RE: Audi TT RS: PH Fleet

Thursday 22nd February

Audi TT RS: PH Fleet

There's a sense of flux about Audi Sport at the moment - which is to the benefit of our coupe



A chap emailed me about the TT RS recently, and mentioned in passing that the model might potentially be more of a spiritual successor to the UR quattro than anyone had given it credit for. Certainly this wouldn't be difficult - as the amount of people connecting the dots between Audi's homologated eighties' icon and its twee latter-day coupe must be very small - but as our man owns examples of both cars (and was referring mostly to the five-pot and digital dash) his two cents are well earned.

For me, the TT, no matter what engine has been shoehorned into its britches, falls well short of the chin-jutting attitude exhibited by a car that I still associate with Walter Rohrl and Stig Blomqvist. However, I will concede that the RS's standing has undergone a tectonic shift since we took delivery. Much of it is to do with the repositioning of Neckarsulm's other contenders.


In previous years, the TT (and the mechanically similar RS3) were often overshadowed not only be the greater presence of the larger models, but also by the attention-seeking V8 engines that powered them. And while the last generation RS4 and RS5 (and outgoing RS6) were an acquired taste in some respects, no-one questioned their integrity as driving machines; they were uncompromising, stringently fast and evocative in a way that was acutely Audi's own.

What has followed recently has not necessarily been for the worse - there's a fine argument which says that the new 2.9-litre V6 engined iterations of RS4 and 5 are better daily drivers than they've ever been - but you'd have to be supremely generous not to notice that some of the edginess has been judiciously planed away in the pursuit of a more rounded setup.


The mournful absence of a naturally-aspirated V8 soundtrack is even more telling; the new turbocharged unit co-developed with Porsche can claim several advantages over its atmospheric predecessor, but intrigue and emotiveness at 8,000rpm is not among them. And with the old bombastic RS6 in the final throes of production too, the changing of the guard for somewhat subtler replacements casts the MQB cars in rather a different light - to the extent that if you asked me which current RS model was likely to provide you with an experience of quattro one might call characteristic, there's every chance I'd now say the TT.

Well, alright, I'd probably say the RS3 because it has a proper boot, genuine back seats and is better looking - but you see where I'm heading. The TT, to its coupe-sized credit, is usefully lighter and lower than its hatchback sibling (and very marginally quicker, too) and, with the adaptive dampers optioned - as you must - I'm not so sure that it doesn't ride with slightly greater aplomb as well.


Either way, it's the other end of the scale I'm getting at, where the RS will do severe and utterly savage things with the nonchalance of neurosurgeon. It won't trouble itself with nuance, but nor does it forget to molest your eardrums with the inimitable sound of an inline-five motor trying to eat its valvetrain either. It lets you drive in an impenetrable bubble, at light speed if you choose. But never without failing to hint at the uber-grade engineering required to get you there.

Factor in the impeccable interior and seemingly indestructible build quality, and you've got the Neckarsulm way in a nutshell - one that costs about £35k less than the retiring RS6 Performance. All of this was rather brought home to roost by a colleague (and self-confessed Audi obsessive) who returned from a weekend in the TT's company with a bemused look on his face. "What do you think," I asked. "It's exactly as I expected," he replied. "Brilliant."


FACT SHEET
Car
: 2017 Audi TT RS 
Run by: Nic Cackett
On fleet since: December 2017
Mileage: 4,271 (delivered on 894)
List price new: £50,615 ( As tested £61,080 comprising £550 for Catalunya Red paint, £1,695 for 20-inch '7-spoke rotor' design alloy wheels in matt titanium-look with diamond cut finish, £325 for brake calipers in red with RS logo at the front, £895 for RS Red Design Pack, £945 for Matrix LED headlights with LED rear lights and dynamic front and rear indicators, £250 for Audi Smartphone Interface, £1,000 for RS Sport exhaust system, £995 for RS Sport suspension with Audi Magnetic Ride, £800 for electrically adjustable front seats, £800 for Matrix OLED rear lights, £325 for Audi Phone Box with wireless charging, £1,830 for on the road costs and £55 for first registration fee)

Previous reports:
Say hello to the 400hp TT

 

 

Author
Discussion

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,089 posts

120 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Sorry, that was a hard read and even struggling to the end of it I'm not quite sure what it was trying to say.

Yipper

5,964 posts

26 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
If you can handle the silly price and hairdresser jibes, it's actually a jolly good car.

UmpaLoompa

1,662 posts

97 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
“Either way, it's the other end of the scale I'm getting at, where the RS will do severe and utterly savage things with the nonchalance of neurosurgeon. It won't trouble itself with nuance, but nor does it forget to molest your eardrums with the inimitable sound of an inline-five motor trying to eat its valvetrain either.”

.......Right.




ogrodz

70 posts

56 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all

British Beef

1,128 posts

101 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all

Now these TT RS are into £60k Territory With a few options ,I think I would add a few extra pounds and go for a lotus Evora 400, which is better in most departments I value in a car: (having driven 400 and previous TTRS I would remark)

- Looks - no contest, one looks unique and special the other a modified very common car.
- Comfort and "special" feeling, I prefer the Evora by a country mile.
- Sound - both make different but very Nice noises
- Gearbox, cant get the Audi With a manual ;-(
- Wet weather performance the Audi has it pipped
- Far better steering in Evora, atually feels Connected to front Wheels.
- Practicality they are Equal.
- I bet the Evora engine & gearbox would at least be on par in reliability.



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SmartVenom

405 posts

105 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
I think lots of people questioned the integrity of rs4s and 5s as true driving machines. Not wanting to get into the debate on that, but just pointing out that you really can’t say no-one questioned that.

