Tested: 2018 Audi TT RS  

The hot gospel

Did you know that the Ford Focus is the best-handling hatchback (“…in the world”), American cars can’t go around corners, every petrolhead needs to own an Alfa and the Nürburgring is 21km long? If you believe any of this, and that an Audi TT is only for air hostesses, then you suffer from something I call “Clarksonitis”.

I have great respect for the outspoken British TV host, especially for the popularity that his efforts have given our industry, but I don’t share some of his more controversial beliefs. There are grains of truth between his tortured metaphors but nothing’s more tedious than someone taking his rants as gospel.

Audi was probably aiming at these zombie followers when they developed the TT RS. Come to think of it, the whole new TT range is actually good to drive and deserves more than a flight attendant’s attention. The standard (2.0T FSi) Coupé already impressed me with its agility and 169kW performance a few years ago.

That car blitzed 100km/h in just 5.88 seconds (Audi claims 6) which probably explains why they now sell a cheaper 1.8T version with 132kW; which is still quick enough to klap 100 in seven seconds. Also available: the hot TTS whose 2-liter turbo petrol gets you past 100km/h in about 4.6 seconds. That’s fast.

“Nein!” said a bunch of Audi engineers after watching too much TopGear. “Vee can do better zan zat!” one of them added in a delicate Bavarian accent. So, for maximum air hostess repellant, they unpacked the legendary five-cylinder turbo-petrol engine for this scorching-hot TT RS. Besides the trademark off-beat sound, they also tickled 294kW from this engine…

Actually, that’s one of a few criticisms I came up with… in casual commuting or regular town driving, the car sounds like a boring four cylinder. It’s only at higher rpm’s (3000 and upwards) that you get treated to the distinctive five-pot Walter Röhrl Quattro buzz, especially if you’re in Dynamic mode and/or have the exhaust flap open.

Needless to say, the RS suspension and (optional) 255/30ZR20 tyres provide amazing traction and rather rude low-speed damping; even in Comfort mode. Fans of comfort best look elsewhere or stick to the standard 245/35ZR19 wheels. Whack it into Dynamic mode again and the ride becomes downright choppy around town; and bouncy at highway speeds.

Other negatives I noted were the tiny rear seats (although their backs fold) and the missing infotainment screen – its display lives in the TT’s digital instrument cluster and the usage thereof will take a while to master. Example? When you engage reverse, most dials disappear to show the rear parking camera.

On the upside, it’s crammed full of German cleverness like an adaptive rev-counter and multiple zoom options, all of which add even more simple elegance to the already chic interior. That also goes for the climate controls which are housed inside (!) the center air vents. The boot is surprisingly roomy for such a small car: 305 to 712L.

Yes, yes – I hear you mumble – let’s see what she can do! Get the sequence right and this TT will launch-control its way to 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Audi claims 3.7 and the mind-blowing fact is that our test car repeated the feat three times with only 0.02 seconds deviance between runs: 3.79, 3.80 and 3.81.

That sort of razor-sharp accuracy and ruthless performance hammered my point home again. The Audi TT RS may cost almost a million bucks and resemble a cutesy coupé but it has the capacity to embarrass even exotic supercars. TT’s are just for trolley dollies? I don’t think so.


0-10km/h: 0,36 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,65 seconds
0-30km/h: 0,92 seconds
0-40km/h: 1,20 seconds
0-50km/h: 1,57 seconds
0-60km/h: 1,95 seconds
0-70km/h: 2,31 seconds
0-80km/h: 2,77 seconds
0-90km/h: 3,30 seconds
0-100km/h: 3,79 seconds
0-110km/h: 4,48 seconds
0-120km/h: 5,22 seconds
0-130km/h: 5,97 seconds
0-140km/h: 6,82 seconds
0-150km/h: 7,65 seconds
0-160km/h: 8,78 seconds
0-170km/h: 9,98 seconds
0-180km/h: 11,18 seconds
0-190km/h: 12,43 seconds
0-200km/h: 13,88 seconds

0-100m: 5,15 seconds @ 119,08km/h
0-200m: 7,80 seconds @ 151,29km/h
0-300m: 10,04 seconds @ 170,47km/h
0-400m: 12,05 seconds @ 187,20km/h

100-0km/h: 2,85 seconds @ 38,19 meters (once-off)
Maximum deceleration G-force: 1,27G


0-10mph: 0,56 seconds
0-20mph: 0,98 seconds
0-30mph: 1,51 seconds
0-40mph: 2,09 seconds
0-50mph: 2,79 seconds
0-60mph: 3,63 seconds
0-70mph: 4,65 seconds
0-80mph: 5,87 seconds
0-90mph: 7,18 seconds
0-100mph: 8,91 seconds
0-110mph: 10,79 seconds
0-120mph: 12,88 seconds

1/4 mile: 12,10 seconds @ 116,53 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 1,21G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box


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