These are the latest spy shots of the ultimate high-performance Audi TT, the TT-RS, spotted here running hot laps of the Nürburgring.
Due to launch in early 2010 priced around £45,000, the TT-RS will be powered by VW Group’s new 2.5-litre TSI five-cylinder, which is both turbo and supercharged and offers a heady 343bhp.
Our spies say the new engine sounds every bit the modern successor to the original Audi Sport Quattro five-cylinder.
It should give the TT-RS enough go to dismiss 0-62mph in under five seconds, and outrun the similarly priced Porsche Cayman S.
Naturally the TT-RS will get the Quattro four-wheel-drive, but it will have a rear-bias to better involve the driver.
The development team behind the TT-RS are thought to have binned Audi’s standard-fit magnetic dampers in favour of more performance-oriented alternatives.
They’ve also removed the TT’s (rather useless) rear seats to reduce weight and are trying to lighten up the Quattro drivetrain.
Exterior changes already visible on this prototype car include a new front spoiler with huge air intakes to aid cooling. It also has the signature oval tailpipes fitted to all Audi RS models. Also visible are ceramic brakes although it’s not yet clear whether these will be standard fit.
When the fastest TT is unveiled late next year, expect the finished look to take inspiration from the TT Clubsport concept. That model, though, was a roadster with just 300bhp. For a change, it looks like flourishing Audi is building a production model that outguns even its own concept car.