The quattro all-wheel-drive system fitted to the Audi TT RS can direct the bulk of the engine’s torque to the back axle to improve handling balance, although the normal torque split is 50/50. And it can be had with magneto-rheological dampers whose damping resistance rapidly varies to suit the conditions.
Surprisingly, however, this last system is not standard on the sportier and pricier RS, but what you do get, in chassis terms, are wider 18in alloys, a 10mm lower ride height and bespoke spring and damper rates.
What this car has by the bucket load is grip. It pulled 0.99g on the dry circuit, and at reasonably sane speeds it feels almost stapled to the road. Four-wheel drive provides plenty of traction in slippery conditions, and the RS’s muscular steering resistance only heightens the impression of rhinoceros-like directional stability.
It feels slightly stolid and less wieldy than it might, like so many performance Audis. The steering, although accurate, has an artificial weighting that leaves the TT RS’s helm distinctly feel-free.
The RS’s suspension is capable of rounding off the sharp edges of bumps, but it’s a long way from flattening them out altogether. Unfortunately, these handling deficiencies haven't been addressed by the TT RS Plus, as it features only engine modifications over the standard car.
The Cayman, by contrast, performs a comfortable, controlled float over bumps that the Audi simply can’t match, robbing the RS of the kind of free-flowing fluency that makes the Cayman and the R8 such five-star driving experiences.