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
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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..."
"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."
"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."