in North America.
Engine and Performance
Using a modified version of Audi’s turbocharged 2.2L 20v inline-5 engine, it increased power to a sporty 311 horsepower and 302 lb ft of torque, paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. As a true driver’s car, no automatic transmission was available. The increased performance was in large part due to a larger turbo, intercooler, and high-flow fuel injectors. It also swapped out the exhaust for a higher flow system and used a different Bosch ECU to handle computing. The permanent four-wheel drive uses an electro-mechanical differential lock in the rear while the front differential is open. Nonetheless, this is still reported to be an off-road and loose-traction performer that can do well in putting all 311 horsepower to the pavement. And the performance engineering paid off. It could go 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in just 4.8 seconds, an incredible time for a five-door vehicle of that era and still pushing the figures of high-performance cars of today. A reported 0 to 30 mph time of 1.5 seconds was faster than the McLaren F1 supercar. The top speed was electronically limited to 163 mph.
Features and Drive
In order to allow for improved braking and suspension without going overboard with development costs, the Audi systems were swapped out for Porsche developed units. Ventilated discs with Brembo 4-piston calipers were used on all four wheels, overlaid with Porsche branding to signify the collaborative endeavor. Unfortunately, the suspension is known for having significant tire rub, but if you’re using this machine as it was intended, it’s doubtful the tires will last long anyway. The interior featured Recaro sports seats in full leather or a leather-suede combination. It has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a dashboard finished in wood or carbon fiber. The carbon fiber usage is limited, as shown in the overall weight being over 3,500 pounds. Despite this, it still is able to achieve incredible acceleration figures. Modern takes on the Audi RS 2 still point to the overall importance and collectibility of the vehicle, although the turbo lag is significant compared to newer forced-induction designs. With incredibly limited production numbers, high-performance, and luxurious interior, one would think these might be fetching top dollar. But it ends up that these are still on the market for relatively low sums of money. Perhaps it’s the impending doom of having an old car with few knowledgeable mechanics or replacement parts. Or maybe it signifies the amazing performance of many larger vehicles today. Whatever the case, the Audi RS 2 was a special achievement and one that many gear heads were thankful to both Audi and Porsche for coming together to create.