Celebrating the twenty-year anniversary of its boisterous Avant RS2, Audi has announced that it will introduce a special-edition Audi RS 4 Avant Nogaro model. This ultimate hot hatch will seek to continue the RS2’s legacy of high-revving power and capable all-wheel-drive dynamic handling when it debuts at the 2014 Geneva auto show in March.
The original Audi Avant RS2, which was the first high-performance RS model from Audi, arrived in 1994. With its 2.2-liter five-cylinder engine and hefty turbocharger, the all-wheel-drive Audi Avant RS2 produced 315 hp and 302 lb-ft of torque. Porsche aided with the RS2’s development, combining high-end performance with the everyday usability and versatility of an all-wheel-drive hatchback. Power fed all four wheels (17-inchers from Porsche) via a six-speed manual gearbox, and drivers could manually activate a locking rear-axle differential for added stability.
Audi’s modern interpretation, the Audi RS 4 Avant Nogaro, attempts to preserve the look and spirit of the celebrated mid-90s classic. Customized special-edition Nogaro blue pearl-effect paint carries over from the 1994 Audi Avant RS2, and matte black finish on the RS sport exhaust and roof racks complete the homage alongside the black-gloss trim grille and window slots. Like its predecessor, the Audi RS 4 Avant’s interior is clad in a combination of high-quality leather and Alcantara, with special blue stitching among many other blue trim elements to celebrate the twenty-year anniversary of the Avant RS2.
The Audi RS 4 Avant Nogaro is more than skin deep, however. Like in the regular 2014 Audi RS 4 Avant, 450 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque are available from the RS 4 Avant’s 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated V-8, which is similar to the engine in the base Audi R8. Quattro all-wheel-drive is standard, as is Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Nogaro edition is complete with 20-inch wheels and red RS-badged brake calipers, with carbon fiber ceramic disc brakes as an available upgrade on the front axle. A sport differential and RS sport suspension make the Audi RS 4 Avant Nogaro a force to be reckoned with through the curves.
The original Audi Avant RS2 from 1994 could sprint from 0-62 mph in just 5.4 seconds in its way to a 162 mph top speed, while the modern Audi RS 4 Nogaro can do the same sprint in 4.7 seconds with a 174-mph top speed. Considering that twenty years of automotive innovation has resulted in the RS 4 Avant Nogaro cutting less than a second of the RS2's 0-62 mph sprint, it is no surprise that the original RS2 is one of the most sought-after performance cars from that era. Over the course of its brief two years of production and availability in Europe, only 2,908 RS2 units were built.
Starting price for the Europe-only RS 4 Avant Nogaro is set at €87,300 (about $118,000). For more information and photos on the 2014 Audi RS 4 Avant Nogaro, follow our coverage of the 2014 Geneva auto show in March.