RE: Audi TT RS | PH Fleet

RE: Audi TT RS | PH Fleet

Wednesday 23rd October

Audi TT RS | PH Fleet

Ben's bought an Audi TT. What could go wrong?



I can explain. Before I started working at PH and was properly educated about cars, I'll admit that I was an Audi fanboy and a bit of a badge snob. If you'd told me ten years ago that I would have owned six Renaultsports by now, I would have laughed at you.

Going back a decade to 2009, when I'd just bought my first Audi TT (a 2003 1.8T 225) the TT RS emerged with its 2.5-litre five-cylinder rally-inspired lump and I made it my mission to own one before I turned 35. At the time it was seen as a brave move from Audi, re-imagining the motor from the heroic Quattro of the 80s, which set a very high benchmark not only for the engine but for the rest of the car too.


Growing up as a teen in Herefordshire and from a family of Audi owners, I would take any excuse for a trip to Hereford Audi. When the new S3 came out in 2006, I was at university studying photography and plucked up the courage to ask them if I could borrow their demo car to take some photos. Like a young lad asking his crush for a dance at the school disco, I was pleasantly surprised to be offered a hand.

The team's kindness there led to me returning for the release of the TT RS and the V10 R8 to be given the keys both times. Not for a drive sadly, but even to sit in these cars allows a boy to dream. So, unsurprisingly, it was Hereford Audi that got my business when I bought my first TT. My last was the run out Mk1 TT quattro Sport; I loved the timeless interior, the Recaro Pole Position seats, the look of it and as an inexperienced sports car owner, I was fairly happy with how it drove too. In hindsight and with exposure and the opportunity to drive much better cars since, the brakes were woeful and the handling and steering feedback left a lot to be desired. As a result my expectations for the RS were already set at a lower bar.


I test drove a Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy back to back with the TT RS, but decided it was time for a break from hot hatches. I wanted a sports car. With my Impreza and Clio both sold, I also opted for the first time in six years to go back down to one car. And yes, I know for the money there are better sports cars I could have bought. A Porsche Cayman, a prime example. Or perhaps an E92 M3 or a C63 AMG would have been a good solution to downsizing the garage, all of the above cars on my wish list, but in reality to get the example I'd want, I'd have to spend considerably more. Let's see how I'm feeling in six month's time and after I've had a drive in James' M3. And Mike's Cayman. Now that would be a good group test.

So what exactly have I bought? It's one of the first from 2009 and a manual, given that S-Tronic wasn't introduced until 2011. The 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine produces 335hp and 332lb ft, the latter seemingly available anywhere in the rev range. 0-62mph happens in 4.6 seconds for the traffic light racers and it'll go on to a limited 155mph. The engine alone makes the car worth buying and it's no surprise that the 2.5 TFSI has won the International Engine Of The Year award nine years running.


It came with a huge amount of paperwork, full Audi service history, and has spent its last two years as a garage queen. I've already driven more miles in the past month than the previous owner covered in the last year. Must haves for me were the 19" five-spoke alloy wheels and Lunar Silver leather. The bucket seats look great, but wear badly and have a reputation for being uncomfortable on a long journey.

All that aside, I'm besotted. Of course there's room for improvement, but more on that next time. Best get back to the salon.


FACT SHEET

Car: 2009 Audi TT RS
Run by: Ben Lowden
On fleet since: September 2019
Mileage: 49,659
Last month at a glance: Ben falls for five-cylinders

Click here to find an Audi TT RS.




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Author
Discussion

kellydk

Original Poster:

59 posts

106 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
TBH I have never understood the hate for the TT. I think the MK1 has improved with age and I'd be happy with a Quattro sport. The current generation is a fine looking car IMO. I've been looking at changing to a TTS of similar age and while I'm sure they (TTS & TT RS) have their flaws, this will be much like other cars. I think if you take the TT RS in isolation it is and will be a great car. Good luck with it. Looking forward to the updates.

Porsche911R

17,817 posts

212 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
bet its had a remap and is more like 400bhp :-)


that's the issue today. most cars esp of an age and when BIG gains are so cheap have had remaps.
back when I had mine new in 2010, it was the fastest car you could buy sub 100k.

ps I have a decat mid pipe for one if you want it, free if you can collect.

https://youtu.be/E-d5B-Ht7hM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2o-14GQCCM



Edited by Porsche911R on Tuesday 22 October 12:43

only1ian

581 posts

141 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I can understand the logic! It certainly has the glance back and smile factor... but how much did you pay Ben?

