Porsche-Developed Predecessor to the RS 6, The C4 Audi RS4 Leaked!

Like many fans of vintage 5-cylinder Audis, we were ecstatic to see Porsche AG and Audi Tradition produce a video for the Porsche YouTube channel telling a bit of the story of the Audi RS2. Anything RS2-related is always interesting, but when the producers of the short injected a few design drawings into the piece they triggered our jaws hitting the floor. You see, the designs in question weren’t exactly of the RS2.

About three minutes and twenty seconds into the video, the images shown aren’t of an RS2. Heck, they’re not even of an Audi 80. The car shown in the images is the larger C4-generation 100 Avant. Does that mean Porsche also considered breathing on Audi’s larger C-segment wagon before settling on the smaller B4-based 80 Avant? Well… it appears so. Yeah.

Given the discrepancy, it’s worth taking a much closer look at the drawings. Interestingly, the lower bumpers appear to be less updated. In the video they mention needing to redesign the front bumper to improve airflow for the tuned turbocharged 5-cylinder engine. Perhaps at the stage in the game of development of these drawings they hadn’t yet found the need. The bumpers are very understated. Not so the grille, an interesting aerodynamic piece that has both the Audi rings and the Porsche script on it. Mirrors are the same teardrop design as the later Porsche 964 and 993 mirrors, while the wheels appear to be the Porsche Cup 1 design that ultimately made its way to the RS2.

At the rear, the understated bumper theme continues. The sketched C4 Avant does though get a larger upper rear spoiler and indented “Powered by Porsche” nomenclature on the bumper trim. That’s the same text that would eventually show up on the RS2’s intake manifold.

Okay, so for the period correct nerds this wouldn’t have been called the RS 6 as is today’s C-body RS-car. The RS2 was the hotter version of the S2 and lacked the typical stylistic space you see in the name of cars like the RS 5 and RS 6. However, the S-car variant of the C-segment offering at the time was S4, then later changed to S6 when the A4 launched. In as much, we’re guessing this car would have been called RS4 or RS6 without the stylistic space and mirroring the numeral of whatever that particular year’s S-version was utilizing.

Think of it as the Audi enthusiast equivalent of Loki’s Throg and Mjolnir buried on the planet at the end of time. It’s one hell of an easter egg that won’t have any bearing on the world today, but a major nod to the past that was a delight to learn about.