2017 Audi TT RS quick review

By Mike Duff, 22 Sep 2016 Car Reviews

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2017 Audi TT RS

The TT RS is the most powerful version of the TT family combining the design of its lesser siblings with startling performance

WHAT IS IT?

It’s the fastest version yet of Audi’s iconic TT sportscar. Although it straddles several segments it’s fair to say that the new Audi TT RS outguns anything that could be considered a rival. Power comes from a five-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 294kW, and can propel the RS Coupe from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds.

The Coupe will go on sale in Australia next year and, although pricing hasn’t been finalised, we’re told to expect it to be about $145,000.

STRENGTHS

  • The turbocharged five-cylinder engine is superb, and makes the RS almost supercar fast. It sounds great and is lighter than the old five-pot, improving the RS’s responses. Performance is stunning, with the RS’s acceleration numbers pretty much identical to those of the V10-powered Audi R8. There’s a launch control system to help buyers replicate the official 0-100km/h claim (if they happen to find themselves at a drag strip.)
  • It looks great, with a pumped-up bodykit and chunky 19 inch wheels giving it a real visual lift over the standard TT. Audi makes some of the best interiors in the business, and the TT RS builds on it. Audi’s digital “virtual cockpit” display will be standard, a screen in place of the conventional instrument pack that can be configured to deliver different information. It’s a great place to spend time.
  • This TT RS is far more civilised than the last one, which felt harsh when asked to deal with anything other than the smoothest road surfaces. The new car is still firm, but rides well over rougher road surfaces and cruises quietly when you want it to.
  • Like every other TT the RS’s trump card remains practicality. Unlike its small coupe rivals, it has rear seats which, although small, are more than up to lugging kids around. There’s also a respectable 305 litres of luggage space with the rear seats in place, and 712 with them folded.

WEAKNESSES

  • The RS can’t match the immersive driving experience of its best sportscar rivals. It’s secure and fast, but not much fun to push hard.
  • Although more practical than the Porsche Cayman, the RS can’t match the interior space and accommodation of the BMW M2.
  • And while pricing isn’t confirmed, the expected $145,000 sticker will make the RS one of the most expensive cars in its class. It’ll also cost twice the basic TT Coupe.
  • Fuel consumption is heavy. Audi claims 8.4 l/100km in Europe, but getting near that number would require a very light right foot.
  • There’s no confirmation whether the convertible version will come to Australia. The official line is that it is likely too much of a niche product to make it here.

ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?

Although the Porsche 718 Cayman S is likely to be cited as the RS’s main opponent, its rear seats mean it can also be compared to the BMW M2.