Audi TT RS: PH Fleet


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

 

 

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Comments (41) Join the discussion on the forum

  • loudlashadjuster 23 Feb 2018

    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 23 Feb 2018

    If you can handle the silly price and hairdresser jibes, it's actually a jolly good car.

  • UmpaLoompa 23 Feb 2018

    “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 23 Feb 2018


  • British Beef 23 Feb 2018


    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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