Ex Boy Racer

1,071 posts

139 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Had one of these new back in the day - a roadster no less. I know that means I can't drive, don't know where indicators are, am a poser/hairdresser/idiot etc...

But - really fast, really comfortable. Kept up with the Caterhams at Cadwell Park (although the guy in charge of the trackday asked me if I had radio 4 on while overtaking everyone else).

Yes, it wasn't as communicative as my later R8 or my later Aston martin, but it is really not as bad as the journalists (and their followers who don't feel the need to drive cars as they can read all about them) make out.

I thoroughly enjoyed every mile. It definitely is a sports car and puts a huge smile on your face

s m

18,117 posts

150 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Looks a nice purchase.

I like the extra interaction with the manual box personally.
Plus they sound great cool

Love to try one out

Scottie - NW

903 posts

180 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I am interested to follow this and see if suspension upgrades make it a better drivers car, be it Bilstein or KW coilovers, maybe some extra adjustable geometry components etc.

fernando the frog

290 posts

15 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
hasn't aged a day, if this was for sale in 2019 it'd look fresh

Porsche911R

17,817 posts

212 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Scottie - NW said:
I am interested to follow this and see if suspension upgrades make it a better drivers car, be it Bilstein or KW coilovers, maybe some extra adjustable geometry components etc.
I fitted a bigger ARB and had bush's fitted which were offset and gave more camber, the passive set up was pretty good shock wise.
some cars had magride though which imo was not as good.

J4CKO

28,461 posts

147 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I think I should have got one of these, despite what everyone says, and my Mk1 being a pain, I did love the thing.

Are these generally pretty reliable ?

One thing I noticed with a lot of older ones, being sold by sketchy looking traders and a lot have a torrid story to tell, there was a purple TTRS "Replica" for sale when I bought my car 18 months ago, still for sale now !

Terminator X

8,076 posts

151 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Well played. The engine alone is worth the purchase price given back then it sounded awesome vs sleep with the current GPF version.

TX.

thesmurfs

95 posts

43 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I bought one of these in 2011 as soon as Audi released one with s-tronic. Overall l enjoyed the ownership was a hassle free car apart from the rattling exhaust near the end of the ownership. The understeer threshold is such you will notice it on dry a-roads if you're driving spiritedly, easing the throttle brings the car back in line but can be a bit of a gulp moment when it slides over the line. You learn to brake more in advance of the turn. I also experienced warped front discs but the replacements seemed fine. Wet grip was incredible and driving this in deep snow made me believe in 'haldex' 4 wheel drive. I honestly don't think it needs more power. Engine is the real star though.

The MK3 thankfully solves the understeer on the same a-roads.

Edited by thesmurfs on Tuesday 22 October 13:04

Court_S

1,492 posts

124 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I k ow that you’re supposed to hate these if you like cars, but I really do quite like them. The engine dominates proceedings and what a fabulous thing it is too.

I’m not o keen on this generation TT as I am the others; the original is a classic design and the latest one looks a bit sharper to my eyes....but I could get over that for this engine!

LaceMarketLouis

1,614 posts

131 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Hello fellow Herefordian - this generation of TT is really growing on me!

BenLowden

1,825 posts

124 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Porsche911R said:
bet its had a remap and is more like 400bhp :-)
I'm definitely toying with taking it to Revo for a map, but suspension and brake upgrades will need to come first!

only1ian said:
I can understand the logic! It certainly has the glance back and smile factor... but how much did you pay Ben?
Well that would be telling... But similar examples are around the £17-18K mark angel The day you stop looking back is the day you need to find yourself a new car in my opinion.

Scottie - NW said:
I am interested to follow this and see if suspension upgrades make it a better drivers car, be it Bilstein or KW coilovers, maybe some extra adjustable geometry components etc.
That's going to be my first stop. You can see in the photos it's pretty low from where it has previously been lowered and it's causing me issues with scraping so I'm going to investigate the coilover route.

