Why would anyone even contemplate paying $35,000 for a 21 year old, complicated and turbocharged Audi wagon that you can’t register in the U.S. for 4 more years? Because of the badge that adorns the front – the magical “Renn” added to the S2 badge, along with the legendary name Porsche scripted below. That meant that this relatively unassuming Audi 80 quattro Avant had been produced in Zuffenhausen rather than Ingolstadt and had added a healthy dose of even more “Sport” to the small chassis. Ostensibly, though the Sport Quattro was the first “RS” vehicle, the RS2 was the first to wear the badge which has become synonymous with Audi’s speed department. For many Audi aficionados, though the RS vehicles have become much faster and more luxurious, just like the 500E and the M3 Audi has never made a car better in its overall execution than the original. Not that it was slow by any means; Porsche’s massaging of the inline-5 resulted in 311 horsepower – even more than the Sport Quattro had from essentially a very similar motor – so despite being much heavier than the Sport had been, the RS2 wasn’t much slower; sub-5 seconds to 60 and a top speed north of 160 mph. Along the way, it was capable of bullying everything outside of a supercar; yet this car also established the move from Audi’s 2-door “halo” vehicle to a long line of fast five doors. Porsche also upgraded the brakes and wheels with Brembo units and 17″ “Cup 1” wheels creating a signature link. So, too, was the color signature; original called “RS Blue” rather than the color name it’s often mistaken for – the later Nogaro – the bright blue is still the go-to shade for Audi’s fastest. Even within its fast contemporaries, this car was legendary, and the upgrades to the motors and wheels spawned an entire generation of enthusiasts to turn up their inline-5s stateside. Of course, the RS2 wasn’t imported here – nor were any of the S2s for that matter, or even the 80 Avant. That makes seeing one in the U.S. exceptionally rare (and, currently illegal….):
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