It’s been 25 years since Audi introduced the formidable RS2 to the world. It included a 5-cylinder engine developed jointly with Porsche. The model fits perfectly into the brand family and laid the foundation for an amazing series. Today we’ll take you through the most significant models that have carried the RS name since 1994 and see if the pioneering spirit of the RS2 continues today.

Models of the RS brand have earned respect and reputation in the automotive world. They are often even more preferred than BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG. But where did it all start?

Following the success of the Audi S2 coupe and the original S4 sedan based on the 1991 Audi C4, the German manufacturer decided to further develop its capabilities. In 1994, Audi Quattro GmbH created the RS brand based on RennSport, which we think needs no translation.

Later that year, Quattro GmbH gave birth to its first model in the form of the RS2 Avant. The current version of the 80 «B4» Audi 80, the RS2 Avant (only available as station wagon), was developed in partnership with Porsche. Wheels from 993 911 are brought from Stuttgart. Headlights and mirrors, as well as brakes and suspension, are also Porsche.

An extremely powerful car for its time, the RS2 Avant is powered by a 2.2-litre, 5-cylinder, 20-valve, turbocharged engine with 311 hp. A 6-speed manual transmission is attached to it, and the time to 100 km / h is 5.4 seconds. The first RS car turned out to be biased, with room for five adults, luggage, and the ability to pair with a Honda NSX and Porsche 993 Carrera.

The brand’s new platform marks the beginning of the Audi A4, which laid the groundwork for the next S and RS variants. Which brings us to the RS4 Avant — again only in station wagon form. The B5 RS4 Avant is powered by a Cosworth 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 382 hp.

The B5 RS4 is Audi’s first standalone project to break ties with Porsche. The station wagon accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.9 seconds, reaching 250 km / h. Demand for the B5 RS4 Avant is so high that Audi is doubling production volumes. Production was discontinued only after a year in 2001 with over 6,000 units produced.

In 2002, Audi introduced an entirely new model to its RS lineup, the RS6 sedan and station wagon. With a muscular body, aluminum mirror caps and two large oval tailpipes, this model seemed embarrassing.

Once again, Cosworth takes care of the engine. This is a 4.2-liter V8 engine with two turbochargers and an output of 444 hp. Combined with Audi’s 5-speed Tiptronic transmission, this allows the RS6 to hit 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. The RS6 Plus debuted in 2004, boosting power to 480 bhp and a top speed of up to 280 km/h. However, the C5 RS6 suffers from understeer, which affects the driving experience.

Audi got back in shape in 2006 when they released the new RS4 after a long hiatus. Available in sedan, avant and convertible versions, the B7 RS4 has long been considered the ultimate RS model. The powertrain is an all-new 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine with high revs and 414 hp. at 7800 rpm and connected to a 6-speed manual transmission. 0-100 km / h come in 4.8 sec. and the top speed does not move from 250. However, without the limiter, the model is capable of reaching 290 km / h. Audi is withdrawing this model from production after just 18 months.

In 2008, engineers from Neckarsulm proposed the Audi C6 RS6 with 572 hp. from a 5.0-liter turbocharged V10. Thus began the war with the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG. Despite the weight of 2025 kg, the powerful RS6 could still reach speeds of up to 100 km / h in 4.6 s, although even in the combined cycle fuel consumption was high. Although it has very fast acceleration for such a large car, some people question this RS model. It was too sophisticated, almost civilized, and heavier than it probably should have been.

The following year, Audi released a Porsche Cayman competitor in the form of the TT RS. With a more anabolic look and lower height than the standard TT, the TT RS looked a lot worse. The engine produced 335 hp. In 2012, the TT RS plus was put into operation, the power of which was increased to 355 hp. and a top speed of up to 280 km/h. The TT RS is known for its astonishingly fast, surprisingly economical and unique performance.

To revive the magic of the B7 RS4, in 2010 Audi released the RS5 coupe. Powered by the same naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 engine as the B7, but lightly supercharged to 444 hp. , it was only available with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. 0-100 took just 4.6 seconds. However, RS’s commitment was somehow lacking and the model was not lightweight.

In the same year, the Audi RS3 was put into production. The TT RS’s 2.5-litre turbocharged engine paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission allowed the RS3 to establish itself as a brutal hot dog. Regardless of the nature of the engine, everyday use, and practicality, the dynamic power of the RS3 was overwhelmed by the steering and lack of chassis subtlety.

In 2012, Quattro GmbH returned to its traditional format for the new RS4, launching it only as a station wagon. Styling was brutal, with bulging fenders, aggressive front vents and large oval tailpipes all contributing to the great look. The car used the same 4.2-liter V8 with 444 hp. from RS5, and the time to 100 was covered in 4.7 seconds. If you remove the limiter, the car won’t ask you a second time until it reaches 280 km/h.

The C7 RS6 also made an appearance in 2013, when Audi ditched its predecessor’s powerful V10 engine in favor of a smaller 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 553 hp. Even with the volume down, the new RS6 remains faster than the previous generation, claiming a stunning 3.9 seconds. Its 1/4 mile time was only 3 tenths faster than the Porsche 997 GT2.

The latest generation RS5 is equipped with a 2.9-liter V6 engine producing 444 hp. Weaker S-series models now use a 345-hp V6 hybrid diesel engine as the brand seeks to maintain its performance amid tightening regulations.

Now, with the refreshed Audi TT RS, the upcoming RS3 and ambitious targets for future high performance models, Audi looks set to continue the impressive RS legacy.