2012 Audi TT RS Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Audi TT RS Coupe

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Audi TT RS Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 360 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Audi TT RS

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • After driving enthusiasts demanded that Audi bring the high-performance TT RS stateside, it's finally here. But getting your hands on one might be tricky, as supplies are limited.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Brisk acceleration; tenacious handling; premium interior; thrifty fuel economy; hatchback utility.

  • Cons

    Stiff-legged ride; loud exhaust note; no automatic transmission option.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Audi TT RS is new to the U.S. market.

Full 2012 Audi TT RS Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Audi TT RS is new to the U.S. market.


There are some rather notable European cars that, for various reasons, are not available in the United States. The 2012 Audi TT RS was one such car until an online petition garnered more than 11,000 signatures to plead with the German automaker to import this ultimate-performance TT. This outpouring of enthusiasm convinced Audi to finally bring over the TT RS, but only in limited quantities: about 1,000 examples over a two-year span.

Those lucky enough to acquire the new Audi TT RS will be treated to the most powerful TT model to date. With a turbocharged five-cylinder under the hood, the RS produces a stout 360 horsepower, which is a significant increase in output compared to the standard TT's 211 hp and the sportier TTS's 265 hp. It's even got a 25-hp advantage over the Euro-spec TT RS (though they'll likely get the same engine software upgrade as an option).

Besides more power under the hood, the all-wheel-drive TT RS also receives several upgrades in the handling department. A lower ride height, a large rear spoiler, standard adaptive dampers and sticky tires all ensure miles of back roads entertainment.

But this sort of performance doesn't come cheap. With a starting price just shy of the $60,000 mark, the TT RS costs over $18,000 more than the base TT coupe. That's more than you'd spend on a BMW 1 Series M or a Lotus Elise. At this point you'd also be within reach of the Porsche Cayman R. Among all of these choices, we expect the 2012 Audi TT RS to compare favorably as a well-rounded performer. And really, there isn't a loser among this performance-focused bunch.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Audi TT RS is a 2+2 sport coupe that is offered in one well-appointed trim level. Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, automatic xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, a rear spoiler, heated exterior mirrors, automatic wipers, automatic climate control, 10-way power sport seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, Bluetooth, a lap timer and a nine-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio and auxiliary audio input. Also included is a Sport button program that alters throttle calibration, suspension settings and the exhaust note.

Available options include the Tech package, which adds a navigation system with real-time traffic, iPod connectivity with an updated music interface, a premium Bose sound system, rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights and ambient LED interior lighting. The Sport Exhaust Titanium package adds a free-flowing sport exhaust and a unique grille and wheels. Stand-alone items include heated front seats, power-folding carbon-fiber exterior mirrors and Alcantara/leather upholstery.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2012 Audi TT RS is a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 engine that produces 360 hp and 343 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is the only available transmission, and it sends power to all four wheels. Audi estimates the TT RS will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. As impressive as the performance figures are, the fuel economy is equally laudable, with an estimated 25 mpg in combined driving.


Standard safety features on the 2012 Audi TT RS includes antilock disc brakes, hill-hold assist, traction and stability control, front side airbags (to protect the head and thorax) and front knee airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2012 TT RS, like its Audi brethren, sports a tastefully austere interior made of top-notch materials. The placement of the navigation system's controller on the dashboard isn't ideal, nor is operation as intuitive as systems offered by other manufacturers, but most other controls are straightforward and within easy reach. The TT RS foregoes flashy two-tone color treatments and carbon-fiber trim, sticking to a primarily business black air of seriousness. The racing-inspired sport seats are the main styling cue that sets the RS apart from the standard TT models.

The front seats in the TT RS provide extraordinary lateral support and sufficient comfort, but rear passengers don't have it nearly as good. The cramped rear quarters are barely adequate for children and are better suited to trunk overflow than people. These seats also fold flat, expanding the trunk's capacity from an ample 13 cubic feet to a capacious 24 cubes.

Driving Impressions

With a weight-to-power ratio of about 9.2 pounds per horsepower, the 2012 Audi TT RS certainly has enough under the hood to bring a smile to even the most jaded of drivers. The same holds true for its road-holding grip. The magnetorheological adaptive dampers keep body roll at bay, while the sticky performance tires further increase the TT RS's curvy road confidence. With the five-cylinder engine perched atop the front axle, the car has a tendency to understeer at the handling limits, but up until that point, it rails through turns with the best of them.

Drivers are also treated to an inspiring deep baritone exhaust note, but that soundtrack can become an annoyance. The constant booming drone, accompanied by some rather pronounced road noise and a stiff ride makes the TT RS a poor traveling companion on long road trips.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

An outstanding sports car

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Audi TT RS quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

My local Audi dealer recently took in a 2102 TT RS, a car that I had been interested in for some time, but had never seen. After driving it I was very impressed, and traded my 2011 Corvette Grand Sport for the RS immediately. The RS has acceleration equal to the Corvette's up to about 80 mph, is far more maneuverable, and much more exciting to drive. It probably would not be at its best on long road trips however, since the ride is somewhat stiff and the exhaust noise can be bothersome. I have also owned a Porsche Cayman S in the recent past, and the Audi is superior to that car in nearly every respect. Any prospective Cayman buyer should give the Audi serious consideration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

This car blew me away!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Audi TT RS quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I walked into an Audi dealership to test drive the S5 and the dealership was the only one in San Diego to have a TT RS in stock. I test drove it and was absolutely blown away! The clutch and transmission are PERFECT. The clutch is perfectly weighted, releases at the top of the movement, and the 6-speed transmission was snickety with the perfect size shift lever. The engine was insanely quick and the car felt lighter than the M3 and C63 because it is. The interior was much nicer than the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG. But once I experienced the performance the interior was an afterthought. I ordered the TT RS the same day after test driving other cars for 2 years. It is that good!

Talk About The 2012 TT RS

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

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