As any car enthusiast will be aware, there are many different cars that carry various badges.

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These badges are used to denote different trim and performance variants.

While the “average Joe” might not care for the difference, for those passionate about cars we tend to have a desire to know what each and every badge means!

In previous editions of Car Facts we’ve looked at the meaning of both GTI and GT when it comes to cars.

But what does RS stand for on a car? In this short edition of Car Facts we take a look at the term “RS” and its meaning in the automotive industry.


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What Does RS Mean?

RS generally stands for “Rally Sport”.

On some cars, it is believed to stand for “Racing Sport”, but “Rally Sport” is the most widely accepted usage.

Examples of RS vehicles that have credible rally heritage/pedigree include the Ford Escort RS2000, Subaru Legacy RS/RS-B, Mitsubishi Evo IV RS and Audi RS2.

All three of these examples either had their origins as successful rally cars (in the case of the Ford, Mitsubishi, and Subaru) or came from a manufacturer with excellent rally credentials (Audi revolutionized rallying in the 1980s with the development of their Quattro system, so have every right to use the “Rally Sport” name!)

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Subaru Legacy RS showing its true rally form!

RS can also stand for “Racing Sport” (or words to that effect).

In the case of Porsche, RS stands for “Rennsport” which translates to “racing/motor racing”.

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Much as with GT and GTI badges, RS has also come to be used by manufacturers as a “generic” term to denote higher performance and/or superior trim vehicle variants. Various vehicles in their respective lineups over the years have carried the “RS” badge despite not being intended for rally or road race usage.