TT RS

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2020 Audi TT RS Overview

Now in its third generation, the TT remains one of Audi’s most identifiable and brand-defining vehicles. And with the TT RS, Audi has issued a coupe designed to take drivers back to when its image was being forged on the stages of the World Rally Championship.

The RS is a specialty trim built from the base TT model but with ample performance upgrades—most importantly, its 5-cylinder engine. The turbocharged 2.5-liter, which is rated at 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, harkens back to the powerplant used in the Audi Quattro Coupes raced in the Group B era (early to mid-1980s) of the World Rally Championship. It uses the same firing order as the fire-breathing 600-hp Audi rally cars of the day, so its exhaust note is eerily familiar to anyone who remembers those cars fondly. What’s more, Audi claims the TT RS will hit 60 mph in only 3.6 seconds.

Every TT RS uses a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system capable of routing nearly all its torque to the rear axle. Audi’s adaptive magnetic-ride dampers are standard, but a passive-damper suspension is a no-cost option. Standard 19-inch wheels cover massive 14.6-inch front brake rotors and 8-piston calipers.

The TT RS was refreshed for 2019 with a new grille, new technology offerings, and updated packages. For 2020 it sees only minor changes in the form of optional red brake calipers and Pulse Orange paint.

Standard equipment includes Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster with multiple configurations, a touchpad with handwriting recognition, and wireless phone charging. Auto climate control, heated front seats, leather seats, and a leather and synthetic-suede steering wheel are also included. Keyless entry and start are standard, while LED headlights and matte-finished aluminum trim round out the exterior highlights.

The Dynamic Package adds 20-inch summer tires and a sport exhaust system. The Black Optics Package adds the 20-inch summer tires and black trim to the mirror housings and the Audi badges and rings. You’ll pay extra to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the TT RS. Those features are part of the Technology Package, which also adds navigation and a 680-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system. Optional blind-spot monitoring is one of the TT RS’s few driver-assist features.

Few cars offer TT RS’s combination of power, AWD, and unique styling. The Porsche 718 Cayman S and 718 Cayman GTS are the few competitors that offer similar power and proportions, but both are rear-wheel drive (RWD) only, which means the TT RS owner is driving a truly unusual machine.

Updated

Josh Jacquot is an automotive journalist who has held positions at both enthusiast- and consumer-based automotive publications for more than 20 years. With a far-reaching knowledge of all things automotive, his career has put him behind the wheel of everything from snowplows to 600-horsepower rallycross cars. His driving resume includes wins at the national level in NASA Rallysport competition and the California Rally Series in addition to one regrettable night at the inaugural 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Though he likes most anything that can be driven, he has a particular affinity for box flares, Campagnolo wheels, and gratuitous wings and ducts. Someday he will own an Renault R5 Turbo.

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TT RS

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