The Audi TT range has a new king – here are 10 facts you should know about the sports Coupe and Roadster, including just how quick it is.
We have known about the TT RS for a while, but Audi has finally announced the price and, come September 2016, you will be able to buy one from your nearest dealer.
So what makes the car special, how does it compare with rivals such as the BMW M2 and Porsche Cayman and just how potent is that 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine? We investigated because we’re nice like that.
1) The five-cylinder has bucketloads of oomph
The TT is prone to getting the odd ‘girly’ comment, which will make losing to one as it blasts away from the traffic lights all the more painful. And most cars will lose because its five-cylinder 2.5-litre TFSI outputs 400PS (394bhp), 17 per cent more than its predecessor, with peak power kicking in from 5,850 to 7,000rpm. Maximum torque is an equally healthy 480Nm – an increase of 30Nm.
2) See ya later, supercars
Flat out, Audi claims the TT RS can manage 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds for the Coupe and 3.9 seconds for the heavier Roadster, making it quicker off the mark than some supercars. As for its top speed, it is limited to 155mph unless you spec the Dynamic Package Plus, which unlocks 174mph. For comparison, the Porsche Cayman 718 PDK has 350hp and 0-62mph takes 4.2 seconds with Launch Control engaged (but does cost £10,000 less).
3) The BMW M2 is fatter
By using an aluminium crankcase for the engine and a few other weight-saving tweaks, 26kg has shaved off the overall weight. Another 2kg was also saved by adjusting the transmission. All in all, the TT RS Coupe has a kerb weight of 1,515kg, making it 55kg lighter than the similarly priced BMW M2 but 45kg heavier than the 1,470kg 718 Cayman.
4) All-wheel drive as standard
Quattro all-wheel drive, as seen on the much more expensive Audi R8 V10 Plus, helps the TT RS maximise traction. Sadly the Haldex system is unable to send all 100 per cent to the rear wheels, like the Ford Focus RS. Even so, all-wheel drive tends to trump rear-wheel drive in terms of performance, especially when the heavens decide to open.
5) Torque vectoring also features
To help get the TT RS around a corner as fast as possible, torque vectoring has been used. Admittedly it is the less complicated system that brakes the inside wheel to help push the outside of the car into the corner, but that should still mean some potent cornering action, especially with 255-section Pirelli P-Zero tyres all round and improved weight distribution.
6) Cliche alert: The cabin is a nice place to be
Audi can be guilty of offering a muted experience, but many of us probably never really care because the interior looks and feels really expensive. Honestly, the TT RS and its more expensive older brother, the R8 V10 Plus, make a lot of cars look drab, plasticy and uninspiring. It is reassuringly sporty without trying too hard and we like that very much.
7) The brakes can cause whiplash (probably)
A 1,400kg is hardly considered light but then Audi has pulled no punches in the braking department. At the front are gigantic 370mm discs with eight-piston calipers providing serious bite, while the rear gets 310mm monobloc variants. Not quite enough power? Carbon ceramic front brake discs can be specced for a lot of dosh.
8) It can adjust the ride quality on the go
Spec Audi’s magnetic ride and the TT RS’s suspension uses special dampers filled with synthetic oil and magnetic particles that can be controlled by a magnetic field. This enables the car to firm up or soften the ride quality at millisecond intervals, depending on the road surface. For a specific ride, the driver can select various pre-determined options using the Audi Drive Select system.
9) Audi Connect and MMI navigation are standard
Browsing Twitter, streaming music, checking the weather and using Google Street View is made entirely possible with the addition of the Audi Connect online service, a three-year subscription of which is included in the car’s price. Not only that, it can function as a mobile WiFi hotspot so that means passengers can spare their data.
10) It costs this much
Go for the Audi TT RS Coupe and you can expect to part with £51,800 before you start adding any extras. That includes the standard new OLED rear lights. As for the TT RS Roadster and its open-top thrills, expect to pay from £53,550. Orders will begin in late September 2016, with deliveries expected two months later onwards.