Life got you down? Sad about how the wagons seem to be dying across the board? Do those new Audi crossovers fail to stir anything in your rally-loving soul? Friend, if you’re willing to wait just a bit longer, I have the answer to your (uniquely American) woes: the legendary Audi RS2 Avant.
Next year—three weeks from now—is 2019. The principles of math tell me that this means you’ll be legally able to import cars from 1994 and earlier then, thanks to America’s stupid and arbitrary ban on importing cars that aren’t 25 or older. You probably have a mental list of cars you want to import. Why not add the RS2 to that?
This fact was brought to my attention today by our friends at the UK’s Autocar, which was kind enough to remind its American readership that the RS2 is import-able from March onward, depending on the car’s VIN and date of manufacture. Thanks, Autocar!
Audi has a long history of making fast all-wheel drives, ostensibly starting its legend with the ur-Quattro back in the 1980s, but even among those the RS2 Avant was—and is—pretty damn special.
To the untrained eye it looks like any other Audi 80 Avant, but the RS was not only the first Audi to sport the RS badge, it was actually co-built with Porsche. The cars were finished at the Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen, where they were outfitted with a specially tuned 2.2-liter turbo five-cylinder engine, a performance suspension, a bespoke six-speed manual gearbox, and brakes, wheels and tires from the 968 Clubsport, as Quattro Daily once recounted.
The result was a practical and stylish Audi wagon with 305 horsepower and a zero to 60 mph time of about five-and-a-half seconds, which was excellent in its time and still quite respectable today. Back in the mid-1990s, it could keep up with a 911.
So yes, this is one of the coolest Audi wagons ever. Sadly it was never sold in America, as the four-ring brand spent much of that decade in the wilderness after its own unintended acceleration mess. But even so, who would’ve bought it? This is a super-niche vehicle, even in Europe.
But next year you can right this wrong and bring the RS2 to the United States, where it will surely be appreciated at the next Radwood or on Bring A Trailer. They are, unfortunately, rare and not cheap—examples for sale in Europe go for $50,000 or more in some cases. I doubt this will deter some collectors, though, and it gives others something to aspire to.
Good luck to everyone planning to get in on this! I look forward to seeing these at some U.S. car shows in the spring and summer.