The Audi TT has always been known for its supremely distinctive styling and high-quality interior. Yet with an emphasis on comfort and character, this little Audi initially lacked the athleticism to match is sharp appearance. Over the intervening years, Audi has upgraded power and handling, culminating in a sportier TTS in 2009 and finally the performance-focused TT RS for 2012.
Based on the second-generation TT, the Audi TT RS features a much more powerful engine as well as supporting upgrades to the suspension and brakes. Audi plans to sell just 1,000 models in the United States between 2012 and 2013. Those lucky enough to acquire one will certainly appreciate the significant increase in power and knife-edge handling that driving enthusiasts crave.
Current Audi TT RS
The Audi TT RS packs a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine that produces 360 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission available, and routes power to all four wheels. By contrast, the standard Audi TT only makes 211 hp. Besides the power upgrade, the TT RS also benefits from a lower ride height, strong brakes, a rear spoiler, adaptive suspension dampers and high-performance tires to keep it on the road.
On the inside, the TT RS echoes its supporting TT model's design and use of top-notch materials, albeit with a sportier twist. Unlike other variants, however, the Audi TT RS is only available as a 2+2 coupe. Standard feature highlights include xenon headlights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery and a lap timer on top of the usual sport luxury trappings. On the options front, a navigation system, a premium Bose sound system, adaptive headlights, a sport exhaust and Alcantara/leather upholstery can be added.
Out on the open road, the Audi TT RS possesses plenty of power and grip to keep aspiring racers satisfied. Up to its high handling limits, the little coupe tracks through turns with surgical precision. Past those limits, though, there is a tendency for the car to understeer. As a more performance-oriented TT, the RS does make sacrifices in regard to comfort. The deep growl of the engine can be tiresome after time and the stiff ride compromises ride quality over less-than-perfect pavement. But these are small prices to pay for a car that can go toe-to-toe with the best sport coupes from BMW, Lotus and Porsche.
Read the most recent 2013 Audi TT RS review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Audi TT RS page.