Audi Superwagon, The RS2 Avant


Published on June 19th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Audi Superwagon, The RS2 Avant


20 years ago, Audi collaborated with Porsche for the first time with the idea of a 911 for the family. Today with the RS 4 Avant, the series of a strong sports estate continues. The Audi 1986 80’s generation was then that the bright pearlescent blue terror that was introduced as a sleeper supercar with its 315 hp engine. This Audi RS 2 Avant trumped the not only the previous top model in the series (S2 with 230 hp) as well as the rival BMW M3 (286 hp) and Mercedes C 36 AMG (280 hp), but also the sports car benchmark, the Porsche 911 (272 hp).

Even more unusual is the fact that the most powerful model, the Audi RS2 Avant, was not available as a coupe or sedan, but only as a wagon.  It filled a small but nice gap in the market that only Aston Martin served with the sinfully expensive Shooting Brake models: a sports car for family and leisure. Because something similar was not on the agenda for Porsche just yet, the Weissach engineers willingly helped.


First, however, they are horrified by the required performance they needed from the familiar 2.2-liter five-cylinder engine in the Audi RS2 Avant. With higher boost pressure (1.4 bar), improved charge air cooling and a larger turbocharger to push the surprisingly stable line engine to 315 hp and 410 Nm of torque; optimized air induction and a bulky exhaust system needed to be developed.  Of course, the Quattro-suspension is adjusted: cast iron wishbones instead of normal metal units, stiffer shock absorbers and stronger stabilizers with 17-inch Cup wheels and ventilated four-piston disc brakes from the 911 to keep the power in check.


But when the power is released on the open road, the BMW M3, Mercedes C36 AMG and other competing models were left behind due to a 5.2 second sprint to 100 km/ h and a standing kilometer in under 25 seconds were measured​​- just like that of the then-new Carrera (993). Handling and top speed (262 km/ h) are excellent due in part to a 1650 kg curb weight, with traction and safety an afterthought thanks to all-wheel drive as standard.  In power delivery, the Audi RS 2 Avant is an old school turbo car, much like many cars of the era.

Goodyear eagle 650x85(DSF)

After turning the ignition key, the five-valve engine awakens with a typical five-cylinder rumble that shakes a bit at idle, then settles to a rather subdued note. Even if the accelerator pedal is fully depressed when the engine is warm, you can count the seconds until the turbo spools to full boost. What happens then is almost too much of a good thing for normal driving, but one of the reasons why they planned 2200 Audi Avant RS2s, but built 2,908 copies by the end of 1995.


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