Is the Audi RS2 a sleeper? Well, is the Pope Catholic?
A station wagon which accelerates from 0 to 30 faster than the F1 cars of its time while being almost indistinguishable, to the untrained eye, from the Passat-derived Audi 80 of which it represent a brutal performance-oriented evolution - this is the very definition of sleeper. Only the massive brake calipers sitting behind the Porsche wheels may betray its performance.
And I have to say - I've always been partial to 5-banger Audis, and to the styling of the B4 80, which to me represent the finest hour of Ingolstadt's designers.
But enough chit-chat, does the RS2 live up to its tremendous reputation?
Oh yes. Yes it does.
The engine - which already performed brilliantly in the more civilized S2, but here received a dashing of updates courtesy of Porsche's engineers - produces unholy amounts of torque, which thanks to Audi's trademark quattro permanent 4wd system motivate the car instead of wasting precious rubber in smoke displays. A stiff suspension package and powerful Brembo brakes provide racecar levels of grip and decent maneuvrability for a car which, when all is said and done, weights over 1600 kilograms. In stock form, it easily outperforms lightweight trackday cars such as the Lotus Elise; and there is plenty of room for improvement too. A bigger turbo and stickier tires would likely be enough to make it a force to be reckoned with in its class... And if you want to move beyond the tight confines of B-class, the world's your oyster.
A sleeper by definition, yes, but also one that's very deserving of its title.