2018 Audi TT RS — Road Test

Posted on Jan 9, 2018 by
2018 Audi TT RS
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 306,000 (as tested)
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  • Last modified: January 10, 2018

Review Summary:

Stupidly quick for what it is, but there are a few issues

Pros

Blistering straight line acceleration, sounds great

Cons

Pricier than its rivals

Ingolstadt’s new is a giant slayer with performance figures to shame bona fide supercars. But should you buy one? Text and images: Amit Benjamin

 

2018 audi ttrs review

So, a 400-horsepower TT. A 0-100km/h time of about 3.7 seconds. That sounds like a first-gen R8, give or take…

Progress is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Lovers of velocity can rejoice that they can now have the performance of a bona fide supercar from merely a few years ago in a little coupe that costs a fraction of anything as peripherally quick back then, or even now. And, the parallel you draw with the R8 is indeed apt. The original Audi wonder car made 415hp and had similar get-up-and-go stats, albeit in V10 guise. So yes, the TT RS is kind of like a baby supercar. Or more precisely, a first-gen baby R8 V10. Sort of.

2018 audi ttrs review

That’s a tall claim. No Vorsprung Durch Understeer, then?

No, not at all. The front end is more eager than you would expect from any car with a TT badge (yes, we know the connotations) upon its person. The amount of on-throttle, mid-corner adjustability is remarkable. In a straight line it gathers pace with startling urgency, once you’ve gotten past the initial whiff of turbo lag. To illustrate the breath of its dynamic abilities let me paint a hypothetical picture: If you were, for instance, pootling on an empty stretch of road with sweeping corners and expansive roundabouts, and, you were, in theory, to run into an F10 BMW M5 intent on waving its 580hp V8 firepower, you would likely decimate it in about two mins. Especially, when the said roundabouts hove into view and the advantages of quattro all-wheel drive become apparent over nearly 580 unruly horses attacking the rear rubbers of the two-tonne sedan, and presumably causing much havoc in the underpants department for the driver. Obviously, there is no assurance that this could happen in real life. All in all, the TT RS is a lively little car. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s more confidence inspiring, and therefore, more fun than a BMW M2. And that’s one heck of a car. In fact, the M2 is better than the M5.

Sounds like quite a machine. Some details, please.

As mentioned previously it makes 400 horsepower and 480Nm of torque from as low as 1,700rpm, but more importantly it feels like a lot more and yet just about enough to nudge the upper reaches of the chassis. The steering is sharp but never too darty. The ride is pretty good, too, although it’s still not as carefully metered or composed as a Porsche 718 Cayman.

2018 audi ttrs review

You’re confusing me now.

Ok, simply put. It’s a very, very rapid car, but it still does not feel as finger-tippy as the Cayman, although it is way faster. There is a relative slack, if you could call it that, compared to the Porsche. There is a touch more body roll and it is a comparatively fidgety. However, the TT RS’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine sounds incredible, even though there is plenty of exhaust fakery with gratuitous pops, bangs and crackles peppering progress.

2018 audi ttrs review

Pricey?

It is a bit. Our tester costs just north of AED 300,000, which is a little pricier than the Porsche Cayman 718 GTS and the BMW M2, and for better or worse, even a used first-gen R8 V8. That said, for the purity of the drive, I’d still go for something like a Porsche Cayman 718 GTS. Beyond that, the new TT RS is quite something. Few cars in this price band can match its blistering straight-line pace. It’s officially quicker to 100km/h than several AED500K-plus cars.  It’s a proper belter, this thing.

 

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