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Audi RS2 Avant

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Audi RS2 Avant
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The Audi RS2 Avant was a limited edition, high performance Audi station wagon sold from 1994 to 1996. Collaboratively designed by Audi and Porsche and built on Audi's 80 Avant, it was the company's first "RS" vehicle and the first of their high performance Avants; it used the most powerful and most thoroughly developed version of the company's turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, and was unmatched in performance among both wagons and 4-doored sedans at the time of its release.

Although it was never exported outside of continental Europe, the RS2 has amassed an impressive cult following worldwide, and it is often regarded as being the vehicle that finally firmly established Audi as a producer of practical high performance vehicles; its wagon body and standard all-wheel-drive system made it useable as a comfortable daily driver even in poor weather conditions.

History

The RS2 was the product of a co-development project between Audi and Porsche, based on Audi's 80 Avant (station wagon) and powered by a modified version of their 2.2 litre, 20-valve turbocharged 5-cylinder engine producing 315 PS (232 kW) at 6500 rpm. Although much of the car's underpinings were manufactured by Audi, assembly was handled by Porsche at their plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany which had become available after discontinuation of the Mercedes-Benz 500E, which Porsche had manufactured under contract.

Like the rest of the vehicle, the RS2's 5-cylinder engine was based on a unit that Audi already produced, although Porsche considerablly modified the engine; the stock KKK turbocharger was switched for a larger unit along with a heavy-duty intercooler and higher flow fuel injectors, a newly designed camshaft, a more efficient induction system and a low-pressure exhaust system replaced the standard fare; a new Bosch-supplied engine management computer controlled the engine.

With so much power available, the RS2 could run from 0 to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and achieve a maximum speed of 163 mph [restricted], despite weighing over 1400 kg. In a road test conducted in 1995, British car magazine Autocar timed the RS2 from 0 to 30 mph at just 1.5 seconds, which they confirmed was faster than both the McLaren F1 road car and also Jacque Villeneuve's Formula 1 car of that time. Even by more modern standards, its performance is exceptional; it could accerlate on-par with the C5 generation Chevrolet Corvette and was only a tenth of a second slower to 60 than a 996 generation Porsche 911.

Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system was standard, and Porsche-designed braking and suspension systems replaced the standard Audi 80 equipment. 1.6 inches (4 cm) lower than a stock 80 Avant, the suspension and braking upgrades combined to give the RS2 the handling and braking capabilities of a high-end sports car; 17 inch (432 mm) wheels and high performance 245/40ZR17Dunlop tires were standard as well. In fact, the braking system wore Porsche badged Brembo calipers and both the wheels and side mirrors were identical in design to those of the 964 Turbo. Additionally, the word "PORSCHE" is inscribed in the RS2 emblem affixed to the trunk.

A 3-spoke leather steering wheel, Recaro sports-bucket seats (available in full-leather or a leather/suede combination) and console materials in either Wood or Carbon Trim rounded out the vehicle's interior changes.

Approximately 2200 RS2s were to be built initially, but due to demand the total was 2891 cars built. Of these, only 180 were right hand drive cars built for the UK market. Audi also produced an S2, which was available both as a station wagon and a coupe. It featured a similar turbocharged 2.2-liter 5-cylinder engine which delivered 220hp(3B engine) or 230hp(ABY engine).


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