Uncle John

1,822 posts

127 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
I really would love one, but not sure I can get over the current Audi Ann Summers Auto Knob....... seems really dated to me.

n4aat

434 posts

148 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Too many big words for my tiny brain. It’s a car review not a 19th century novel.

Can anyone explain “stringently fast” to me please?

WJNB

1,372 posts

97 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Trying to man-up the original pretty curvy shape with chunky wheels & over-size angular frontal air intakes is just a bit desperate. It was & still is a dinky little thing. Audi should have gone back to the drawing board & started afresh rather than messing about with the original which was always aimed at those who sought svelte shapely looks & brand image above all else. Most are driven in the same manner as the elderly drive their Jazz's & Honda's. It's still no more than a hard-top MX-5 for badge snobs.

Grey944

16 posts

40 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
n4aat said:
Too many big words for my tiny brain. It’s a car review not a 19th century novel.

Can anyone explain “stringently fast” to me please?
Nice car with a great engine. Awful article, please stop shoehorning in words for the sake of it.

RBH58

940 posts

71 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
It’s Golf in a party frock origins will continue to mean its compromised as a “sports car”. It’s never going to hold a candle to a Boxster/Cayman as a “drivers car”.

J4CKO

25,745 posts

136 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
WJNB said:
Trying to man-up the original pretty curvy shape with chunky wheels & over-size angular frontal air intakes is just a bit desperate. It was & still is a dinky little thing. Audi should have gone back to the drawing board & started afresh rather than messing about with the original which was always aimed at those who sought svelte shapely looks & brand image above all else. Most are driven in the same manner as the elderly drive their Jazz's & Honda's. It's still no more than a hard-top MX-5 for badge snobs.
I prefer mine to the 350Z and V8 CLS I had before, they are great little cars in a lot of ways if you can overcome your need to proclaim your manly credentials via your car, I have been called a hairdresser a few times but people rescind the comment when I offer to have a go at their hair.....

Mien gets driven quite hard, not the last word in feedback being a MK1 but I enjoy it.

Cobnapint

6,472 posts

87 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
loudlashadjuster said:
Sorry, that was a hard read and even struggling to the end of it I'm not quite sure what it was trying to say.
Something about a TT....

I think.

996_C2

18 posts

28 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Given who wrote this article, and his recent criticism, I'd say its a step in the right direction for his articles. Another half step in this direction, and they could even be reasonably enjoyable.

As for the car I've kinda liked the idea of the TT ever since I saw one take a roundabout at speed without sliding (I'd guess around 80 mph on entry), but never got around to giving one a go.

Edit to advise: First 6 paragraphs were good, it's the last 2 that are a bit heavy.

Edited by 996_C2 on Thursday 22 February 20:29

Trevor555

670 posts

20 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Have the front wheels started skipping at low speed on full lock?

Audi say it's normal for cars with double wishbones as the tyres wear, is that correct?

SlowV6

194 posts

75 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Terrible advert, sorry I meant article. Makes Arthur Conan Doyle look concise.

Shouldn't a PH Fleet item focus on what the car is like to drive and live with? Pro's and con's etc.

Squadrone Rosso

1,567 posts

83 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Absolutely awful editorial article but a stunning car.

RBH58

940 posts

71 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Trevor555 said:
Have the front wheels started skipping at low speed on full lock?

Audi say it's normal for cars with double wishbones as the tyres wear, is that correct?
LSD will cause the wheel skip. My Megane RS Cup did it. The Golf GTI Performance I drove did it. Put a mechanical LSD on a FWD transaxle and it’s probably going to happen.

Like all high performance front transaxle Haldex’d cars, it will lunch it’s front tyres. They all do,

Edited by RBH58 on Thursday 22 February 23:35

RBH58

940 posts

71 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
996_C2 said:
As for the car I've kinda liked the idea of the TT ever since I saw one take a roundabout at speed without sliding (I'd guess around 80 mph on entry), but never got around to giving one a go.
There’s a difference between roadholding and handling. They are not the same thing.

trilla

140 posts

10 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
British Beef said:

Now these TT RS are into £60k Territory With a few options ,I think I would add a few extra pounds and go for a lotus Evora 400, which is better in most departments I value in a car: (having driven 400 and previous TTRS I would remark)

- Looks - no contest, one looks unique and special the other a modified very common car.
- Comfort and "special" feeling, I prefer the Evora by a country mile.
- Sound - both make different but very Nice noises
- Gearbox, cant get the Audi With a manual ;-(
- Wet weather performance the Audi has it pipped
- Far better steering in Evora, atually feels Connected to front Wheels.
- Practicality they are Equal.
- I bet the Evora engine & gearbox would at least be on par in reliability.
The new TT-RS is a much better car than the old one, so a bit strange to mention that.

Looks are subjective, but I think the Evora looks like a crappy kit car. Don't love the TT but the RS looks nice.
Evora is probably a more special feeling car being mid-engined but you're kidding yourself if it will be as comfortable as an Audi.
The Evora sounds decent for a 6 but there are very few engine notes on earth that will be an inline-5, it's glorious.
Can't get the Audi with a manual but the S-tronic is fantastic. Depends what you want I get.
Pipped? The TT-RS would demolish most cars in adverse conditions.
I don't disagree, Evora is definitely better for feedback and feel.
Equal? Not really, the TT-RS has a proper boot and good visibility, but the Evora can't really help being mid-engined.
Maybe the engine because it's a Toyota unit, but it's everything else that breaks on a Lotus.