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