Audi TT RS: PH Fleet

The last Audi to grace the PH fleet was an S4 wagon; a model that everyone liked in the same way you might like a contented, middle-aged labrador. Now, being good company, reliably compliant, and not overly inclined to make a fuss is all well and good - but it doesn't necessarily equate to the kind of thrill-a-minute, trouser-lighting stuff you might feasibly want from a car equipped with a 354hp turbocharged V6.

That's Catalunya Red darling
That's Catalunya Red darling
Consequently, we've upped the sporting ante this time around by reducing the door count, the kerb weight, the ride height, the wheelbase and the number of usable seats. Oh and by increasing the power to 400hp from a smaller, revvier and far more interesting engine. In point of fact, the 2.5-litre five-cylinder motor has long been the most interesting thing about the TT RS - just as it is the most interesting thing about the RS3.

The car around it has changed for the better recently, too. The previous TT RS was based on the old PQ35 platform which, while thoroughly worthy, was neither as light nor as stiff as the MQB architecture that now underpins virtually everything that the VW Group sells which isn't a Bentley Bentayga. Naturally Audi strapped powerful engines to the third generation of TT from the get-go - the Golf R-emulating S model being of particular note - but the latest RS is by some distance the quickest version to date.

And these are the '7-spoke rotor' wheels. Shock
And these are the '7-spoke rotor' wheels. Shock
Of course its eye-opening on-paper performance - 3.7 seconds to 62mph, no less - is less about terrifying supercars drivers and much more about making the case for quattro over and above the similarly priced (and proudly rear-drive) BMW M2 and Porsche Cayman S. Despite its pace, though, the flagship TT has previously fallen short in direct comparisons; finding out whether or not the latest version measures up over an extended period is one of the core reasons for adding it to the PH Fleet for six months.

The timing of its arrival could hardly be more precipitous. The last coupe-shaped model to pass through the office was the BMW M4 CS - a splendid creation in any other circumstance - but doomed to slither about somewhat messily in the prevailing conditions. None of that stability-control-light-bothering nonsense for the RS; we've barely had it out of the box yet, and already its emphatic attitude to traction is inevitably a blessing when every journey is preceded by five minutes of ice scraping.

That flat bottomed wheel will come in handy
That flat bottomed wheel will come in handy
Much else about the car registers in the benefit column, too. Whilst we didn't get to wile away an afternoon on Audi's configurator this time around, the press office has made a fair fist of the option list. There isn't a man alive who wouldn't seriously contemplate swapping the standard (and wilfully dull) 19-inch wheels for one of the sparklier 20-inch alternatives, but such a switch needs the Magentic Ride box ticking at the same time if you want to keep your teeth from being unceremoniously rattled from your head on UK roads.

With both options present and correct, we regard everything else on the list as a bonus: which is exactly how the RS Sport exhaust system, electrically adjustable front seats and all-round Matrix LED lights should be thought of, given the additional £3,545 they heaved onto the starting price. Regardless, the cabin has rather been left alone - and that's no cause for complaint either given that the current TT essentially sports a scaled down R8 interior. The RS gets the hifalutin infotainment setup, too - and predictably handsome 'Super Sports' seats.

Expect plenty more in the New Year!
Expect plenty more in the New Year!
Thus far then, with only very modest motorway miles under the inline five's belt, we're rather sold on the thought of having the coupe for company over Christmas. Only the colour - a conspicuously scarlet shade of Catalunya Red - has raised the collective PH eyebrows a fraction. Ara Blue, Mythos Black or Daytona Grey feel like a better match for the RS's sturdy good looks, in conjunction with the black styling pack that would've darkened the radiator grille frame, front blade and rear diffuser surround. But you can't have everything.

: 2017 Audi TT RS
Run by: Nic Cackett
On fleet since: December 2017
Mileage: 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)





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Comments (80) Join the discussion on the forum

  • sidesauce 14 Dec 2017

    I must admit I really rather like this car and will be following your updates. Audi have done that rare thing of making a lighter model than the previous one and in addition to that 5-cylinder engine have created something that genuinely piques my interest; having seen those alternative 19" wheels I'm actually inclined to agree with the article on that point also!

  • Guffy 14 Dec 2017

    The worst colour, but for your average point and squirt punter who can justify £60k for a TT, then this will be manna from heaven.

    Think i would rate this a guilty pleasure if i had one, certainly won't be looking for a chariot race in my wagon, even though i have another 150 horses, the shame boxedin

    Look forward to the updates, let the usual comments commence...

  • Blink982 14 Dec 2017

    I had the latest version of the 2wd 2.0TFSI with manual and it was a surprisingly good car for a fwd, 4cyl turbo coupe. I genuinely enjoyed it during the 2years I had it.. Audi have nailed the tech and the cabin was a great place to be. I did find the standard Hancooks to be poor and the brakes were a weak point during spirited driving but that might be down to my driving style. I was put off even looking at the TTRS as you couldn't build one to your spec, the wheel designs (in both 19" and 20") are hideous and my 2.0TFSI tanked in value come trade in so I wouldn't entertain another Audi for now.

    I wouldn't bother with style packs, electric seats, 20" wheels (I don't like any of the designs as previously mentioned) or Matrix LEDs, the standard headlights are the best I've ever used, unless of course you like your indicators to flash Knightrider style.

    The current iteration of the TT is a genuinely good car and deserves more praise than it gets but I appreciate that a MQB based Audi is frowned up in these parts. I just wouldn't go for a new one.

    It's been around for a while so why have PH suddenly got one?

    Edited by Blink982 on Thursday 14th December 07:29

  • Durzel 14 Dec 2017

    Audi doing what Porsche won't - selling a car that worries its halo car.

    It's fairly common knowledge that anyone who has driven a Cayman S has felt that the chassis is capable of handling more power, but Porsche wisely (?) reign it in to preserve 911 halo status.

    No such machinations here. Granted the R8 has more power on paper, but Audi's own figures have the TTRS only 0.2 seconds slower to 62mph. Coupled with to all and intents and purposes the same interior (as before), I'm struggling to wonder why people would pay £120k+ for the former.

    All of which makes this a pretty interesting car. I imagine it's pretty easy to extract even more power from, too, on top of the Plus output.

  • J4CKO 14 Dec 2017

    These things are so fast, will trouble a Nissan GTR from a standstill, probably overkill and a TTS is probably rapid enough for most, even the cooking tfsi is a quick car, but the 5 cylinder engine is the big draw, just so expensive, mk2 RS's can be had for 18k now, though realistically possibly less as been pondering one as my next car, they stick around for ages.

    Much better looking than the mk2, like a more edgy version of the mk1, but those wheels look dreadful, look like they are off a cart, the type that usually is pulled by a horse.

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