Audi S2 Coupe

Updated on January 24, 2019
A formidable sight in anyone's rearview mirror.
A formidable sight in anyone's rearview mirror.

A Modern-Day Classic

Throughout my years I have been lucky enough to own many desirable cars but none that bring back such fond memories as the Audi S2 Coupe. With its 20-valve, five-cylinder, turbo-charged engine and the Quattro four-wheel drive system, this really was a 'wolf in sheep's clothing.'

Easily rivaling the modern waves of Subaru Imprezas and Mitsubishi Evos, I would openly class this car in the same league as the Ford Escort Cosworth (except, of course, this German powerhouse was built with class in mind to go along with it's rallying pedigree).

With 220 horsepower as standard at its disposal, a tiny blip of the accelerator pedal resulted in the occupants being heavily planted into the Recaro style seats as this beast's immense four-wheel drive system gripped whatever road surface you happened to be driving on and surged forward. The noise from the external waist gate letting out a pleasing "whoosh" and the faint chatter of the turbo forcing extra air into the firing chambers never got old and left the driver grinning from ear to ear like a school boy being taken out in his childhood dream car for the first time.

The beauty of the S2 was that it was identical to the standard coupe externally, the only obvious addition was the small 'S' badge fitted to the front grill and the boot lit. This meant most other road users had no idea what was lurking under the bonnet and in its time (early-to-mid 1990s) there was very little else on the road that could match the acceleration or handling of such a rally-bred road car.

This brings me on to the handling. The S2 is a heavy car in its class so one might expect it to handle similar to a boat through the corners. One would be wrong, very wrong! The S2 handles like a house fly, it can be shifted from one sharp bend to another with poise and grip that even nowadays one would struggle to falter. The Quattro system is almost too good, it gives you a false sense of invincibility so one keeps pushing until finally the laws of physics kick in and it lets go. This is a bad place to be, in order to reach the S2's limits the chances are you will be going extremely quick (otherwise it would just grip and go where it had been aimed) and unfortunately, this is why there are so few of these classics left today. The only way to crash one is to be going ludicrously fast and if and when that happens, it will unlikely end in a cheap repair job!

The beauty of the S2 is that the 0-60 time (just under 6 seconds) can be achieved on pretty much any surface. Wet or day, gravel or concrete the S2 just squats the backend down and takes off. Wheelspin is harder to achieve than actually pushing this car hard enough for it to let go.

Later models came with the slightly more powerful 'ABY' engine producing 230 bhp and a six-speed gearbox. Many claim this is the model to buy, but the difference in performance is something I could never find the five-speed gearbox allowed the driver to reach 60 without having to change into 3rd gear and for me, it was (and still is) all about the acceleration rather than top speed.

Living with the S2 is also a pleasant experience. The interior is suave for its age, and the three-spoke steering wheel sporting the 'S' badge reminds you that at any given moment a smooth riding family car can erupt into a fuel guzzling beast.

There is very little to criticize, the only faults I could find while owning this classic for eight years, was the fuel consumption when my right foot became heavy. Unfortunately for my wallet, this happened the majority of the time due to the noise of that engine and the pure joy this car brings when being used in the manner it was built for.

Few of these cars are still on the roads these days, and their value is now steadily increasing if you are lucky enough to find a good example. A word of warning though, if you are looking to invest in one of these do your research beforehand. The S2 is not a car one buys just because they like the look of it, you need to know what your buying and realize that parts (should you be unlucky enough to require repairs) do not come cheaply.

On a finishing note, take a look at some of the old rallying videos showing the Audi Quattro S1 (the S2's older brother), this will give you a real feel for the pedigree this car has derived from. Enter into Youtube's search bar any phrase including 'group B rally' and the result will contain footage that has never been rivaled since the class was banned for being 'too fast to race' back in the late 1980's. Back then the rules in which a car manufacturer could enter a rally were much more lenient allowing them to breed undescribably powerful cars well before the days of traction control and the electronics, brakes and computer-assisted wizardry existed to help deal with such power. These were the days when drivers really were drivers.

My Beloved Audi S2

Facts and Figures

  • Manufactured and sold: 1991-1995
  • Engine: 2.2 litre (2226 cc) 20 valve 5 cylinder turbo
  • Gearbox: Manual five-speed
  • Acceleration 0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds
  • Maximum speed: 147 mph
  • Standing quarter mile: 14.5 seconds
  • Drive: Permanent four-wheel drive

The 3B engine bay of my Audi S2
The 3B engine bay of my Audi S2

Which is your favourite rally-car manufacturer?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)