Automotive

Audi TT RS packs five-cylinders of supercar-rivaling fury

Audi TT RS packs five-cylinder...
Even though environmental pressures are leading car manufacturers to downsize, the TT RS is still powered by a five-cylinder engine
Even though environmental pressures are leading car manufacturers to downsize, the TT RS is still powered by a five-cylinder engine
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Audi has tuned the TT's Quattro all-wheel drive to offer a quick turn in and responsive handling
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Audi has tuned the TT's Quattro all-wheel drive to offer a quick turn in and responsive handling
The TT's cabin is immaculately finished
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The TT's cabin is immaculately finished
Under the skin of the TT RS
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Under the skin of the TT RS
We think the quilted seats on Audi's faster models look fantastic
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We think the quilted seats on Audi's faster models look fantastic
The TT's cabin design is clean thanks to Audi's Virtual Cockpit
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The TT's cabin design is clean thanks to Audi's Virtual Cockpit
The digital readout can be customised depending on which drive mode you're in
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The digital readout can be customised depending on which drive mode you're in
Carbon fiber is in vogue, but we still like the aluminum mirrors on old Audi RS cars
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Carbon fiber is in vogue, but we still like the aluminum mirrors on old Audi RS cars
The TT is fitted with matrix taillights
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The TT is fitted with matrix taillights
All of Audi's go-faster styling cues are all present
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All of Audi's go-faster styling cues are all present
The RS will hit 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds as a Convertible
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The RS will hit 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds as a Convertible
The RS isn't subtle, but we think it's a pretty handsome package
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The RS isn't subtle, but we think it's a pretty handsome package
The TT RS has gone on a diet, helping to save fuel and improve economy
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The TT RS has gone on a diet, helping to save fuel and improve economy
The RS puts its power down through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox
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The RS puts its power down through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox
Even though environmental pressures are leading car manufacturers to downsize, the TT RS is still powered by a five-cylinder engine
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Even though environmental pressures are leading car manufacturers to downsize, the TT RS is still powered by a five-cylinder engine
Audi has expanded its color palette recently, and some of the new hues are fantastic
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Audi has expanded its color palette recently, and some of the new hues are fantastic
The RS sits on 19 inch wheels as standard
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The RS sits on 19 inch wheels as standard
Audi has fitted big steel brakes to the RS, but you'll have to pay extra for colored calipers
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Audi has fitted big steel brakes to the RS, but you'll have to pay extra for colored calipers
The RS starts at €66,400 for the Coupe
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The RS starts at €66,400 for the Coupe
The TT is still unmistakable, but it has lost some of the cool curves from the original
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The TT is still unmistakable, but it has lost some of the cool curves from the original
The TT RS will hit 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds as a Coupe
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The TT RS will hit 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds as a Coupe
Audi's singleframe grille has made its way across the whole range, but it looks especially angry here
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Audi's singleframe grille has made its way across the whole range, but it looks especially angry here
The TT RS will be on sale in the third quarter of this year
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The TT RS will be on sale in the third quarter of this year
The new Audi TT RS Convertible
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The new Audi TT RS Convertible
The TT RS will be quick, but we're not sure if it will handle better than the outgoing car
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The TT RS will be quick, but we're not sure if it will handle better than the outgoing car
The new Audi TT RS can be had as a coupe or convertible
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The new Audi TT RS can be had as a coupe or convertible
View gallery - 25 images

In a world dominated by downsized, four-cylinder engines, Audi has staunchly stood by its five-cylinder turbo. The new TT RS joins the RS3 in offering the unique motor, but ramps up the power and torque for a supercar-rivaling sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) of 3.9 seconds for the RS Convertible, or 3.7 seconds for the Coupe, which makes it just 0.1 seconds slower to 100 km/h than the Lamborghini-derived R8 V10 Spyder.

The 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine in the TT RS is 17 percent more powerful than the motor in the old RS. That means there's 294 kW (400 hp) available, which makes for a specific output of 120.3 kW (161.3 hp) per liter, and 480 Nm (354 lb.ft) of torque available between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm.

To give the RS this impressive turn of pace, the turbocharger is running at 1.35 bar, and Audi claims the intercooler works at 80 percent efficiency for the ideal oxygen percentage in the engine, while fuel can be injected into the inlet manifold as well as directly into the combustion chamber, for optimal delivery across the rev range.

The TT is still unmistakable, but it has lost some of the cool curves from the original
The TT is still unmistakable, but it has lost some of the cool curves from the original

Power has also been liberated using a number of small touches, including plasma-coated cylinder liners, crankshaft main-bearings that are 6 mm (0.2 in) thinner than before and a hollow bored crankshaft for another 1 kg (2.2 lb) weight saving. Other weight-saving measures include an engine that is 26 kg (57 lb) lighter than the outgoing model, thanks largely to an aluminum crankcase that saves 18 kg (40 lb) alone.

This power is channeled to the road through a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox with short gearing down low and a tall seventh-speed for improved fuel efficiency.

Fast Audis have always been defined by their Quattro all-wheel drive systems. Although they provide great traction, RS models have long been criticized for feeling inert and understeery, something the TT's fast-acting new software aims to fix by more precisely metering power to the rear wheels. There's also torque vectoring on hand to gently bring things back into line if they get out of hand, although Audi does say the car will perform "controlled drifts" in Sport mode.

On the hardware side of things, the car sits 10 mm (0.39 in) lower than the base model, and the steering has been retuned to turn in more sharply than before. There's also 360 mm (14.6 in) brake discs at the front and 310 mm (12.2 in) discs at the back, grabbed by eight-piston calipers.

Under the skin of the TT RS
Under the skin of the TT RS

One area the TT has always led the class is in styling, and the new RS is no different. It mightn't have the clean, Bauhaus curves of the original TT, but the RS' 19-inch wheels and 245 section tires work to make this car the best looking in the range. Along with those wheels are the usual go-faster bits, including gaping air intakes at the front, big oval exhaust at the back and some aluminum trim pieces in between.

There's also Matrix OLED taillights available for the first time, which have a unique 3D design to make the rear of the car look slightly more interesting.

It's a similar story inside, where quilted leather seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel join the still-impressive Virtual Cockpit in an attempt to make the RS feel special compared to regular TTs.

If all of this sounds exciting, you'll need €66,400 (US$74,850) for the Coupe and €69,200 ($78,000) for the drop top. You will need to wait until the Northern Hemisphere autumn to get your hands on one, though.

Our tip? Spend the extra cash on the drop top to enjoy extra noise from what is, still, one of the best sounding engines out there.

Source: Audi

View gallery - 25 images
4 comments
Martin Leitner
If I would receive one as a gift, I would immediately sell it and buy a Tesla Model S instead!
Tom Lee Mullins
I always thought the Audi TT was cool. Now with more power, it is even cooler. It is - IMO - like a Miata M5 on steroids.
Island Architect
Woops, they lost it! One more diamond shaped grill?? They've got to be kidding!
wanderkip
Brilliant car, with much more potential to prove that lighter cars are easily the best solution to provide handling in addition to the acceleration of that power to weight ratio. Even building in limited numbers would be OK, as it's a rare driver who will have the ability to understand and appreciate this. Colin Chapman would certainly approve!