Audi TT RS Coupé Review: Rally Car Extraordinaire

Audi TT RS Coupé Review: Rally Car Extraordinaire

Audi TT RS Coupe 0-62 mph in 3.7 secs!!! What the hell?

Audi TT RS Coupé-Yves

Audi TT RS Coupé -Yves

Wow, The Audi TT RS is amazing, way beyond expectations. Is this really an Audi? If I got into this car blindfolded I would swear it was Italian, there is a genuine passion here paired with incredible engineering.

The performance and feel are way beyond what I would call serious or sober, words I normally associate with Audi.

Yet whilst the 0-62 mph is outrageous, the handling reminds me that this has been engineered by a company that takes these things seriously. The rigidity and solidity are best in class, worthy in supercar class too, particularly for such a small car.

And just in case you were wondering the RS in Audi TT RS stands for RennSport or 'Racing Sport’.

Myself and my colleague Daren Lynsdale toured the Audi TT RS all over the south of England for this review, taking in the amazing Relais Henley Hotel, Hayling Island and the South Downs.

SPECS

The 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder inline engine pumps out 395 bhp or 480 Nm of torque. The inline engine saves space and keeps the centre of gravity low. Almost as small as a straight four and as smooth as a straight-six. The top speed is 155 mph and … wait for it… 0-62 mph in 3.7 secs. What the hell? 

It’s relatively heavy at 1,450 Kg with 19-inch swooping alloy wheels and a 7-speed S tonic automatic dual-clutch gearbox. Fuel consumption is between 20.2 and 27.7 mpg with a medium of 31.4 mpg which is actually impressive for this level of performance.

EXTERIOR

The exterior design is now such a classic that it’s almost pointless describing it. In fact, apart from the gently sloping back and the permanent rear wing, I won’t. Oh, and the front LED headlights are sharper and the new rotational alloys are gorgeous. The honeycombed gloss black front grille is impressive, emblazoned with TTRS and Quattro, yet most will have no idea that there is so much power under that divine hood. The twin oval exhausts are also a nice touch. One last thing, the Nardo Grey colour is subtle with suitable gravitas, offsetting the sports look. Opt for the Kyalami green for a little more racing style.

INTERIOR

The interior is racing chic with just enough luxury. The prominent glossy red touches fuse sport and fun. The hexagonal patterned seats are seductive, comfortable and supportive, blending swathes of hard red plastic with grey leather and contrast red stitching. Metal carbon fibre lines the centre console and door handles adding more panache. The small flat bottomed steering wheel is gorgeous and the red-lined rocket vents add a cool finish to the whole interior. Start-stop and engine mode are both pleasing buttons on the steering wheel. Why more cars aren’t emulating Formula One steering controls is a mystery to me.

The short stick gear knob and rotary dial control are both practical and a delight to use. Audi’s virtual console presents many choices; nav map in full or minimised, large or small rev and speed counter and the usual music and car infotainment. One of the best displays around for sheer readability and ease of use as it’s always in your line of sight. CarPlay and Android come as standard.

Not to mention the kind voice that lets you know you’ve left your phone in the wireless recharge pad as you leave. I’m so absent-minded that we spoke often and became firm friends by the end of the tour. Bang & Olufsen Sound System plays well with the Audi smartphone interface. The list of standard equipment included is pretty exceptional.

Two seats in the back of the Coupe will fit anyone young or petite for short journeys. Useful to have just in case and they don’t ruin the line or shape of the car from the outside. The boot space is surprisingly spacious for such a neat car, with room for four stacked cases. Perfect for touring à deux.

PERFORMANCE

On to performance, which is where it gets good, I mean really good. The performance is mesmerising, pure sports car joy.

Audi’s 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission is impeccable, fast and smooth, you’ll only notice the changes in sports mode. However, you can switch to full manual by pushing the gear stick to the left to shift with the paddles. Unless you’re a pro driver the 7-speed tronic will always change better than you. But in Dynamic mode, those paddles are exhilarating to play with. I used them lots as I needed the practice, my old brain is still too used to a gearstick.

The Quattro permanent all-wheel drive beats any front or rear-wheel-drive car in a similar bracket on the straight and in the corners. 100% of the power can be pushed to the front or rear as required. The Quattro all-wheel drive is permanently on so the grip is outstanding. The platform is cast iron, absolutely unyielding. The wheels are smashed back to the ground after any bump. This does mean it’s a bit brutal on potholed UK roads, even in comfort mode, but ignore that for the sheer confidence this car inspires. You can take corners much faster than any rear or front-wheel car with unerring stability. Power around a 270-degree curve and the car stays utterly level, the speed out of corners is genuinely awesome.

The RS is slightly heavier than rivals too, which brings even more confidence in the corners. Dynamic mode tightens up the engine response, steering, gears and suspension. It is tremendously exciting in Dynamic and the astounding grip means you are not afraid to push the car to its limits.

A special mention for the Audi TT RS brakes. This is how brakes should feel and react on all cars. They give you total confidence in your stopping power. Linear response is so much better than the ubiquitous softened software-controlled speed variable brakes. You want consistent and strong feedback from the brake pedal. Audi has this utterly right, bravo. 

All that combined with the small size of the car means you get to use the power. The relative road space is much larger. Unlike most supercars that take up the whole width curtailing your line. Move out to prepare for the corner, swing in and swing out as you exit, there is so much more room to manoeuvre.

The Audi TT has won many awards for design and What Car” voted the Audi TT “Best Coupé” 17 times in a row and this year gave it 'best value Coupé'. The fandom this car attracts in Holland and Germany is immense as they value performance over status and do their research before buying.

If you’re completely nuts you can even tune the Audi TT RS up to 1100 BHP. They drag race them in the States.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the Audi TT RS has astonishing performance, cast iron stability and the all-wheel drive holds the road to the very best supercar level. That Quattro all-wheel drive is a masterpiece offering nigh mystical grip in the corners. The RS punches way above its class. I know, I’m going on a bit. Try the car on a test drive, preferably on a private road, I guarantee you will walk away thinking “I cannot believe that was a £60K car”. And the icing on the cake is that it suits small UK roads so it is incredibly joyous to drive on even the smallest lanes. The rock-solid performance delivers 100% confidence and therefore 100% more fun. You get an astonishing car for the money.

Do get the RS styling pack as it lifts the interior substantially.

Unbelievable supercar performance in a perfectly formed, assured, stimulating, agile car that puts a smile on your face.

Audi TT RS price from £58,890 

Our model with extras is £60,950.

https://www.audi.co.uk/uk/web/en/models/tt/tt-rs-…

Extras:

Nardo grey, solid: T3T3 0

Brake calipers painted in Red: PC2 £345

Comfort and Sound pack: WF5 £1,195

RS Sports exhaust system: 0P6 £995

RS styling pack, red, extended: PEF £1,125

Storage and Luggage Pack: QE1 £175