This violently potent four-wheel-drive roadster will leave the road behind you in flames and chew every corner you throw at it. All this, while making you look good.
Photos: Joel Tam
Video: Kel Tay
INSPIRED BY AUDI'S legendary Quattro, the TT RS features four-wheel-drive and a five-cylinder turbocharged engine. That is as far their similarities go though. The TT RS is a far more advanced and modern car, boasting 340bhp and 450Nm of torque from its all-new 2.5-litre TFSI unit. In the Roadster version we tested, you get to hear what that really sounds like - the tunes that the 'quintet' engine produces are truly chart-topping.
ON THE OUTSIDE, the front and rear bumpers are beefed up with R8-like intakes and grills, dual integrated chrome exhaust tips peek out of the rear valance, and our test car was strapped with gorgeous 5-spoke 19" wheels on Michelin Pilot Sport rubber. The icing on the cake has to be the discrete but effective retractable rear spoiler (watch our video below to see it in action). Trimmed with the signature RS silver side-view mirrors, all this work convincingly to set it apart from its less endowed TT siblings.
INSIDE, SPORT SEATS are encased in leather of an ivory shade (no lovely RS bucket seats though), aluminium pedals highlight an otherwise dark footwell and the chunky leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel comes complete with RS badging. Fit and finish are typical Audi, tight and robust. I expected a more up-to-date console design though, the raised center tunnel shoulders remind me of the older generation A4 (B7). It's still a nice place to be in nonetheless.
FIRE UP THE engine, and with a prod on the throttle, you'll hear the exhaust begin their vocal warm-ups. Jab the "S" for Sport (what else?) button, and a 'second lung' is opened - you'll hear that too! Now finger the catch that drops the top and enjoy your choir as the volume increases with the canvas top down.
ALL THAT'S BEEN written so far is child's play though, the real magic, is in the awesome engine. 340 german steeds, ready to pull your chariot wherever you point it. It is neck-snapping rapid from the word go. It is so fast the initial speed will take you by surprise. Roads are covered in unbelieavable speed and you start to think of how abnormal this is for a TT - it's just too fast! Acceleration is blistering in any gear and your eyes will widen as fast as the needle climbs. In Sport mode the throttle response is painfully sharp and the steering much keener. The enormous limits are hard to breach as the dampers firm up to work in unison with the chassis and superb quattro system to pin the TT RS hard onto the ground. Supercars beware!
AFTER YOU'VE HAD your fun, unwind by pressing the "S" button again to deactivate Sport mode and you'll feel the whole car settle into a more relaxed demeanor. The shifts are less aggressive, the ride becomes creamy and worthy of long journeys. Perfect.
FEW SPORTSCARS I know can give you this much glam with so much "bam". Sure, a Boxster S may edge it on driver appeal, but the TT RS Roadster is truly a desirable gem in its own right.
R8-like air vents and grills add to the aggression at the front-end.
Distinct chrome exhaust tips on each end are really mouths that will sing when you conduct your 5-cylinder 'quintet' engine.
Flat-bottomed and leather clad steering wheel is a joy to use with its thick rim. Steering weight lightens up at low speeds.
Instrument gauges easy to read and navigate, stamped with a TT RS logo to remind you of what you're driving - not that you'll need it.
Raised shoulders on the center tunnel harks back to previous A3 and A4 interiors, but still very well finished.
"S" for Sport. Depress it and the exhaust note increases, throttle response sharpens, the steering comes alive and the dampers go into combat-mode.
Chrome bezel air-con vents still a classic feature on the TT.
Sports seats look and feel great, but inadequate if you intend to take the car on the race track.
Huge calipers finished in glossy black and adorned with RS logos. Peeking from behind 19" alloys.
Fastest way to have your hair blown dry.
Highly pleasurable soundtrack - highly addictive (We'll add a sound clip soon).
The magic is in here. One-of-a-kind force-fed 2.5-liter 5-pot unit with 340bhp, and 450Nm of torque available from a low 1600rpm.
Handsome, agile and highly accomplished - the makings of a true sports hero.