Audi TT RS Roadster review

Our Rating: 
2006 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

Soft-top variant of Audi TT RS promises to be just as thrilling as the coupe

Great noise, performance, looks
Old technology, numb steering, expensive

The TT RS Roadster is the most potent and focused Audi TT Roadster you can get. It's powered by the same 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine as the Coupe and is available with either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch S-Tronic semi-automatic gearbox. With the latter it's both quicker and more efficient but you do lose some of that connectedness associated with manual gearboxes. 

Our choice: Audi TT RS Roadster manual

Engines, performance and drive


Powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine the TT RS Roadster can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds with a manual gearbox and 4.4 seconds with the dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox. Thanks to quattro four-wheel drive all that performance is very easily accessible too and the RS is happy to pin you in your seat at any time you press the throttle. The Roadster feels almost as stiff as the RS Coupe so handling is tight, grip levels are high and you can cover ground incredibly quickly. A Porsche Boxster offers far higher levels of involvement though.

MPG, CO2 and running costs


The 32.8mpg figure may look pretty good on paper but in practice you'll be looking at a figure more like 20mpg on a daily basis. CO2 emissions for the S-Tronic model are far lower than the manual so you'll be able to claw back some of the extra outlay for the gearbox when it comes to paying your road tax bill. Either way it'll be quite a substantial amount though. Insurance will also be extremely high due to the performance on offer.

Interior, design and technology


Stylish alloys, large exhausts, an aggressive bodykit and an optional rear spoiler will signal this model out as an RS and it comes together in a stylish and relatively understated package. The looks are starting to age somewhat – as is the cabin – but there's no doubting the TT Roadster can still turn heads. Some of the technology inside could do with updating, particularly the complicated sat-nav system.

Practicality, comfort and boot space


The TT RS Roadster doesn't have the two rear seats found in the Coupe so buyers will have to be able to live without them – not that they were much use anyway. Instead, they're replaced with some useful storage spaces and there's a usable 250-litre boot too. The roof itself folds down in 12 seconds and up to speeds of 19mph.

Reliability and Safety


Those silver hoops behind the driver and passenger will keep you safe in the event of a rollover, while front, driver, side and head airbags are all thrown in too. Stability control, electronic brake force distribution and ABS will help keep you out of trouble in the first place though. The TT RS Roadster hasn't been tested by EuroNCAP but is more than likely to get a five-star ranking

Last updated: 5 May, 2012