Drive – Audi TT RS Review

3 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive – Audi TT RS Review
Audi TT RS

Cameron McGavin

Make Audi Family TT Series 8J MY11 Year 2010 Badge Description RS Quattro Doors 2 Seats 4 Transmission Manual Engine Configuration Description In-line Gear Num 6 Cylinders 5 Build Country Origin Description HUNGARY ANCAPRating 4 Car Size Sports Overall Green Star Rating 5 Fuel Type Description Petrol – Premium ULP Drive Description Four Wheel Drive

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Audi’s TT has always offered more variety than most sports cars, from coupe to convertible, front-wheel-drive to all-wheel-drive and a range of engines from warm to wild-ish.

The only thing our 2006 Drive Car of the Year has lacked is a truly ballsy, single-minded model. Until now.

WHAT DO YOU GET?

At $133,700 plus on-road and dealer costs, the manual-only RS is nigh-on double the price of entry-level TTs. Even though satellite navigation is standard, the trip computer has a lap-timer and you get bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, the spec is rather mediocre next to BMW’s toy-laden Z4 sDrive35i.

The mechanical advances more than compensate and are headed by an all-new 250kW five-cylinder turbo engine, refettled suspension and meatier brakes. Big 19-inch wheels, a fixed rear wing and some more subtle external additions add bite to the TT’s appearance.

The RS’s racing-style sports seats don’t have side/thorax airbags but you can specify less extreme, bagged seats for no charge. Other safety equipment includes twin front airbags, stability control and rear parking sensors. Similar to other sports cars, there’s no independent crash test for the TT.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

The RS’s aggressively bolstered sports seats are exceptionally supportive and comfortable, even if they miss out on the luxury of power adjustment.

The seats are backed up by a lovely square-bottomed steering wheel, logical switchgear and typically Audi (read: classy) design and quality.

Those sports seats, however, make entry and exit a bit difficult. The back seat, too, is only for very small children, the 290-litre boot is shallow and there’s no spare tyre, just a compressor and can of goo.

Still, similar to its coupe siblings, the RS is more practical than most sports cars, with split-fold back seats that boost load capacity to 700 litres.

UNDER THE BONNET

With 250kW of power, 450Nm of torque and a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds, the RS’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo looks the goods on paper.

On the road it’s a gem, delivering a heroic surge of power and a muscularity across the full rev range, as well as a five-cylinder scream. It’s furiously quick and hugely responsive yet as flexible and unfussed as you could wish for in typical urban and highway driving.

Criticisms? Well, the power delivery is slanted more towards an explosive

mid-range than a soaring top-end but that’s less a real issue than a matter of taste.

Also, our urban/highway test economy of 12.3 litres per 100 kilometres was noticeably higher than Audi’s claimed 9.2L/100km average and we saw even higher numbers in urban running. On the open road, though, sub-10L/100km averages were achievable.

The RS dives into corners enthusiastically and has that same endearingly athletic balance as its four-pot siblings, with strong brakes, precise steering and all-wheel-drive traction adding to its confidence-inspiring qualities.

A sport button on the centre console tightens the suspension, sharpens engine response and opens a flap in the exhaust for angrier acoustics. The driving experience then has a tangible whiff of Audi’s formidable Quattro rally cars of the 1980s.

The RS is less adept at pampering its occupants, fidgeting noticeably on rough surfaces and making a bit of a racket on coarse-chip surfaces at highway speeds. However, while you feel the lumps and bumps the impacts are never harsh; it’s not at all tiring or uncomfortable.

The RS’s mighty performance, evocative soundtrack and agile road manners endow it with a sporting and emotional appeal beyond other TTs. It deals up big driving thrills and is surprisingly easy to live with, though there is the odd minor value and safety blemish.

The real question is whether it’s capable and thrilling enough to outdo proven talented rivals. After a brief taste, I reckon the Audi, at the very least, is up for the fight.

Under the bonnet

With 250kW of power, 450Nm of torque and a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds, the RS’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo looks the goods on paper.

On the road it’s a gem, delivering a heroic surge of power and a muscularity across the full rev range, as well as a five-cylinder scream. It’s furiously quick and hugely responsive yet as flexible and unfussed as you could wish for in typical urban and highway driving.

Criticisms? Well, the power delivery is slanted more towards an explosive

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