RE: Audi TT RS: PH Carpool

Monday 2nd October 2017

Audi TT RS: PH Carpool

While hardly cheap to run, this TT RS has proved a do-it-all hit for one PHer



Name: Jonny Sinclair (Jonnymito)
Car: 2009 Audi TT RS Coupe
Owned since: August 2015
Previously owned: 1992 VW Scirocco GTII, 2001 Vauxhall VX220, 2006 BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe and various other boring cars

Well if you live in Scotland...
Well if you live in Scotland...
Why I bought it:
"I had a huge love affair with my VX220 and ended up owning it for almost seven years with the majority of that time being my daily drive. After that car I wanted to get something that was a bit easier to live with on a day-to-day basis but still fun enough for me to enjoy the odd track day and general hooning. The Z4 seemed to the be perfect fit but I soon realised that it was too compromised in both areas and not usable enough daily or fun enough for the other times. That car stayed with me however for some time as I prioritised getting married over replacing the car. A sacrifice, I know, but worth it.

"Anyway after the wedding was out of the way the time was up for some proper car hunting with the a couple of must haves to start: a manual gearbox and the ability to take a roof rack were both must haves. First on the hit list was a 997 C4S; I'd always wanted one but I think I may have over hyped the 911 as I just didn't like them after driving them (and I tried a few just to make sure I hadn't driven a dud). Anyway, the hunt continued and after drives in other cars including E92 M3s and GT86s someone suggested to me the TT RS. I was initially put off by the fact that TTs are everywhere, however nothing I had looked at was doing it for me so I organised a test drive.

"I immediately fell in love with the engine - it is an absolute belter. Then the the hunt began for the right car with the right spec. Not as easy as you might think, but eventually I found it - and it happened to be relatively close to where I live - so the deal was done."

Understeer on track irritating if not deal-breaking
Understeer on track irritating if not deal-breaking
What I wish I'd known:
"How woeful the brakes are. The huge discs and four-pot Brembo calipers fitted to the car look impressive but the reality is that the standard Audi discs are rubbish. Also the importance of matching tyres. It had different tyres front and back when I bought it, which were all good quality, but the different grip levels were really confusing the 4WD system and the car tended to lurch about as the power moved around front and back. Other than that there's not really anything so not the end of the world."

Things I love:
"Well there's so much. Let's start with the absolute best thing about the car: the engine. It is incredible, it has an awesome soundtrack with the sports exhaust and the tuning potential is huge. It pulls so hard that it's impossible not to get addicted to the acceleration. I also love the fact that I can get my bikes on the roof and still have loads of space on the boot. The fuel economy on a run is great for a car as potent as this and it's not uncommon for me to see mpg in mid- to high 30s on the motorway. It's also great in the snow; living in Scotland this is something that needs to be considered. Its ability to eat up miles in a relaxed manner on the motorway then turn into a devastating effective cross country car also still makes me smile."

Parenting the PH way!
Parenting the PH way!
Things I hate:
"Hate is a strong word as I'm not sure I hate anything. There are a few things that niggle me about the car. The first is the understeer you get when pushing it hard on track. I've never noticed it on the road so really is only a minor gripe. The cost of replacement parts is also frustrating but equally these have to be expected with such a high performance car. The number of things that have gone wrong with the car has been frustrating and I'm not sure I'll be keen to venture back to Audi again after I change this car."

Costs:
"Well there have been a good few things! First of all the tyres had to be changed; I initially opted for Michelin Pilot Sport 3s (£700) which I'd had before and really liked. Again I was impressed so when I needed to replace them again I opted for Pilot Sport 4s (£750). Next on the list were front discs and pads. The discs were changed to Tarox floating discs (£1,000) and pads to Ferodo DS2500 (£200) which have been great. I've had it serviced twice at a local independent (£200 minor and £350 major), had to replace a rear caliper after it seized (£300) and I had a custom map done on the car taking it up to around 400hp for £350. The most recent cost was the most frustrating though. The engine management light came on and a diagnostic showed that the emissions were too high. The standard round of fault finding led to the injectors being taken out and sent away to be checked. Turned out not to be them - and was actually a faulty fuel pump - but the overall bill came in at £1,200 which was pretty frustrating. Just a shame the TT RS share its fuel pump with the Lamborghini Gallardo..."

