While these two legendary sports cars were never direct rivals, as the newer Audi RS2 was more of an E36 M3 rival, Carwow took a tasty E30 M3 to see if it can beat the Porsche-tuned Audi on a straight line.
The legend of the Audi RS2 was born in 1994 as a joint effort between Audi and Porsche. The goal was to create one really fast wagon and they did exactly that.
Power came from an upgraded turbocharged 2.2-liter five-cylinder Audi engine, to which Porsche added a bigger KKK turbo, angrier camshafts and a new Bosch ECU, among other things. The output numbers were set at 311hp (315PS) and 302lb-ft (410Nm) of torque. Power was sent to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system via a six-speed manual transmission.
The official 0-62mph (100km/h) time was 5.4 seconds but that was quickly debunked as several magazines timed it closer to 4.8 seconds, making the Audi RS2 faster than any Porsche 911 of the same era, sans the Turbo.
It’s no wonder then that the E30 M3 looks pretty gutless in comparison; its naturally aspirated 2.3-liter four-cylinder makes ‘just’ 215hp and a whole lot less torque than the Audi but it’s also lighter by around 400kg (880lbs).
Audi made just 2,900 examples of the RS2, making it a far rarer sight on the roads than the M3. Values in the used market were always going to shoot up for the RS2, especially from 2019 when the first Audi RS model becomes eligible for import in the USA.