What is it?
The TT RS is the brawniest TT yet, and the first time Audi has applied the RS treatment to the TT.
Available in coupe or roadster form, the TT RS gets an all-new 2.5-litre turbo charged five-cylinder engine producing 335bhp. Drive is sent to all four wheels, through a six-speed manual transmission. Audi are working to beef up their S-Tronic twin-clutch gearbox to handle the 332 lb ft of torque, but currently the TT RS is manual only.
To ensure there is no mistaking this £42,985 TT with anything from the cheaper end of the price range the RS gets a range of attention seeking body modifications.
What’s it like?
Loud. Or at least it is with the ‘S’ button depressed. This changes the throttle map and opens the exhaust baffles to tell the world that there’s something more potent than a four-pot lurking under the bonnet. The five-cylinder arrangement gives a characteristic off-beat thrum under full throttle and the occasional pop and splutter on downchanges.
The surprise here is quite how boisterous the engine is for the usually super smooth Audi brand. It can get intrusively bassy when loaded from low revs, but switching 'S' off, trims this back to an acceptable level.
Sounding the part is one thing, but the better news is that the TT RS has the performance to match: 0-62mph takes just 4.6sec, and unrestricted it will run to 174mph. To say it has a strong mid-range is a bit of an understatement, with that peak torque available from 1600rpm all the way to 5300rpm. But equally it is not shy of revving right to the redline.
The only real downside is that unloaded at higher engine speeds, a little vibration can creep into the cabin. That and the fact the throttle map in 'S' is a touch abrupt for smooth slow speed progress. Normal is better, but then you loose that soundtrack.
In truth the engine dominants the TT RS experience so much so that in many ways the rest of the car struggles to match up. Not that it is unruly, quite the opposite in fact. Compared to a regular TT the RS' steering, handling and gearbox are all improved, with more feel, precision and weight, but they lack the intensity of the engine.