Don't get in the sea Audi TT!
Don't get in the sea Audi TT!
Where I've been:
"Living in Perthshire means I have some of the most amazing roads in the UK right on my doorstep so the A93 to Braemar is a pretty standard run out for me along with regular trips up to Glencoe and over to the west coast. I've also been lucky enough to continue gate-crashing the VX220.org guys annual trip north and often head up over large sections of the NC500 with those guys. I've also done a handful of track days and a couple of trips south of the border. I was planning a trip to the Alps this summer but the arrival of a new baby earlier this year put a stop to that."

What next?
"I don't really know where to go from here if I'm honest. The car ticks so many boxes that I think this is one I'll be holding onto for a long time. I think that it will be a change in circumstance that will necessitate a change if I'm honest but seeing as I can get the baby seat, the pram and the shopping in the car without the need for the roof rack I'm not sure what would ever happen that would mean I need to change it."

Author
Discussion

lewisf182

Original Poster:

1,709 posts

116 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Interesting carpool this.
It's a car i've quietly admired but never really considered due to it being a TT, but you cannot argue with the performance and soundtrack so maybe I need to drive one at some point.
The fact the OP rates it so highly having come from a vx220 shows it possibly is a very good drivers daily driver despite the understeer?
Thanks for sharing

JMF894

2,400 posts

83 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Nice car OP i've always hankered after something with this engine. Out of interest how big are the Tarox discs? £1k seems a lot. Check out Reyland motorsport in future. They just supplied me two 356mm vented and straight grooved discs, two bells and new bolt kit for my Aero. All assembled and delivered for £586.

Jimbo

Loyly

16,002 posts

87 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
A colleague of mine swapped her V8 R8 for a TTRS a couple of years ago (and also had an RS5 in the meantime). The TT was the most exciting car of the lot, on the roads. Staggering grip and punch and it made an amazing noise.

Owlwood

172 posts

84 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Nice Carpool, bit of a rarity on the roads the TTRS.

dme123

3,889 posts

117 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
That review seems to sum down to: Nice engine, shame about the rest.
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CaptainRAVE

289 posts

40 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Completely agree about the brakes. My SLK55 destroys the TTRS under braking.

Funny you mention the cost of replacement parts - even my wife's standard TT costs an arm and a leg with replacement parts and servicing. The service itself is rubbish too.

You can't fault the handling though, the TT is absolutely glued to the road. I love driving it.

culpz

3,339 posts

40 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
I have heard of a few people that had similar issues such as this, unfortunately. One guy i follow on Instagram had that many problems that he ended up rejecting the car and giving it back to Audi.

I still think that they're awesome though. I like the TT as a car anyway and just having that kind of performance in something like this is definitely quite appealing, for me.

Lazydonkey

167 posts

151 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Shed! Bring back HMS BMW wink

blade7

7,701 posts

144 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
I've thought about a TT-RS for quite a while as a replacement for my late 944 turbo. I'm sure the Audi engine is nicer, and I think there's a Haldex mod to sort the understeer,but it would need a very big power hike to put up with the stereotype TT's suffer from.

Jonnymito

6 posts

133 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Lazydonkey said:
Shed! Bring back HMS BMW wink
No chance!

