What’s family estate car doing in this supercar league? Call it an Audi-Porsche and you will be a little nearer the mark, just like a Sierra-Cosworth or a Vauxhall Lotus Carlton. Audi commissioned Porsche to develop the already fast 80 Estate S2 into the fastest ever production load carrier. The S2 had been the previous flagship of the 80 range, boasting 230 bhp form its turbocharged 2.2 liter five cylinder 4 valve unit and a six speed gearbox with four wheel drive; that gave it a maximum speed of 145 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 sec. but with a little Porsche magic for the new RS2, power is upped to 315 bhp, the maximum goes to 160 mph and the 0-60 mph time comes down to just 4.8 seconds.

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A larger turbo charger, high lift cams and a free flow exhaust system coupled with revised fuel injection were responsible for the power increase of 37 percent to a remarkable 141 bhp/liter. It certainly goes like a supercar and can hold most Ferraris and Porsche to 100 mph; it will outdrag just about everything up to 30 mph, reached in just1.6 seconds, thanks to its four wheel drive grip, first gear has been strengthened too!.

Porsche work goes a little further than the power train; the suspension is lowered and stiffened, the alloy wheels carry lower profile tyres and Porsche 4-pot brake calipers are fitted. So it has all that it needs to be fast and safe. Don’t expect too much comfort, though. It is very well trimmed, it has all the interior fitments that you would ever expect and it is quiet car at speed, but the ride is somewhat bouncy.

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The suspension has to be stiff to keep a relatively tall body under control at the very high cornering speeds it can generate. It is very much a sports car and performance is what it is all about. In fact few of the establishments’ sports cars have six speed gearbox, but this can be used very effectively to produce the electrifying acceleration figures, and you have a gear for every occasion, necessary to ensure that you aren’t caught out by turbo-lag below 3000 rpm.

Adding all that power to the top end has left a relative hole at the lower end of the rev scale – the S2 is quicker form 30-50 mph in 4th gear than RS2. Audi are no strangers to the sporting word; with the 1980 Quattro they rewrote the rally car design rules and achieved considerable competition success.

Then, as now, they used a turbocharged 5 cylinder engine mounted in line ahead of the driven front wheel, the normal Audi layout with rear drive for the Quattro versions coming form the rear of the gearbox. Fastest of the production rally Audis was the 1984 Sport Quattro SI with 300 bhp form the special 4 valve engine; it would reach 155 mph and do the 0-60 mph dash in 5 seconds; the competition evolution could develop over 400 bhp.

Ten years on, we have the S2 and RS2, evolved for the road. While the RS2 is not quite the most expensive Audi, at over $45,000, it is almost three times the UK price of the outwardly similar 1.6 liter 80 Estate. It fits more naturally into the Porsche range. Priced between the 968 and 911, it is the understated supercar for the family man and his dog…