Fully camouflaged, the Audi S2 raises no suspicion about the difference between it and lesser 2.0E sedans, in other words, the perfect sleeper. Under the hood is a 2.2-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine good for 230 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque at an unbelievable 1950rpm, *with short peaks of 278 lb-ft using an overboost device. Although 230hp is not earth-toppling the result is mighty impressive: 60 mph goes by in less than 6 seconds and top speed is an ample just-under-250 km/h. The S2 uses lower springs, firmer gas-pressure shocks, 205/55ZR16 tires, a six-speed manual transmission and the Quattro 4wd system, the latter being both its biggest virtue and a letdown. A virtue because it makes the S2 immune to wet weather, poor roads and bad drivers and completely forgiving at the limit. A letdown because of the mechanical disadvantages of the 4wd system, namely the added weight and friction of all the extra rotating parts and inertia over a 2wd vehicle.
The turbo, too, takes its time to transmit power to all wheels and the heavy clutch is often not up to the task. The engine, while thirsty (achieving an average of 14.5 mpg over the combined cycle) and noisy, delivers a lot of bottom-end grunt and often makes for a faster car than the Audi's two main competitors, the M3 and C43 AMG. The brakes, including an ABS system that can be switched off, are powerful while the S2 is stable at high speed and predictable at the limit, although providing a harsh ride. Even though, like all other cars, it has its drawbacks, considering its excellent straight-line performance, poor-weather capability, q-car design and spacious cabin, the S2 should be considered as an extremely capable all-around car. Sorry, this ride is for European customers only. - by Traian Popescu
|Base Price, USD||29,241||Engine Type||20-valve 5-cyl turbo|
|Powertrain Layout||Front engine, AWD||Displacement, cc||2226|
|Curb Weight, lb||3344||0-62 mph, sec||6.0|
|1/4 mile, sec@mph||-||600 ft slalom, mph||-|
|70-0 mph, ft||-||Top speed, mph||154|