Itís certainly exciting owning a car that you have admired for many years, I often rest the RS during the week and use my Merc instead, but sometimes I just fancy taking the Audi, and from the moment the decision has been made the whole journey becomes an event. It smells great inside from aged leather, it sounds fantastic with the Milltek exhaust and the weight of the clutch reminds you that itís not just any old Audi 80. When Iím not driving it I can often be found staring at it out of the window, meaning my neighbours probably now know me as the weird staring bloke from over the road.
Audi teamed up with Porsche to design the very first Audi RS, and for some odd reason they decided that it should be based on an Audi 80 Avant. The engine is a 2.2 litre 5-cylinder, to which Porsche added a larger turbocharger, a bigger intercooler, higher flow injectors, a new camshaft, a new induction system and an uprated ECU. All this meant 315bhp as standard with a top speed of 163mph and 0-60 taking 4.8 seconds. The familiar quattro 4WD system was standard along with Porsche suspension giving a 40mm lower ride height, and stopping power was provided by 968 brakes.
Driving the RS quickly is a lesson in old school turbo power. Itís docile from 0Ė3500rpm, but then the turbo comes in and it takes off. I really like the way it acts on boost as the back sinks low and it really sucks down onto the road. The noise increases and each gear change sees the same thing happening all over again, only this time you are always on boost. Third gear is particularly effective, but even sixth works well enough.
Another bonus is four wheel drive. During the snow we had earlier in the year, I decided to head for work and made my way towards my car through the kids playing in the street. I was immediately surrounded by them all offering to 'help clean the snow off, misterí, as their proud parents looked on smiling. I winced as mitten-covered hands scraped the snow off my paintwork and in the end there was barely a snowflake left. Fortunately my paint survived, and I managed to get to the office in one piece. When I arrived I was met with some amazement that I had chosen to use the RS, but off-boost and with the quattro system working hard, it was the perfect way to travel and I commuted that way for the rest of the week. The build-up of snow in the arches did cause a small problem as it snapped a little piece of plastic that directed airflow to cool the brakes, but a replacement was fitted as soon as the snow had melted.†
I called a few RS specialists to explain the problem, and many didnít inspire confidence that they knew what to do to fix it. Finally one garage seemed to know what the problem was and so I booked it in and awaited a call from them when required parts were in stock. I waited, and waited... and waited some more. In the end they didnít return my calls so Iíd wasted three weeks waiting for nothing which was very frustrating.
During one of the updates I was given the diagnosis. It turned out that my calipers had corroded badly, and this was lifting the plates pushing the pads onto the discs creating the noise. It was so bad that to fit a new pad youíd have to grind it down by a few millimetres on either side to get it to fit. Sadly, that is exactly what had been done to the pads already fitted to the car.
In the end the callipers were stripped down and all the corrosion removed before being treated to prevent them corroding again. The calipers were then fully serviced, the system bled, new pads were fitted and new brake pipes too. The resulting £954 bill was eye-watering, but my car now feels as good as new and brakes as well as it did when it left the showroom.
To be honest I am very disappointed that I paid the top price for a fully serviced car that was delivered to me with corroded brakes and pads that had been ground down to fit. Itís something that I need to talk to the dealer about, but fortunately the rest of the car appears to be in very rude health and that certainly makes me very happy indeed.
With the highs of ownership come the lows of realising that keeping a car like the RS2 in good order is not a cheap business, and you also have to patiently wait for parts to become available when you need them. Itís also wise to find a specialist that you are comfortable with as they make ownership a more comfortable proposition.
It will have to be sold one day, as it has swallowed a large chunk of my savings for a new house. But I can always push that purchase back for another year or two and continue to own a piece of motoring history, as for me this car is exactly that. Besides, I only recently put four new tyres on it, and I need to get some wear out of those before I can even consider adding it to the PH classifieds.
Previous report here