The new TT-RS finally realizes the full potential of the previously sedate if not pedantic U.S. Audi TT.
With its world debut at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show and developed by Audi’s high performance subsidiary quattro GmbH at Neckarsulm, Audi released the first ever compact sports car Audi “RS” model – the Audi TT RS, which was available from 2009 in Coupé and Roadster variants. This new TT RS harks back to the sporting legacy of 1980s Audi Quattros – with their high performance five-cylinder turbocharged engine, the TT RS includes an all-new 2.5 litre inline five-cylinder turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection (TFSI) gasoline engine. This new 403 lb engine produces a DIN-rated motive power output of 335bhp from 5,400 to 6,700 rpm, and torque of 332lb-ft at 1,600-5,300 rpm.
Historically, after the original Audi “RS” model – the Audi RS2 Avant, all Audi “RS” models have their assembly carried out at the quattro GmbH factory in Neckarsulm, Germany. The TT RS will be the first Audi RS vehicle that will not have any of its assembly performed in Neckarsulm, and will be completely assembled in the Audi factory in Győr, Hungary, alongside its ‘lesser’ Audi TT brethren.
The TT RS has a new short-shift close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, and like all “RS” models, is only available with Audi’s ‘trademark’ quattro four-wheel drive system, with the TT RS using a specially adapted version of the latest generation multi-plate clutch from Haldex Traction. Additions to the quattro system include a constant velocity joint before the cardan propeller shaft, and a compact rear-axle differential – upgraded to cope with the increased torque from the five cylinder turbo engine.
Like the TTS, the TT RS has a 0.4 in lower ride height, optional “Audi Magnetic Ride”, and rides on standard 18 inch roadwheels with tires (optional 19″ or 20″ wheels are also available). The brakes are uprated to include two-piece cross-drilled and radially vented front discs. The front discs are clamped by gloss black painted four-piston calipers, adorned with the RS logo. Rear ventilated discs are sized at 12.2 in in diameter.
The RS includes a fixed rear spoiler (retractable optional), and has black interior with heated Alcantara/leather sports seats (Silk Nappa, Fine Nappa leather optional). The Recaro “RS bucket” seats, first seen in the Audi B7 RS4 are also available as an option. Also carried over from the B7 RS4 is the ‘Sport’ button, which sharpens the throttle response and deepens the exhaust note, and a three-stage user-selectable Electronic Stability Programme (ESP).
Official performance figures indicate the TT RS Coupé will accelerate from standstill to 60mph in 4.5 seconds (4.7 seconds for the Roadster), with an electronically limited top speed of 155.3 mph. The Coupé has a curb weight of 3,197 lbs, and the Roadster weighs in at 3,329 lbs.