BOTB First Drive: Audi TT-RS {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

24 Mar 2017

This week I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the new Audi TT-RS for about 24hrs, so of course I absolutely jumped at the chance. But unlike my usual road tests in which I have the car for a week, this will only be a brief review of the TT-RS as I’m hoping to get into one for longer sometime in the near future. Especially now I’ve experienced it, as I really want more…

Let’s start with the looks – the current Mk3 TT is already a far better looking car than the Mk2, but in the transformation to an RS model from the newly formed Audi Sport, they have taken a massive dose of steroids and sent the TT to the gym. The front end is super aggressive with massive intakes either side of an enlarged and more angular grille, while the aluminium pack on this car gives a nice look to the front splitter and the iconic ‘quattro’ logo at the bottom of the grille. At the rear there’s a functional diffuser which houses the RS-standard twin oval exhaust pipes. Atop the bootlid now sits a fixed spoiler which I personally think really makes the whole car look so much more purposeful. This car had the optional 20-inch alloy wheels as well, thankfully in the standard silver finish too, not the two tone that is optional. It really is a great looking car in the metal, looking super aggressive but still wonderfully compact on the road.

Interiors have always been Audi’s forte, but once again this new TT has taken it to another level. There are no screens in the centre console and in fact very few buttons at all, this is thanks to the Virtual Display which replaces the traditional dials. It’s a full width screen that can swap between various modes to display dials, information, gauges or a full width satnav screen with floating dials. It really is an incredible system, though I found navigating it took a lot longer than the time I had to learn. Lucky owners won’t have such time restrictions though. In the centre console there are three air vents which cleverly house the small display and control button in the centre – definitely one of those features that makes you wonder why someone hasn’t done it before. Another impressive aspect of the TT-RS’s interior is the practicality – the rear seats are certainly usable for children and adults for short journeys and they fold flat too, making the already spacious boot much bigger and capable of taking a decent amount of stuff. Another bonus is the passenger seat has Isofix mounts too so a child seat can go there.

So now we’ve gone through the visuals, let’s get to the oily bits. Though the spec list may look familiar – a 2.5 litre turbocharged 5-cylinder unit, this engine is all new and around 40kg lighter, but now puts out a staggering 394bhp which is enough to propel the TT-RS from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds. That’s quicker than the original R8 V10! The power doesn’t let up as the speed increases either, on a closed runway I floored the accelerator and before I knew it the dials were well into three figures and still climbing right up the point where I chickened out at 145mph. It really is staggeringly quick; I dare say that there isn’t much that will keep up at the price point. And then there’s the noise. Oh my, the noise. There’s nothing like a 5-pot burble, but with the sports exhaust this TT absolutely sings – all burbles, gurgles, turbo whistles and angry barks.

I didn’t get a huge amount of time to explore the handling, but sadly there was the typical Audi RS trait of understeer when pushed into a fast corner. However unlike the old RS3, with the TT-RS I found that if you learn to work around it, adopt a slow-in-fast-out approach to roundabouts, this is a devastatingly quick car point to point. If you were on the roundabouts of Milton Keynes this week and you got passed by a loud grey blur, that was me. Sorry.

So there’s a brief overview of the TT-RS – as explained there will be a longer full review soon, but until then hopefully this gives you enough of an insight to go and buy some tickets for this fantastic Audi – and you can do so right here.