When the 1994 Audi RS2 Avant was first unveiled, it was a unique and unconventional design by 90s standards. It was a sports car in the form of a station wagon rather than the traditional coupe, hatchback, convertible or sedan style.
At that time, the body design was the standout feature. That’s because it offered its driver and passengers heaps of space, comfort, and a rather impressive drivetrain that sat on an all-wheel drive system.
The Audi RS2 Avant is designed as a sports car that can also serve as a comfortable family car. Finally, Audi sent representatives to Porsche’s headquarters in Stuttgart, where the RS2 Avant’s maiden voyage began.
After the success of the Audi S2 and the original Audi S4, Audi wanted more speed and power, but they struggled to come up with the formula. Porsche was a German powerhouse and speed maker who perfected the formula.
It seemed as if Audi had approached the perfect manufacturer to help drive their cars at significantly faster speeds. It was at this point in 1994 that the RS2 Avant was born and became Audi’s first sub-brand RS model.
How a sports station car filled Audi’s void
In 1994 Audi discontinued their popular sport Quattro, leaving a great void. This void needed another sporty and performance-oriented engine. A void that could be perfectly filled by the Audi RS2 Avant. Instead of most manufacturers modifying the pre-existing Quattro or introducing another comparable but faster coupe, Audi wanted to do something different, and they did so with great success.
During the early stages of the design and production of the RS2 Avant, they encountered a huge problem. Audi engineers focused on developing the new Audi A4, Audi A6 and Audi A8. This development from Audi seemed much more important than a trail project that could go two different ways. However, Ferdinand Piech, chairman of the supervisory board of Audi at the time, saw the enormous potential for success of the RS2 Avant.
He wanted an extremely fast station wagon that would change the way station wagons were looked at. It was at this point that Piech returned to Porsche, where he had previously worked in the 1960s and 1970s, asking for help with Audi’s vision. A project in which Audi’s construction of the Porsche 924 and Porsche 944 could be repaid.
From the very beginning of Porsche, they have always been willing to help other manufacturers, which can be seen in several models from other manufacturers, such as the Mercedes-Benz 500E. Audi and Porsche agreed on how to help each other in the production of the Audi RS2 Avant. They decided that the car’s body structure would be built at Audi’s factory, while Porsche would work on the car’s powertrain.
Porsche changes that made the Audi RS2 Avant stand out
Engineers at Porsche started making major changes to the engine. They upgraded the engine to a 2.2-litre, front-mounted, five-cylinder petrol engine, while replacing the stock turbines with a more efficient analog turbine. It is clear to see that Porsche has completely disassembled the powertrain of the RS2 Avant and has started a complete rebuild.
The conversion featured larger intercoolers, much more efficient jets and a camshaft designed specifically for the 2.2-litre engine. The Porsche 911 wheels and side mirrors were connected to the RS2, which ultimately saved weight and led to much better aerodynamic possibilities.
A Bosch engine management computer and Porsche’s engine management software were added to the long list of tweaks. Like Porsche added an all-new suspension system and equipped the RS2 Avant with a brand new braking system.
The results of all of Porsche’s modifications were incredible, especially considering that the RS2 Avant was a station wagon. Its relatively small but aggressive engine could produce a respectable 315 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Coupled with the engine came a six-speed manual transmission and permanent four-wheel drive system, making the RS2 Avant estate car reaches 0-100 km/h in 5.4 seconds while reaching a top speed of 163 mph. These are extremely spectacular stats for a station wagon!
Audi RS2 Avant is becoming more desirable and valuable
With an initial price tag of $51,796 (which was a ridiculously high price in the 1990s), but with all due respect, it was a unique, never-before-seen motorcycle monster. It’s no surprise that the value of the Audi RS2 Avant is starting to rise again.
While you can get a pretty filthy 1994 RS2 Avant for close to $25,000-$40,000, an pristine condition RS2 Avant will cost you a whopping $45,000-$75,000. With only 3,000 Audi RS2 Avants produced, it’s a classic rarity, and if you get the chance to buy one and have the money, do it!
Sources: Audi, Porsche