2018 Audi TT RS Review

TT RS

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2018 Audi TT RS Overview

The Audi TT RS is making a comeback for 2018 as the latest car to join the Audi Sport Model lineup. It features an all-new turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, upstaging its TT sibling as the most powerful TT production model Audi has ever produced.

The TT RS’s 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine, which sheds 57 pounds over its 2013 predecessor, produces 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque and boasts a 0-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds. That’s faster than any other TT model, and it offers an impressive top speed of 155 mph (which jumps to 174 mph with the addition of the optional Dynamic Plus package). The powertrain is paired with an RS exhaust with 2 oval tailpipes for a unique engine note, and an optional RS sport exhaust will make the tailpipes black for an even more striking look.

Mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch electronic transmission, the TT RS’s engine sends power to all 4 wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which is now fully integrated with the drive-select system. Choose from Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, or Individual drive modes to adjust the shift points, steering, throttle response, and damper control. Also included is a launch control feature, which precisely manages engine speed and automates the clutch release for even more thrilling acceleration.

The TT RS comes standard with a McPherson front suspension, a 4-link rear suspension, and magnetic ride, which uses a blend of synthetic oils with magnetic particles to regulate damper firmness of the dampers. The steering is specifically tuned to provide more precise control and feedback. Two different brake systems are offered—the standard setup includes 8-piston monobloc brake calipers with ventilated and cross-drilled discs up front, while the Dynamic Plus package upgrades these to carbon-ceramic brakes that are 8 pounds lighter, with reduced brake fade and striking Anthracite Gray calipers.

The overall design of the TT RS is similar to that of the regular TT coupe, with a few sporty additions that reflect the car’s racing heritage. At heart, the TT RS is a performance coupe, and its exterior looks match its impressive capabilities. Up front, the 3D Singleframe grille makes a bold first impression, along with LED headlights with dynamic turn signals, LED daytime running lights, and larger air intakes for engine cooling. At the rear are large oval tailpipes and LED taillights, although OLED taillights are available. A fixed rear wing spoiler and aluminum or upgraded carbon fiber inlays complete the package. The side profile displays 19-inch 5-arm Galvano silver wheels with summer performance tires, which can be upgraded 20-inch 7-spoke wheels for a more aggressive look. An optional Black Optic package adds these larger wheels along with high-gloss black mirror housings and other unique black optic accents.

The interior of the TT RS aims to inject comfort into the sports car experience, with a leather and Alcantara 3-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, aluminum door sill inlays with TT RS logos, and a stainless steel footrest and pedal caps. The heated front Nappa leather sport seats keep you firmly in place on even the sharpest of corners, and they come with 8-way power adjustability, lumbar support, and pneumatic bolsters.

The TT RS’s infotainment system features Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and a 12.3-inch display with a frame rate of 60 frames per second for a crisp, clear image. Unique to the TT RS is a screen providing information on tire pressure, torque, and g-forces along with prompts to encourage the driver to upshift. MMI Touch comes standard for quick and easy infotainment-system access, and it can be upgraded to include Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Other available features include Audi Connect, with services like online traffic and weather data, and Audi Side Assist with blind-spot monitoring.

The all-new 2018 TT RS offers a more performance-focused choice for those interested in the TT experience. Produced exclusively as a coupe with no roadster option, the TT RS will be available at a starting price of $64,900.

Updated

Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, and Be Car Chic and blogs all things geek over at TotalFanGirl.

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