First of all it’s the mightiest TT ever built by the manufacturer from Ingolstadt. Secondly it is the latest model to receive an RS badge and thirdly it is available in both coupé or roadster. What else do you want? Perhaps a test drive… no problem! For one day we shifted our focus to the ‘über’-TT loaded with all the necessary equipment and dressed in Daytona grey with pearl effect.
Inspired by a legendary 1980s road-going rally car, the Quattro, the TT-RS benefits from a five-cylinder turbocharged engine under the hood. The 2.5 liter TFSI engine produces a whopping 335bhp between 5400 and 6500rpm and 332lb-ft of torque between 1600 and 5300rpm. Its combination of direct injection and turbocharging does the real trick of keeping the fuel consumption feasible even-tough it is the fastest in its class.
Transferring the power to the road means controlling the short shift six-speed manual gearbox. Automatic? DSG? Not available for the TT-RS! A pity, but a truly inspired vehicle like this TT shouldn’t need those gimmicks. Only a decent gearbox capable of doing the job, and it does, however a short shift should serve short and precise actions. Instead, in the RS, it’s rather long and vague. Adequate for low speeds, but at imminent accelerations smoothness is completely absent. It can be annoying at moments, even up to the point that you can ask yourself; Wouldn’t a DSG solve this hustling?
The cornering speeds of the TT-RS are high. There is enough grip, but it is hard to reach the boundaries of the vehicle. Surprisingly it will understeer, even-though Audi states that the quattro drivetrain is rear biased. It gives the driver the feeling its using a fast front-wheel drive car with a heavy nose not willing to oversteer. Lifting the throttle will get it back in line, but you never have the feeling it communicates as well as its main competitor the Porsche Cayman.
Body roll is gone due to the installation of firmer springs. So the ride is firm but never bumpy. During our road test 19 x 9J ‘5-arm rotor’ design alloy wheels including 255/35 R19 tyres were fitted. They coped well with bumpy roads or even pot holes in the city center. If requested, you can choose Audi’s swtichable magnetic ride or fit the standard 18 inch or optional 20 inch rims.
It is fast! The four-wheel drive propels passengers from 0 to 100km/h in about 4,6 seconds, that’s quicker than any rival in the market today. Stopping is achieved via brakes sizing 370mm at the front and 310mm at the back. The brakes are suitably sharp and hard. The top speed of 155mph is standard. You can ask your Audi dealership to raise it up to 174mph. Of course it isn’t free and you still have a limited vehicle.
Turn the key and the engine comes to life with a decent sound track from the twin exhausts. You immediately feel you drive a special edition and the sound accompanies that. As an option a sports exhaust system is available. By pushing the sport button next to the shift lever, the throttle and steering response are sharpened and a valve inside the sport exhaust opens up. The result is very loud tune of wonderful exhaust rumble. On the inside the difference is easily noticeable. It is an addictive sound track and you should definitely go for it on the option list.
The visual differences between the ‘standard’ TT-range and the RS include bigger front intakes, flared sills and RS badging on the boot, the nose and the calipers. The fixed rear wing is the most striking difference and can be swapped for the standard retractable type. Within the interior you will get sports seats in Silk Nappa leather and aluminium pedals. The RS badges are spread around the cabin and can be found on the flat-bottomed steering wheel, the lap timer and digital gauges for boost and oil temperature, sports seats and optional winged hard-backed chairs.
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To conclude our experience, the Audi TT-RS is definitely capable of achieving a lot, supplementing its highly desirable feeling it left us. Perhaps it didn’t leave us with the epic heritage that the orginal Quattro has, nor is it a complete sports car smashing the main competition from Stuttgart, but it definitely deserves the RS-badge and puts a big smile on anybodies face.