In 1994, Audi unleashed a potent vehicle that was co-developed with help from Porsche. It had plenty of horsepower, a sub-5-second zero-to-sixty time, and an advanced all-wheel drive system. No, it wasn’t a sportscar, but actually a wagon, and it helped launch one of the enthusiasts world’s more peculiar niches.
If you’re not into European cars, you might not “get” the allure of a performance hatchback or wagon, but to many, it’s the perfect marriage of weekday duty and weekend performance. The RS2 Avant featured a 2.2-liter turbocharged inline 5 that made 311 horsepower. Power was sent through a six-speed manual to Quattro all-wheel drive.
Porsche designed the braking and suspension components, and the car was assembled in the same facility as the bonkers Porsche 959.
When the RS2 Avant came out in 1994, it was like nothing else on the road. It has been 20 years since the debut of that lovely wagon, and to commemorate that milestone, Audi has released the 2014 RS4 Avant Nogaro. The special version of the wagon is so-named for the name of the bold blue color that was used on the original RS2 Avant.
The new RS4 Avant is a far different creature than the potent wagon from 1994. The current RS wagon features a 4.2-liter V8 making 450 horsepower. Pricing and availability have not been announced, but one rather depressing detail has emerged: the RS4 Avant Nogaro will not be available in the US. No matter, because it won’t have a manual transmission either. What a waste.
The two wagons side-by-side illustrates the drastic change in Audi styling. Some may like the aggressive design, but there was something very alluring about the older, cleaner Audi designs. This simplistic styling carried into the 2000s and was almost akin to driving an Apple product.
People love Audi designs, but a move back to cleaner lines would allow Audi to better show how its grown through the years– and the progress that it has made since the amazing RS2 Avant.