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Used car buying guide: Audi RS2

In fact, when Autocar timed the RS2 from 0-30mph back in 1994, it turned out to be quicker than the McLaren F1. And although 0-60mph is officially rated at 5.4sec, it’s capable of completing the sprint in just 4.8sec. So yes, it still feels pretty fast even today.

On a twisty road, it doesn’t mind some enthusiasm, with strong grip and that powerful turbo helping you to make good progress. You also have a direct six-speed manual gearshift to play with.

The RS2 doesn’t really encourage you to push it and find its limits, mind you. Its handling remains capable and secure, rather than particularly playful and engaging.

Then again, from the get-go, the RS2 never seems like it’s trying to replicate the driving experience of a serious sports car or even its chief rival, the BMW M3. It remains a practical, easy-to-use estate, despite the Porsche-infused pace.

It’s similar to its RS4 successors in this way, but the RS2 is arguably the most characterful one of the lot.

An expert’s view

Alex Green, Fontain Motors: “Cosworth a bit gauche? Integral too fragile? With a pleasingly alliterative blend of performance, personality and practicality, an RS2 is what you need. It’ll win any game of Top Trumps against its workaday four-cylinder peers, and because it was a sensible estate car when new, it still works as one today. They’re not cheap any more and parts can be difficult, but the wait-wait-whoosh power delivery is really addictive, depreciation is non-existent and the classic Audi community is active and enthusiastic if you need a hand. Kids in the back, dogs in the boots, aiming for the horizon and the whole family can enjoy your investment as its maker intended. The ultimate usable classic?”

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