This Audi S6 Plus Is A Super Rare, V8-Powered RS2 Alternative

RS2 a little too obvious for you? This S6 Plus is up for auction soon, but it's not cheap...

Remind me later
Audi - This Audi S6 Plus Is A Super Rare, V8-Powered RS2 Alternative - Used Cars

If you’re in the market for the ultimate early Audi performance car, chances are the RS2 is on your radar. But as a choice, the Porsche co-developed wagon is just a bit… basic, isn’t it?

If you agree, you may want to consider this - it’s an S6 Plus, which will be auctioned next month. The roots of this car can be traced back to the original S4, which - confusingly - isn’t a predecessor for the later line of performance-oriented A4 saloons and ‘Avant’ estates.

Audi - This Audi S6 Plus Is A Super Rare, V8-Powered RS2 Alternative - Used Cars

No - the ‘ur-S4’ as it’s sometimes called was actually a faster version of the 100 rather than the smaller 80. Sold under that name for a couple of years, it then switched to the moniker ‘S6’, although the powertrain remained the same - a 2.2-litre turbocharged inline-five.

Its 230bhp output was impressive enough in the day, but you could take things further by going for the 286bhp V8 option. And if that didn’t suffice, for one year only, there was the 322bhp S6 Plus.

So, it’s a little more powerful than the RS2, and it has just as much pedigree - it was developed by quattro GmbH, making it an RS in all but name. And how’s this for a kicker - it’s rarer. Only 96 examples of the S6 saloon like the one you see here were built.

Audi - This Audi S6 Plus Is A Super Rare, V8-Powered RS2 Alternative - Used Cars

Tickling the V8 wasn’t quattro’s only modification. The suspension was overhauled, resulting in a drop in ride height and widened rear track. The brake size was increased to account for the extra power, and the standard V8 S6’s automatic transmission was dropped - the only gearbox offered was a revised version of the standard car’s six-speed manual.

This particular S6 Plus has the perfect spec, with a Nogaro Blue finish and matching blue Alcantara seat inserts. Also inside you might have spied the carbon trim pack (yep, that was a thing even back in 1996), and that de rigueur posh 90s car accoutrement - a phone.

Audi - This Audi S6 Plus Is A Super Rare, V8-Powered RS2 Alternative - Used Cars

Audi originally gifted the car to a Spanish newspaper as a trade-off for advertising space. The publication’s CEO biffed about in the car for a while, after which it was bought by the Marquess of Antella, who tasked quattro GmbH with rebuilding the engine. More recently, it’s had a respray and full service.

The care that’s gone into this car and its rarity do come at a price, however - with an estimate of €40,000 - €60,000, it stands to be just as expensive as an RS2. Which would you have, and why?