J4CKO said:
Are these generally pretty reliable?
I don't want to speak too soon but I like to think I did a huge amount of research and for now I'll say yes. The manual gearbox synchros can fail but mine was rebuilt not that long ago, so I'm hoping that issue won't come back. Engine issues seem to be related to poor quality fuel and clogged injectors but I only run my cars on super so will hopefully be OK on that front! There were some issues with brake judder/disc warping but I think these were all sorted under warranty.

Maldini35

2,235 posts

135 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I’ll never forget a drive to Le Mans Classic in one of these.
Following and then being chased by a GT40 replica.
Great fun until a biblical rain storm hit us. Then I was on my own.

As an all round ownership proposition these are very good cars.
Obviously the engine is the highlight but the ARB and camber bushes mentioned by a previous poster make a big difference to reduce understeer and make the car feel more playful - without ever feeling dangerous.
When you factor in the emergency rear seats, a decent boot and sensational wet weather traction they are hard to beat.
My only advice would be don’t take it on track - it will shatter your belief in the car.
On the road it never disappointed but sadly a day on the Silverstone GP circuit brutally showed it’s limitations.
Keep it on the road and you will rightly love it!

Jon_S_Rally

638 posts

35 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
A friend of mine owned one of these for a while. Sadly, I didn't get the chance to go in it but, with an aftermarket exhaust it really did make a dirty sound. It was a bit loud in reality, but it was a fantastic noise. A five-pot turbo is hard to beat in the noise takes.

I'm not sure I would ever buy one of these, but I do quite like them I must say. It may not be the last word in dynamics by all accounts, but it is still a lovely thing. Nice looking, nice interior, lots of pace and a nice soundtrack. I can see why that appeals to many.

Porsche911R said:
bet its had a remap and is more like 400bhp :-)


that's the issue today. most cars esp of an age and when BIG gains are so cheap have had remaps.
back when I had mine new in 2010, it was the fastest car you could buy sub 100k.

ps I have a decat mid pipe for one if you want it, free if you can collect.

https://youtu.be/E-d5B-Ht7hM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2o-14GQCCM



Edited by Porsche911R on Tuesday 22 October 12:43
I'm not sure I'd describe that as an issue, unless it's a cheap, crap remap. Remap just means more excitement laugh

Scottie - NW

903 posts

180 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
BenLowden said:
Scottie - NW said:
I am interested to follow this and see if suspension upgrades make it a better drivers car, be it Bilstein or KW coilovers, maybe some extra adjustable geometry components etc.
That's going to be my first stop. You can see in the photos it's pretty low from where it has previously been lowered and it's causing me issues with scraping so I'm going to investigate the coilover route.
A few years ago now I did similar to a coupe I still have, although a few year older than yours. Is 1260kg, 400bhp and RWD but did not handle great.

I fitted adjustable coilovers, 17x9 light alloy wheels, semi slicks, uprated ARBs, adjustable rose jointed components front and rear so i could alter camber, castor, toe etc and dropped it about 50mm (could go more but that was enough for me) and also fitted "taller joints" as they are called so the lowering did not cause other alignment issues, and then had it setup by a well known specialist and it transformed the car.

Only mistakes I made where the spring rates on the coilovers I chose where 10/8 front rear as I was advised these would work better on track with the semi slicks and rose jointed arms, it made it a little harsh for a road car, if you choose 6/5 maybe or 5/4 front rear spring rates and don't rose joint the arms it makes it a nicer road car.

Is great fun to do the changes and make adjustments and feel the effects each has smile

Fishy Dave

577 posts

192 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Good choice Ben, I looked these up in the classifieds a couple of days ago. There was one circulating when I was at Hockenheim last week and it sounded fantastic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2kupDQ-vKM

Fond memories of my Fiat Coupe's in that soundtrack.

The understeer on track would put me off the TT a bit, other than that the noise, all weather performance and dimensions have a lot of appeal, I can see why you chose one.

PistonBroker

1,809 posts

173 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
A Beetle V5 of all things has gone past the office twice this afternoon sounding fruity.

That 5-cylinder rumble really appeals to me and I've always had a soft spot for TTs personally. Shame you felt you needed to begin it on the defensive Ben.

Enjoy!

AmosMoses

3,472 posts

112 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
As an all weather all year round fun car I love the TTRS, you only really notice the understeer if you're really pushing on track.