When Audi first introduced the world to the marriage of a turbocharged five-cylinder engine with the sleek body of a TT in 2009, expectations ran high. The TTRS was born, a car that should have been an instant icon, fusing Audi’s legacy of precision engineering and the allure of a powerful motor. However, the reality was a bit different. The TTRS was competent, but it fell short of delivering the promises held by its remarkable engine.
Fast forward to the present, and the Mk3 TT has emerged as a more fitting canvas for the TTRS to shine. In 2023, the TTRS is reaching the twilight of its existence, but now, with a newfound focus that elevates the primal thrill of its engine, it’s more captivating than ever.
A mid-life refresh in 2019 brought powertrain updates to meet stringent emissions regulations. Yet, the essence of the TTRS has remained intact since its debut in 2016. It may not be as versatile or refined as some of its more recent competitors, but for those seeking the quintessential five-cylinder Audi experience, the TTRS remains the one and only choice. Here’s an Audi TT RS Review for you in 2023.
Audi TTRS: A Deep Dive
Engine and Gearbox: Dominating the Experience
At the heart of the TTRS lies a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, married to Audi’s renowned quattro all-wheel-drive system. This combination dominates the driving experience and is the defining feature of the TTRS.
Performance and 0-60mph Time: Sensational Acceleration
The TTRS boasts sensational straight-line performance, making it a match for many newer and more powerful sports cars. Its impressive acceleration capabilities are sure to put a smile on any driver’s face.
Ride and Handling: Drama and Engagement
While the audi tt seats doesn’t quite achieve the status of being truly rewarding in terms of ride and handling, it still manages to deliver a fair share of drama and driving excitement. There’s enough ability to keep you engaged on the road.
MPG and Running Costs: Pragmatism in Fuel Economy
The hottest TT in the Audi lineup isn’t exactly known for its frugality, but it does return better fuel economy compared to certain rivals, such as the BMW M2.
Interior and Tech: A Timeless Home Run
Audi’s interiors have always been a strong suit, and the TTRS is no exception. Its minimalist design, exceptional build quality, and clever touches within the cabin have stood the test of time, maintaining an aura of sophistication and modernity.
Design: A Blend of Aggression and Elegance
The 2019 facelift brought a touch more aggression to the tt rs while retaining the pert, eye-catching form of the original.
Prices, Specs, and Rivals
The Audi TTRS starts at £62,165 and is now exclusively available in Audi TTRS spec Sport Edition guise. This configuration includes 20-inch alloys, an RS Sports Exhaust system, carbon fiber inlays, and a full MMI navigation system embedded within the virtual cockpit dial pack. Diamond-stitched leather seats come as standard, and the most significant interior upgrade is part of Audi’s £1195 Comfort and Sound pack, bundling a rear-view camera and a 680w Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Porsche Cayman S: A Different Flavor
Priced almost the same as the TTRS, the Porsche Cayman S offers a completely different driving experience. Its finely-tuned chassis results in a sublime steering response that the Audi can’t quite match. However, the Porsche’s turbo-four engine falls short compared to the Audi’s five-cylinder powerhouse. The Cayman S’s engine lacks the aural excitement and performance of Audi’s iconic motor.
BMW M2: Muscular Competitor
The new BMW M2, with a price tag of £64,890, provides a more practical four-seat cabin, even more power, and an entertaining rear-drive balance. Although it lags a bit behind the tt rs in the sprint to 62mph, it still offers a deeply satisfying performance coupe. However, it doesn’t quite match the mesmerizing sound and character of the Audi’s five-cylinder engine.
Swift, impeccably crafted, and user-friendly – this is quintessential Audi, isn’t it?
Indeed, these are the very reasons people gravitate toward speedy Audis. With the exception of the R8, they tend to steer clear of extravagant routes. Consequently, the TTRS doesn’t introduce any groundbreaking revelations when it comes to handling. It doesn’t even attempt to replicate the immersive, well-balanced, and tactile brilliance exhibited by a Porsche Cayman – a league of its own in terms of chassis dynamics.
In reality, despite repositioning the active rear differential at the rear for superior weight distribution and reserving 100 percent of power for the rear axle under exceedingly rare conditions, the TTRS doesn’t exhibit the agility of a dancer. Surprisingly, even a Golf R (or, oddly enough, an SQ7) displays more playfulness mid-corner.
Much like every TT model that preceded it, the new RS has no intention of neutralizing its cornering stance or requiring the driver to manage any misbehavior. Nor does it suffer from the severe understeer that plagues the RS3. It’s simply, and quite deliberately, a car that is difficult to provoke.
The TTRS’s essence lies in delivering 100 percent of its power to the road at all times. As you exit a corner, press down on the accelerator pedal, and you’ll experience an unrelenting surge of speed. The duration for which this remains appealing largely depends on your preferences. After all, it’s undeniably rapid and boasts an exhilarating soundtrack. However, it does have a somewhat one-dimensional character.
In conclusion, the Audi TTRS, with its iconic five-cylinder engine and refined design, represents a compelling choice in the high-performance sports car segment. Despite facing competition from Porsche and BMW, the TTRS stands strong as a unique and captivating option for those seeking a thrilling driving experience backed by Audi’s legacy of engineering excellence. As the sun sets on the TT’s current generation, the TTRS continues to shine as a testament to the enduring appeal of transparent engineering excellence and an unforgettable driving experience.
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