Audi TT RS review
For fast Audi fans, things don’t get much better than the awesomely potent 395bhp TT RS
The flagship Audi TT has a tough battle against rivals such as the BMW M2 and Porsche 718 Cayman, but it puts up a jolly good fight. With mighty performance from its 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, and the all-weather reassurance of quattro four-wheel drive, it’s the sort of car that anyone can drive fast and feel like a hero. You’ll look like one too, as the TT RS super stylish, while the interior design, quality and ambience has the measure of more exotic machines costing twice the price. It may not be quite as fun as a Porsche or BMW at speed, but it could easily be faster point-to-point.
The RS badge attracts almost mythical status among fast Audi fans, and no wonder, as the sporting brand’s back catalogue contains some real classics. The Audi RS line-up – it stands for RennSport or ‘Racing Sport’ by the way – currently includes the TT RS in Roadster and Coupe guise, the RS 3 Sportback and Saloon, the RS 5 Coupe, RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback. All of them build on the heritage and acclaim lavished on original Audi RS2 Avant from 1994. That car was co-developed with Porsche to provide eye-opening performance plus room for all the family and the dog.
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The RS journey has now reached the latest TT models, and the result is a sports car whose blistering performance and relative value might make you think twice about buying an Audi R8 supercar. We suspect Audi would prefer the TT RS to make you think twice about opting for rivals such as the Porsche 718 Cayman, BMW M2 or even the Lotus Evora, however.
The hottest TTs are the flagship models in the current Coupe and Roadster line-up, which was launched in 2014 on the VW Group’s MQB platform. The new model was a major advance for both driving dynamics and tech, but the TT RS versions really push the boat out on the performance front thanks to a new five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine pumping out almost 400bhp. Naturally you get Audi’s iconic quattro 4x4 system to keep the whole plot glued to the road, while a paddle-shifted DSG dual clutch gearbox keeps the power delivery seamless.
The Audi TT RS Roadster offers similar performance to its TT RS Coupe stablemate, but with a wind-in-the-hair thrills courtesy of a quick-folding fabric top. And even if you don’t drive your RS like a lunatic, other road users will recognise you by various RS-specific wheel and aero ugrades, and the exhaust note from your double-pipe oval exhausts.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingFor fast Audi fans, things don’t get much better than the awesomely potent 395bhp TT RS
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe cracking five-cylinder engine makes all the right noises, while the chassis provides plenty of control and grip
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsRunning a TT RS will cost a packet, but if you can’t afford the fuel bills there’s a much cheaper diesel version
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe latest Audi TT models showcase contemporary style and impressive on-board technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThere’s plenty of space for shopping or road trip luggage, but the 2+2 Coupe is not a great family car
- 6Reliability and SafetyVW Group shared engineering should be dependable, and build quality appears flawless