Just this morning, Porsche completed the revamp process that sees all models downsize with the addition of turbocharging. The Porsche 718 Cayman finishing that process. Thankfully, sister company Audi never got the downsizing memo, and have revealed the latest Audi TT RS in coupe and roadster guise with a 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine and 400 metric horsepower.
The MQB platform-based sports car from Ingolstadt, the TT, has garnered much praise in its latest incarnation. But with the full RS-treatment the Audi TT RS has reached new levels of lunacy.
Engine and technical Highlights:
The recipe is largely the same as the previous Audi TT RS and the current Audi RS3 – take the TT, shove in Audi’s 2.5-litre 5-cylinder TFSI motor, and mate it to a Haldex 4-wheel drive system badged as quattro. Sprinkle flared wheel arches and over-the-top aerodynamic aids liberally and voila! A hatch-back based sports car that can frighten the pants off supercars less than a decade old.
Whereas in the latest RS3, Audi’s 5-banger outputs an already astounding 270kW and 465Nm, the Ingolstadt-based arm of Audi (Quattro division) further ups the ante with 294kW (400 metric horsepower) @ 5850-7000 rpm and 480Nm @ 1700-5850 rpm. Paired with Audi’s 7-speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox and Haldex 4WD system, the Audi TT RS will sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds in coupe format (the roadster takes 3.9s) before running up to a limited top speed of 250km/h.
Impressive figures, no doubt – more so when you realise that the 1st generation Audi R8 V10 was slower to the 100km/h mark than the new Audi TT RS is; the R8 took 3.9 seconds to reach that mark. Dry, the Audi TT RS coupe weighs a mere 1440 kg, giving it an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 204kW/tonne. The Roadster tips the scales at 1530 kg.
But under the skin, it’s more than just a potent engine shoehorned into the Audi TT S. quattro division has fettled the Audi TT RS’ chassis and steering systems substantially, as well as the brakes. As a standard, the 19-inch alloy wheels shod in 245/35 profile tyres house ventilated and perforated steel discs, but optionally, 255/30 R20-inch wheels and tyres can be fitted, as well as Audi’s carbon fibre ceramic discs. Also optional, over and above the 10mm drop in ride height, is RS sport suspension plus adaptive dampers with magnetic ride technology.
For the first time in series production, buyers can opt for Audi’s Matrix OLED technology equipped to the taillights. This lighting technology creates vivid, high-contrast light, that doesn’t require reflectors and can be continually adjusted to suit changing conditions. As a standard, the Audi TT RS features LED head- and taillights, with Matrix LED headlights an option.
Design and Interior:
Not to be outdone by the mechanical underpinnings, Audi designers saw fit to upgrade the Audi TT RS with visual enhancements too. Large air inlets, a massive Singleframe honeycomb grille, a fixed rear wing, and two large oval RS tailpipes enhance the visual appeal of the Audi TT RS. Aerodynamically enhanced side sills aid both form and function. With its wide body, the Audi TT RS measures 4.19 metres long and 1.83 metres wide.
Inside, the Audi TT RS retains the driver-focused nature of base-model TTs. Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit displays all information for the driver to clearly see. New to the Audi TT RS’ display is a specialised RS screen that highlights the rev counter and provides information on tyre pressures, torque, g-force and more, as well as displaying a shift-light.
The Audi RS sport leather steering wheel has evolved, taking influence from the new R8, and now featuring an engine on/off button and Audi drive select button. On the centre console, an exhaust button provides control over flaps within the system to increase the resonance of the exhaust noise. RS Sports seats are also standardly equipped in the Audi TT RS.
Pricing and Availability:
The Audi TT RS is likely to arrive in South Africa during early-to-mid 2017, with pricing and specification to be announced closer to the time. As the exchange rates sit, the price in Germany starts at 66 400 Euros, or R1 081 300.
It will be pricy, but for something as quick as an old Audi R8, and with nearly as much power as an RS4, it may well be worth it.