Back in the ’90s, what is now called Audi Sport was born. Audi’s first ever “RS” car was actually not entirely developed by Audi. In fact, it was a joint venture with Porsche and, in 1994, the Audi RS2 Avant was born. In this new video from Petrolicious, we get to take a look at one owner’s RS2 Avant, why it means so much to him and how fantastic it can be.
Mark Birch is a ski instructor at the Courchevel ski resort in the French Alps and he owns a 1994 Audi RS2 Avant, a car that he still uses regularly. He uses it frequently for two reasons; it’s excellent to drive and it has sentimental value. When Birch was a kid, his father bought a 1.8 liter VW Passat wagon and took him to the Silverstone Circuit the day he bought it. While Birch only remembers getting into GTI race cars all day, he now realizes his father was having his Passat tuned to make more power. Since then, Birch has been hooked on fast, sporty wagons and the Audi RS2 Avant is the ultimate expression of the very same sort of car his father got him hooked on as a kid.
While Birch no longer uses the RS2 Avant as a daily drive, thanks to a crash resulting in him learning how expensive an RS2 bumper is, he and his family still use it quite a bit. And it makes perfect sense for a snowy, ski vehicle. Its 2.2 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine is damn-near bulletproof and is very strong, while also being punchy. It makes 311 hp and 302 lb-ft of torque, which is impressive even today. That punchy five-pot is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, which sends power to all four wheels via proper Quattro. It can sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, which is plenty quick.
That little five cylinder is so great because it was breathed on by Porsche back in the day, who also did the brakes and suspension, so it handled a lot better than any other fast Audi of the time. The Audi RS2 Avant gave birth to every other RS car moving forward and, eventually, the Audi Sport sub-brand we know and love today. And Birch’s story allows us to get a glimpse of why it’s so great.