For years, the Audi TT, along with Mercedes' SLK-turned-SLC-Class and BMW's Z4, occupied a unique segment that you might label "luxury compact sport coupes." Sporty at least, since none of these vehicles were really at home on a track. But the TT's full redesign in 2016 brought with it a performance-minded edge that it lacked before. And the hopped-up TTS variant further defines Audi's small coupe as one you'll actually want to toss around a twisty mountain road.
Under the hood of every 2018 Audi TTS is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that powers all four wheels (Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system) via a six-speed automatic transmission. Its output of 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque far eclipses the standard TT's 220 hp and 258 lb-ft. Interestingly, though, the TTS is actually the middle child in the lineup; the TT RS turns up the performance wick with more power, a stiffer suspension and available carbon-ceramic brakes for maximum stoppage. It's also quite a bit pricier, making the TTS the sweet spot for people who want comfort and sportiness without reaching too deep into their pockets.
Like the rest of the TT lineup, the Audi TTS is sold in a single, well-equipped trim with just a handful of additional features. It comes with 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, an automatically deployed rear spoiler, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a sport steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles, leather and synthetic-suede upholstery, heated front seats, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and a nine-speaker sound system.
Optional extras include the Technology package (blind-spot monitoring, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system), Black Optic package (20-inch wheels and high-gloss black exterior treatments) and the S Sport Seat package (upgraded leather upholstery and additional leather trim).
Since the Audi's old rivals have bowed out of the market over the last few years, the TTS now competes against a new set of competitors that offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Overall, we like the TTS' mix of performance and luxury, and its pricing is typically thousands of dollars less than that of comparably equipped rivals. If you're as impressed by the TTS as we are and think it would look great in your garage, use Edmunds' robust pricing and inventory tools to price and find your next four-ringed sport coupe.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.