2010 Audi TT RS | road test

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 by

The TT RS comes with a mean looking body kit

AT A GLANCE

FOR

  • Handsome looks
  • Great exhaust note
  • Beautifully made

AGAINST

  • Far too expensive
  • Rubbery gearbox
  • Hot metal interior

SUMMARY

The TT RS promises much but ultimately delivers an underwhelming driving experience despite being well made and boasting a powerful engine. It’s also far too expensive for a sports , especially compared with the considerably cheaper and superior Porsche Cayman S.

Rear spoiler signifies sporting intent. It can be removed if you feel it's too much though

PERFORMANCE

The TT RS sports a turbocharged 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine driving all four wheels through a manual six-speed gearbox that, while good, is not outstanding. We’d prefer it to feel more solid with less of the slightly rubbery sensation that it gives while shifting.

A Sport button opens up the exhaust for a throatier, raspier sound, particularly when the turbo comes on boost from around 3,500rpm. We found ourselves stirring the engine to keep it in high revs for decent progress – there is low down torque that’s fine for driving around town, but if you want to push on it feels just a fraction reluctant and usually prompts a downshift. Make no mistake though; this is a fast machine. The 335bhp powers the TT RS to 100kph in just 4.6 seconds.

HANDLING AND RIDE

The ride is stiff but not crashy. You’ll need to slow down for speed bumps and you’ll feel all the imperfections in the road, but it’s not uncomfortable and it stays flat through corners with virtually no body roll.

Handling isn't bad, but we'd like more steering feel please

Steering wise, the TT turns quickly to inputs on the wheel, but there’s a lack of feel of what the front wheels are doing – an issue we keep finding in Audis. This means the TT RS doesn’t feel as sharp and pointy as we’d like it to and, crucially, as some of its main rivals do very well. On the positive side, the Quattro four wheel drive means it always feels stable and traction is never an issue.

COMFORT

The quality of the interior, as we’re used to from Audi, is excellent – everything feels solid and pretty much bullet proof. The design is fairly plain, although the brushed aluminium inserts around the gear stick look good.

Audi’s use of metal on door handle and gear knob means that in the Arabian summer they get extremely hot if the car is parked outside. It was a bit of a problem when we first got the car and led to some rather unorthodox gear changing techniques.

The interior is of excellent quality, but watch out for the metal bits in the Arabian heat

The seats are very comfortable and supportive for enthusiastic cornering and long journeys alike. We like the metal pedals and the weighting of the clutch, which makes it an easy car to drive every day.

The TT cruises at 120kph at just under 3,000rpm and is pretty quiet – only the air con makes any kind of significant noise and takes a while to cool the car when it’s very hot.

PRACTICALITY

The TT is a small sports coupe, so not really built with a great deal of practicality in mind. There are rear seats but they’re of little use to anyone older than about 10.

The front doors house decent sized pockets, but there’s no centre armrest or storage space beneath – instead, there’s a space to plug in one’s phone. Does anyone still do that in this age of Bluetooth?

There's room for driver and passenger, but don't expect much more praticality

The boot is a rather tiny 290 litres, but the rear seats do fold down to take a weekend’s worth of luggage.

FEATURES

The TT RS comes with a bodykit, spoiler and some very cool 18-inch alloy wheels compared to the standard TT – it certainly looks the part. Larger 19-inch wheels are a 6,600AED option

There’s no iPod connection or auxiliary input socket as standard on the stereo, which is very annoying. Come on Audi, pretty much everyone includes such a socket on their cars as standard these days, why can’t you? Don’t make it a 900AED option.

Standard features include cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Hill Start Assist and rear parking sensors.

The Audi Navigation Plus unit (an 11,400AED option) feels a little bit outdated and doesn’t feature a touch screen, but it works fairly well.

2010 RS

SAFETY

ABS, ESP (electronic stability control) and front and side airbags are all standard in the TT RS. The front passenger seat has an ISOFIX attachment point for child seats as standard, but such points in the rear are a 200AED option/

No crash test data was available for the TT RS at the time of writing.

COSTS

At 237,000AED, the TT RS is considerably more expensive than the regular 3.2 V6 TT, which costs 177,000AED. Crucially, however, it’s also more expensive than its main rival and the best car of its type, the Porsche Cayman S (211,700AED). Decent as the TT RS is, it’s not as good as the Cayman, which makes the price rather unfathomable and makes it very hard to recommend.

The official combined fuel economy figure for the TT RS is 9.2 litres per 100km, which gives the TT RS a theoretical range of 650km from its 60-litre fuel tank.

Audi offers a two-year/unlimited mileage warranty on the TT RS. Major services are due every 20,000km and will cost around 1,800AED at the time of writing.

2010 Audi TT RS

Engine: 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged
Max power (bhp/rpm): 335/5,400-6,500
Max torque (Nm/rpm): 450/1,600-5,300
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Driven wheels: Four-wheel drive
Kerb weight: 1,510kg
Price (AED): From 237,000

2 Responses to 2010 Audi TT RS | road test

  1. Phill Tromans Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

    The figures may suggest a similarity, but the TT RS has nothing on the R8, which is a much sportier and hardcore experience.

  2. George Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 3:30 am

    The TT has always been a great piece of kit and I’m quite liking Audi’s philosophy i.e. the build quality does not taper down the models.
    Its gracefully accommodates people with a small to medium stature, anything else would like the bull is on the rider and not the other way round and dats no fun…as I saw the other day.
    As hefty a price it maybe it matches the R8 for performance (almost) and the interiors are remarkably similar too. The austerity of the of the Batcave like interiors, although solidly put together, IS not something you would get romantic with.
    ps Both the RS and R8 do a 100kmph in 4.6s but anything beyond a ton, allows the R8 to break away, courtesy 80 extra horses and thats no lie.
     
     

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