A look at the Audi RS2: Top Gear

First, a bit of history

The Audi RS2 wasn’t the world’s first fast estate – the Volvo 850 T5 arrived a year earlier – but it is the most iconic of those early hard-hitting haulers. It was also Audi’s first RS model (yes, an estate) and because Audi didn’t have the expertise it needed for the project, was built with help from Porsche.


Quite a bit of help. The shells, adapted from the standard Audi 80, were constructed at Ingolstadt, then sent to Zuffenhausen near Stuttgart where they received the brake, wheel and tyre package from the Porsche 968 Clubsport, plus the uprated engine, six-speed manual gearbox and new door mirrors.

The 2.2-litre 5cyl was boosted by a single KKK turbocharger, yielding 315bhp at 6500rpm and 302lb ft at 3,000rpm. 0-60mph was over in 5.4secs and flat out it would hit 163mph. For the time these were stellar figures, as quick as a Ferrari 456.

It was launched in the UK in summer 1994, costing a hefty £45,705. Only 182 right hand drive versions came to the UK.


How it feels to drive today

It’s the turbo lag that gets you – there’s so much of it. That’s where the gains have come in the last few years. Here you put your foot down at 30mph in third gear and count to four before anything meaningful happens.

Keep the tuneful five cylinder bubbling away and it’s better, but best the best way to overcome the lag is the old rally driver’s trick of left foot braking and building the power up with your right. Not great for brake longevity, but it does mean you exit corners with a proper whoosh.

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