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Audi RS2 Avant: One of the First Hot Wagons

A high-performance, compact station wagon developed in concert between Audi and Porsche: sounds too good to be true, right? Believe it or not, this enthusiast's dream once existed in the form of the Audi RS2 Avant. Unveiled at the 1993 Frankfurt auto show, the RS2 came at a time when Audi was first getting into the hot wagon craze with models like the powerful S2 and S4 Avant.

The wild RS2, the first-ever RS model for the brand, took things a step further. This limited-run model (2,908 units were produced in two years), had a 2.2-liter, five-cylinder engine good for 315 and 302 lb-ft of torque. Each engine was run at full load at Porsche's Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory for 90 minutes at to guarantee output. This five-door could go from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, beating all contemporary Porsches save for the 911 3.6 Turbo, and its top speed was 163 mph was unusual when most cars were limited to 155 mph.

Though the RS2 mostly looked like the pedestrian Audi 80 Avant on which it was based, clues like the wheels, mirrors, front indicators, and foglights borrowed from a Porsche 911 meant that those in the know could tell this special car apart. It also stole its 12.0-inch front brake rotors from the Porsche 968 Club Sport, and even larger 12.7-inch from the 911 Turbo were optional. Quattro all-wheel drive was standard, and power was delivered to all four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The RS2 even had a locking rear differential.

Though the Audi RS2 Avant was never sold in the U.S. (no surprise there), the car is a highly collectible item in Europe these days. New, the Audi RS2 Avant cost about 40 percent more than a BMW M3.