Audi does a great job with the high-performance models, and the TT RS is no exception. Audi is able to find the perfect middle ground between a true raw driver’s car and a luxury focused race car for the streets.
The second you get into the cockpit of this beauty, after admiring the aggressive styling of the curvy short wheelbase body, you are greeted by Audi’s finest in their quilted leather and high quality materials. However, one thing does stand out immediately inside the TT RS, and that is that there is no infotainment screen in the center dash.
But, despite having all of the infotainment in the gage cluster with an incredibly cool and unique digital screen that changes based on the settings that is simple to use, some features have a hard time working, like the Apple Car Play. And because everything is in the cockpit dash, it takes your concentration off of the road a bit as it is more hidden and closed off then a normal gauge cluster, so a heads up display would help a lot. But, that is the point off it, to place the driver’s focus solely on the road, as this is a high performance coupe.
And high performance the TT RS is; more so, highly refined (to a point that is). The handling is superior; mostly due to Audi’s award-winning Quattro (AWD) system delivering perfection in terms of balance making the car feel as one going around a curve, especially when the car weighs under 3300 pounds and is as small as a toy car. The firmness of the steering wheel with its flat bottom design and alcantara material sure makes it feel good to grip and point towards where one wants the car to go, and boy does it respond; just point and shoot.
The power and unique sound the 5cyl under the hood of the TT RS makes is quite impressive as well, not feeling in whole like any other engine on the road today; more like its own or a mixture of different engines. The throat of the engine is so deep it sounds like an American V8 at times, which is combined with great turbo noises like the infamous droning (however, the cabin noise is a bit quiet despite the active exhaust button).
While there is significant turbo lag (transmission is wonderful….dual clutch) that delays the acceleration, standing and from a roll, once up to speed the power delivery is smooth and present; so much that it throws you hard against your seat and leaves you thinking this car needs no additional HP, and that even though moving the engine to the mid might significantly reduce the lag down low, would make the car so blistering fast that one may not be able to control it in a car this size.
Lag is not the only big negative of this car’s performance, however. The suspension is disappointing. While at highway speeds it may seem comfortable enough of a ride, in dynamic mode when one is really pushing the car, you feel every little bump and the ride is stiff. It also requires one to be a bit more aggressive than you should have to when turning the wheel (almost as hard as a 911 or M3).
Overall though, despite some of the negatives about the driving experience, this price of the car starting at a $67K MSRP is fair. This is mostly due to the advancement of the Audi technology which gives all aspects of this vehicle the feel of refinement; that combined with the surprising practicality. If you’re looking for a high end compact individuals car that will not only transport you in style, but keep you young by whipping you around the race track on the weekends, the Audi TT RS is for you.
Think it’s absurd to compare the TT RS, a $75K+ car to a supercar? Check this article out, I’m not the only one: https://www.thedrive.com/new-cars/3182/2017-audi-tt-rs-is-a-400-horsepower-mini-r8
-sound system: A-
-comfortability/ride quality: C+
-trunk space: A+
-driving modes/adjustability: C+
-standing acceleration: C+/B-
-engine sound: B
-overall performance: B-