After nearly a year, the all-new Audi TT RS is about to accelerate its way onto the US market and will make its US debut at the New York Auto Show next week. This latest version of the curvy coupe relies on a new 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine to develop 400 hp, accelerating right past competitors like the 2017 Porsche Cayman S and Alfa Romeo 4C.
The new TT RS jumps its way to the top of the US TT lineup, with its 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder engine leading the way. That turbocharged engine is good for an even 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, making the new TT RS the most powerful TT ever.
Audi has cut 57 pounds (26 kg) off the weight of the new engine compared to the previous generation five-cylinder, relying on lightweight materials like the aluminum block and magnesium in the oil pan design. This lightweight construction helps to cut internal friction and improve power delivery.
With a standard quattro all-wheel drive and a specially calibrated traction control system helping the tires grab the pavement, the 400-hp TT RS sprints off to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) from standstill in 3.6 seconds, sixth tenths of a second quicker than the more expensive 718 Cayman S (with PDK transmission) and a half-second quicker than the Alfa 4C. Top speed is 155 mph (250 km/h).
The TT RS rides on a four-link rear suspension and McPherson front suspension, and has a standard magnetic ride system adjusting damper firmness. Those looking for more advanced handling and performance can throw down for the Dynamic Plus package, which brings a stiffer sport suspension and liberates a 174 mph (280 km/h) top speed.
The big news on the exterior is the addition of available OLED rear taillights, lending a 3D rear lighting signature. Audi's been playing with OLED taillights in concepts like the Matrix OLED and Swarm, and the new TT RS is its first production car to wear them as an option.
Other exterior enhancements include the fixed rear wing, larger air intakes and large oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system. The car runs 19-in five-arm Galvano silver wheels or available 20-in seven-spoke forged wheels, both shod in summer tires.
On the other side of the door, the driver sits behind Audi's 12.3-in virtual cockpit digital instrument display, which includes a TT-specific screen with info on tire pressure, torque and g-forces. He or she takes hold of a three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel inspired by the wheel on the R8 V10. The steering wheel includes an engine start/stop and Audi drive select button, and paddle shifters connect the driver with the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch.
The interior also includes heated leather S sport seats, eight-way power front seat adjustment with power lumbar support and pneumatic side bolsters, and aluminum door sill inlays with TT RS logos. Available equipment includes an MMI navigation plus system, a Bang & Olufsen 680-watt, 12-speaker audio system, and an Audi smartphone interface with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The new Audi TT RS will launch in the US this spring, starting at $64,900 before $975 destination charge. It'll be on show at the upcoming New York International Auto Show, which opens to the media on April 12 and the public on April 14.