UK DRIVE: AUDI TT RS
PH finally drives the RS on UK roads, but is the meaty TT a bit too tough?
The doors open and close with a weighty thud. The switchgear, major controls and general construction of the cabin are seriously substantial. The looks, it’s probably fair to say, are on the sirloin steak side of meaty. And that 335bhp 2.5-litre turbocharged five-pot isn’t what you’d call a flimsy motor.
All of which is an undeniably good thing. The problem is that there’s a similarly solid feel to the way the TT RS goes down the road. There’s grip and traction in abundance, and the ride isn’t exactly what you would call crashy, but it is a bit distant.
We suspected as much when we tested the TT RS at Zolder and this drive, our first chance to sample the fastest-ever Audi TT on UK roads, confirms it. The TT RS is simply too uninvolving to make you want to take it out for a drive purely for the sake of it.
But the original Quattro started raising the bar of expectations for genuinely fast Audis, and stuff like the last RS4 and R8 have raised Audi’s performance game still further. There are now RS-badged fast Audis out there that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with drivers' greats like the Lotus Elise or the 997 GT3RS. And, as competent as it is, the TT RS doesn’t quite make it on that level.
If the S5 or the RS6 was the dynamic pinnacle of Audi’s achievements, then the TT RS would be amazing. But we know Audi can do better and that’s why the TT – by the slightest margin – is a bit of a disappointment.
The coupe version weighs in at £42,980, whilst they'll chop the roof off for £44,880. Watch your barnet, though.