Regarding the reliability factor. My car had done 182000 km when I sold it and was still going strong. When I bought it, with 172000km on the clock, I rang a specialist in Swindon and they said generally the 5 cylinder engines go on forever. Major rebuilds required around 200, 000 MILES. Of course there are always bad ones. Mine I believe was a pre-production model or very early one, (registered December 1993). The Audi 80 parts and the five-cylinder engines had reached the end of a development period so I think most of the bugs were ironed out. RS2 unmodified, good for around 400hp then it needs work. Only weak point I have found after spending time reading lists and comments and owning one - the handbrakes. I am thinking of getting another, more fool me. Mine stood up to laps of the Nurbürgring so can't be that bad.
This car is very serious and should not be taken for granted. It will have you welded to your seat.
05/08/03 I got my RS2 three months ago it's a right hand drive ragussa green example. The car has 79700 miles on the clock and is supported with a nice history. I myself have been in the motor trade for 23 years and have driven lots of exotic cars, but none stir me like my RS2.This model for me is quite simply perfect.
Some folk may think that an RS2 is a bloke's car, but my wife convinced me to get one, so that "she could get the shopping and have some fun" - well, given the estate car body, I had to agree didn't I?. Anyway, I got to drive the 3rd hand (50 k miles August 1995) red, shopping trolley, alone early one morning and after finally finding some serious grip in the seat position, took off at warp speed. The acceleration when the big torque cuts in is just intoxicating (and potentially license losing!). First gear is a test of speed - how fast can you change up before the rev limiter violently removes the thrust?. Second is fun, but can take you over the legal limit in quite a few countries - 3rd and you're at 90 mph before you wonder what it was you over-took, and if he saw you coming. Summary: mind-blowing, all this in an 'ordinary' looking estate.
Anyway, you will gather that we enjoy the car, but it is expensive to run. Ours is a LHD FSH model, but the big service at 120 K Kilometers (80 kmiles?) including belt changes, plus some other cosmetics like air con motors cost £1500 (swiss prices) - still, that was main dealer and very convenient -in fact they enjoyed the challenge of working on a rare and beloved car. It came back very shiny.
People say the brakes are expensive, but I don't know what the comparison is - my A6 4,2 V8 Avant just needed new disks and pads after only 40 k miles - the RS2's are cheaper and last longer - and you can guess that the RS2 is more likely to be driven hard!
Tyres are a discussion point - I think on balance the 225's are more than adequate (given new technology) and the standard 245's are overdone. I drive 225's as snow tyres as well and the extra clearance is a big help even though limited to 210 KPH (a bind on the autobahn), 260 (160 mph) with sommer tyres is no problem at all - the car just seems to hunker down on the asphalt, like a cat purring at 6000 rpm plus.)
Is it expensive - yes, is it fun - wow!, is it practical - absolutely, is it understated - except in nogaro or lazer red - probably. Do I wish it were an automatic (sometimes), but my lead-foot wife wouldn't have it any other way - it's 'real' driving without electronic interference.
I have a Ragussa Green RS2 which is totally unmodified. All I have done to it is change the oil every 6 months, replace the dampers and top mounts and love it madly for 2 years now. I mainly use it for a 165-mile commute two or three times per month. However, its practicality does mean it gets used for load-lugging and carrying, things no other Porsche could ever do.
If the RS was a mundane, soft car I would drone up the motorways (where 85% of all traffic police lurk), but there is no way such a car should do that! The true measure of a real-life supercar is its performance in all weathers and traffic conditions and the RS is superb. Unless it's foggy, or there is a traffic jam, the journey time only ever varies by 5 minutes. Notice I refer to a jam; this is not referring to queues of traffic behind caravans/lorries, because they are dispatched with such consummate ease as to be of little consequence. Rain, snow, wind, leaves are no hindrance at all.
On top of its ability, it is such FUN. No RS2/4/6 driver would argue that the RS2 is not the rawest, most involving of the RS models and I love it that way. The common thread with all the RSs is that huge, never-ending wave of acceleration that hooks you like a narcotic drug.
The RS is such a pretty car, but manages to be discreet, too; it exudes that aura of quality that Porsche/AUdi/MB/BMW are always striving to improve and it fells mighty strong. There are NO squeaks or rattles, even after 115,000 miles of hard driving on hard suspension on appalling roads. It is rare and nobody likes to be part of a herd.
If anyone notices it, they are a fellow car enthusiast in my estimation and we smile/wave, or chat about it for a while if stationary; it is a car with a terrific reputation, well deserved.
I won't be getting rid of mine unless I can no longer keep it running; it is a "modern" take on the ultimate Audi icon, the ur-Quattro; improved by a long way, but full of the original's character. Definitely a super car and a supercar too.
I have owned a 94 model for the last year now, and am extremely pleased with it. It has the additional MTM 380hp pack, so the turbo lag is even more prominent. But I have gotten used to it.
I do track days with it occasionally, and then go to the supermarket to buy groceries. No other car can do both so well.
As regards the previous lister. I too have 8.5x 18" wheels, and would recommend 255/35/18 tyres or 225/40/18. Definitely not 285/30.
Well I've had my RS2 for 18 months and I'm just about to sell her. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic car to drive, beautiful to look at (still gives me a thrill seeing her parked up amongst the grey masses) and that power surge is just unreal. But, at the end of the day, this is an expensive car to run, both in terms of fuel (try driving at a sedate pace - I challenge you) and general upkeep in terms of tyres, brakes, etc. I was unfortunate enough to have my door mirrors stolen - Just 2 hex bolts and you're £500 down. Disks are a big deal also. Anything that involves getting to the front or underside of the engine (eg, timing belt) basically means taking the whole front of the car off - not a cheap exercise even at non-main dealers.
So, sadly, I'm downgrading to some standard Audi or Beemer or other (new house forces sale). One final thing - residual value: I reckon good examples have pretty much bottomed out in price now. I had people clamoring to stuff cash in my hand a day after posting the ad.
In summary - depreciation-proof, practical supercar motoring, but be prepared to foot the bill and you will be rewarded with a grin and the knowledge you're driving the granddaddy of all the 4WD Porsches on the road today.
A sad almost-ex-RS2 owner.