Cars

First Look: The Most Powerful Audi TT RS Ever

It has that unique five-cylinder engine—and crazy new 3D taillights.

Today, Audi unveiled the most powerful TT ever, the 2018 Audi TT RS.

The tiny coupe is a mighty effort in badging and so-called "sport packaging," but the engine does pack a legitimate punch. It's a good step forward for the model that first debuted as a bit of a soft little coupe but has quickly ramped up to add serious racing elements. 

Static photo, Colour: Catalunya Red

The new TT RS comes in Catalunya Red and unique RS badging.

Source: Audi

The TT RS has a unique five-cylinder engine that gets 400 horsepower and most of its 354 pound-feet of torque from the rear wheels, even though it comes with standard permanent all-wheel drive. (This, thanks to a trademark "electrohydraulic" multi-plate clutch that's positioned for ideal axle load distribution.) The TT RS can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds—roughly a half-second faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Top speed is 174 mph with an optional sport package.

Audi has done much here to play up the signature five-cylinder sound and gear-shift sequence in this new car. It’s part of the reason why you might buy this TT vs., say, its natural competitors such as the Jaguar F-Type or Porsche Cayman. (The extra RS badges let everyone know it’s the most powerful variant in the TT line.)

Static photo, Colour: Catalunya Red

It has a unique five-cylinder engine that gets 400 horsepower.

Source: Audi

As racing enthusiasts will know, the odd configuration of the 2.5-liter engine echoes the original turbocharged five-cylinder that the Audi Ur-Quattro used in the late 1980s.

Other small improvements gird the latest TT: The car is lighter than previous generations, with 57 pounds saved in the engine alone thanks to new aluminum components, and 8 pounds shed via new carbon-ceramic brake discs on the front of the car. Also new this year are Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual drive modes integrated directly into the seven-speed transmission.

And the new TT RS has optional OLED (organic light-emitting diode) 3D rear taillights that haven’t been available before in a series production car from Audi. The lights—and a large rear-wing spoiler—help the car seem more like a true racer than just the little brother of the exceptional R8.

Static photo, Colour: Catalunya Red

The car is considerably lighter than previous generations, with 57 pounds saved in the engine alone.

Source: Audi

Inside, Audi has added a screen particular to the TT RS that displays information on tire pressure, torque, and G-forces; the colored background of the scale on the screen also prompts the driver to upshift as the car accelerates. Much like the Audi R8 V10, it also has a three-spoke, flat-bottom sport steering wheel with shift paddles and two buttons atop it that allow for engine Start/Stop and Drive Select. 

The car will go to showrooms later this spring. It'll be the option from Audi if you want something small, light, and affordable. Pricing starts at $64,900. 

Cockpit

The TT RS can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.

Source: Audi

 

Interior

It has seating for two adults. 

Source: Audi

 

 

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