The RS variant is the high-performance range-topper of Audi's TT model range. Even though it traces its roots back to the humble Volkswagen Golf, the TT RS is a worthy competitor for the Porsche Cayman R thanks to a host of engine, suspension and aesthetic upgrades.
The most significant difference between the TT RS and humbler TT models is a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five that recalls the engine used by the legendary Audi Quattro rally car of the 1980s. With 360 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque on tap, Audi says that the TT RS can sprint from zero-to-60 in just 4.1 seconds and attain a top speed of 171 mph. Aiding the car's accelerative efforts is Audi's trademark quattro all-wheel drive system, which does an effective job applying all of the power to pavement.
A traditional six-speed manual is the only transmission available. Despite its high levels of performance, the TT RS is far from being fuel guzzler, with respectable 18/25 mpg ratings in city and highway testing, respectively.
When the road gets curvy, high-tech Magnetorheological shocks ensure that the car stays almost perfectly flat, while huge front brakes with 14.6-inch cross drilled discs (and rear 12.2-inch ventilated units) can bring the car down from triple-digit speeds quickly and without drama.
Outside, the TT RS features a tasteful body kit with large air intakes on the lower front fascia, a medium-size rear spoiler and purposeful-looking 19-inch alloy wheels. The cabin is distinguished solely by comfortable and supportive sports seats, while the rest of the interior shares a high-quality, ergonomically friendly (if a bit understated) design with other TT models.
Standard and Optional Features
The TT RS comes well equipped with standard 10-way power adjustable leather seats, automatic climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, a lap timer and a nine-speaker sound system with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio input.
Options include the Tech package, which brings a navigation system with real-time traffic updates, iPod connectivity with an upgraded interface, a premium Bose sound system, adaptive headlights, ambient LED interior lighting and rear parking sensors.
The Sport Exhaust Titanium package nets a free-flowing exhaust system in addition to a unique grille and Titanium-finish alloy wheels, while the Aluminum Matte Optic Package adds aluminum matte trim to the lower front spoiler lip, rear diffuser valence and spoiler mounts.
Stand-alone options include heated seats, electric-folding carbon-fiber exterior mirrors and alcantara/leather upholstery.
Safety features include dual front/side airbags, knee airbags, traction and stability control systems and ABS.
Those looking for a powerful, handling-focused coupe like the TT RS that still maintains a modicum of luxury should also consider the Porsche Cayman R, the BMW 1-Series M Coupe and the Infiniti IPL G Coupe.