Are these Audi’s coolest RS models?
Over the years, the performance branch of Audi – RS – has produced some iconic, hugely capable road cars.
Benefiting from years of experience generated in rallies, they’ve all provided plenty of performance with all-weather capability.
Audi recently released its latest instalment of the RS bloodline – the RS4 Avant – sparking cries as to which model from history is the best. Here are our top five…
One of the earliest members of the RS brand, the RS2 was based on the 80 body style produced back in the 1980s. Co-developed with Porsche, it was powered by a turbocharged 2.2-litre straight-five engine with just over 300bhp.
A direct ancestor of the current RS4 Avant, the RS2 showed what Audi could do with a conventional estate car – the RS2 had an ungoverned top speed of 163mph – while maintaining a real level of practicality too.
RS6 Avant (C7)
The latest RS6 Avant model will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the key vehicles produced by Audi RS. Featuring a turbocharged V8 engine, quattro all-wheel drive and a practical estate body style, it’s the perfect all-rounder – which is why it’s proved so popular.
With the trend towards downsizing apparent in performance cars, it’s unlikely that the next-generation RS6 will have the same engine, which is why this edition needs celebrating all the more.
RS4 Avant (B7)
Though the latest RS4 Avant is something of a technical masterclass, it was the previous-generation model that broke the mould for performance estate cars. The B7 edition RS4 Avant proved that fast Audis needn’t understeer everywhere – it was a proper performance car that could corner, steer and accelerate as well as any BMW.
There were a few complaints – the fuel tank was tiny, for instance – but the overall impressions of the RS4 Avant were impressively positive.
RS6 Saloon (C6)
One of the key aspects that made the C6 RS6 Saloon quite so famous was the engine. Shared with Lamborghini, the 5.0-litre V10 was something that wasn’t usually found in “regular” estate or saloon cars and yet here it was – in a comfortable, five-seater Audi.
Capable of hitting 60mph in under five seconds and able to quickly trouble its 155mph limiter, the RS6 Saloon looked, in truth, a little like a taxi – although true car aficionados knew about its underlying supercar performance.
Despite being one of the smallest models in the Audi range, the latest TTRS shows that compact cars needn’t be lacking in performance. The current-generation car features a turbocharged 2.5-litre engine and quattro all-wheel drive, but in a smaller, more road-friendly package.
Though not as practical as some of its estate or saloon stablemates, the TTRS makes up for it with invigorating performance and a turbocharged five-cylinder engine with plenty of character.
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