aka_kerrly

10,067 posts

138 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
blade7 said:
I've thought about a TT-RS for quite a while as a replacement for my late 944 turbo. I'm sure the Audi engine is nicer, and I think there's a Haldex mod to sort the understeer,but it would need a very big power hike to put up with the stereotype TT's suffer from.
That's an odd view for a man with a poor man's Porsche wink

blade7

7,701 posts

144 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
aka_kerrly said:
blade7 said:
I've thought about a TT-RS for quite a while as a replacement for my late 944 turbo. I'm sure the Audi engine is nicer, and I think there's a Haldex mod to sort the understeer,but it would need a very big power hike to put up with the stereotype TT's suffer from.
That's an odd view for a man with a poor man's Porsche wink
I'd rather be a poor man than a hairdresser laugh

andywebster2005

19 posts

93 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Shame about the rest? nope, not at all... it was a great road car... I had an APR tuned albeit manual (no 0-100mph times in 7ish secs via DSG) but coming from a TFSi Elise, whilst the car (TTRS) had nowhere near the acceleration (once the rears had hooked up in the Elise) it was still extremely fast and more than capable of taking on far more exotic machinery both up to 120+ and in confidence on the bends...

It wasn't designed to be a caterham in terms of clarity and feedback, but I highly doubt you'd actually find many more cars that would be as capable cross country for less than double the list price!

As to the hair dresser image... well depends if you'd like to be out-dragged by your hair dresser really at the traffic lights grand prix... as per above, ain't much gonna be going past you on a full bore launch...

Edited by andywebster2005 on Monday 2nd October 15:01

Sion111R

25 posts

20 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Interested to read about the change from a VX220 via a Z4. Bought a 3.0 Z4 coupe to replace my S1 Elise. Nice car, but not a keeper. So I have gone Lotus again with a supercharged S2 Elise. But I am still on the hunt for something (a little) more useable. I will definitely try a TTRS after reading this. Thanks.

xjay1337

10,095 posts

46 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
A friend of mine had a TTRS. It was lovely. He enjoyed it. He had an Audi R8, then an RS4, then the TTRS. Now has a Merc A45AMG.

I've also had the pleasure of seeing some other very heavily modified ones.
The understeer can be easily cured with a few choice suspension mods.

aka_kerrly

10,067 posts

138 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
blade7 said:
aka_kerrly said:
blade7 said:
I've thought about a TT-RS for quite a while as a replacement for my late 944 turbo. I'm sure the Audi engine is nicer, and I think there's a Haldex mod to sort the understeer,but it would need a very big power hike to put up with the stereotype TT's suffer from.
That's an odd view for a man with a poor man's Porsche wink
I'd rather be a poor man than a hairdresser laugh
beer
Thanks for taking my comment the way it was intended.

I've not been lucky enough to try a TT RS but had access to a TTS for a few years which was surprisingly fast,competent and considerably more practical than a lot of it's competition. Adding a 5 cylinder seems like a tremendous way to improve an already good car. My only major criticism is the steering being too light for my liking and the doors being quite long combined with a relatively wide car meant sometimes it was a pain in the *** to get in/out of.

VTTTRS

1 posts

6 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Agree mostly with this article. Have owned my 2013 TTRS for about 5 months. We also have a MK1 TT. The TTRS handles quite well and with a few modifications, handles well on the track and in auto x. I have found the brakes adequate, at least for road and auto x. Couple the handling mods with proper tires and pressure settings and you are good to go in competition.

HannsG

2,133 posts

62 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Always thought these looked cracking.

Is the lower TTS a decent compromise in terms of running costs and power?

Can't see me parking this in the crappy railway off street for getting to work!

cerb4.5lee

9,611 posts

108 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
HannsG said:
Always thought these looked cracking.

Is the lower TTS a decent compromise in terms of running costs and power?

Can't see me parking this in the crappy railway off street for getting to work!
Had a mk2 TTS with the S-Tronic gearbox and I thought the 0 to 60 of 5.2 was really impressive and it returned about 27mpg, the steering was dreadful though because it's very light and uncommunacative, and strangely for a 4wd car it didn't instill much confidence with its handling.

I really liked it's looks and the interior was nice too, dynamically it leaves alot to be desired but it was a really nice daily and I preferred the power delivery much more than the E92 M3 I had at the same time for a while.

Marc_Hill

193 posts

69 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
I still have a soft spot for these. Mine was very highly specced and had a stage 1 Revo map and secondary decats . Very little that come close to it on the road. Never had an issue with my brakes, but I tend to do well with things like brakes and tyres.

Wouldn't rule out a mk2 RS at some point.