Some thirteen years on from its introduction, the Audi 80 RS2 Avant remains one of the fastest estate cars ever built. Developed in conjunction with Porsche (who were also tasked with final assembly), the new model differed so much from its humbler S2 sibling that it merited separate type-approval and crash testing. Tasked with extracting greater outputs from the 2226cc five-cylinder DOHC engine, Porsche engineer Michael Holscher (later responsible for the Carrera GT hypercar) allied reprofiled camshafts, higher-volume injectors and modified intake / exhaust manifolds, to a larger intercooler, bigger KKK turbocharger (running at 1.4bar boost) and remapped Bosch Motronic ECU. The result was 315bhp @ 6,500rpm and 302lbft of torque @ 3,000rpm which when channelled through a sophisticated four-wheel drive system enabled the RS2 to sprint from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and onto 163mph. To cope with such prodigious performance (Autocar found the Audi quicker from 0-30mph than the McLaren F1), the Zuffenhausen team fitted heavy-duty Bilstein dampers and thicker anti-roll bars to the all-round independent suspension (McPherson-strut front / double-wishbone rear). Gripped by Brembo callipers, outsize ventilated ABS disc brakes (304mm / 299mm) provided reassuring stopping power. Aside from its Porsche Cup alloys, 993 door mirrors, sideskirts and bespoke bumpers, the RS2 was deliciously understated. A car for the cognoscenti, just 180 of the 2,891 made (including four saloon variants) were to right-hand drive specification.
Finished in RS Blue with black leather upholstery, this particular RHD example is described by the vendor as being in "good" condition with regard to its engine, six-speed manual gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim, chassis, bodywork, paintwork and wheels / tyres. Stolen from an Audi dealership before it had even been registered, 'M292 URX' was converted into the ultimate getaway car by a gang of high-tech thieves. To this end, it was disguised as a pedestrian Audi 80 TDi Avant complete with replacement bumpers / tailgate and stick-on wheel trims. Denuded of its chassis plate and assorted pieces of upholstery, it was apparently recovered from the prestigious St George's Hill Estate (home to Sir Cliff Richard etc) some while later. Subsequently treated to a five-year restoration by its 'supplying' dealer (using £20,000 worth of original Audi parts), it was not road registered until 2005. Believed but not warranted to have covered just 5,624 miles from new, it is said to be "one of the finest examples anywhere". Boasting air-conditioning, electric front seats, CD-stereo, ellipsoidal headlamps and an immobiliser, this exceptional RS2 is offered for sale with MOT certificate valid until April 7th 2007.