It’s hard to know where to start with the Audi TT RS 2.5 TFSI Quattro
Maybe the cost is a good place, from £45,860 OTR. After you know that, its much easier to decide whether to carry on reading this or not.
Yes, the RS TT is visually splendid, but it does so without being overly ostentatious. Its curved body is graceful and sexy, not vulgar or tacky. The beautifully simple design demands your attention and it doesn’t feel the need to thrust its spoiler in your face like some ‘other’ cars do.
From the front the car is low, wide and moody, its narrow, piercing LED eyes and large front honeycomb grille give it a serious face. The TT RS badge is positioned proudly next to the Audi rings, it doesn’t look unhappy, it just means business.
As you move around the car the shape becomes more rounded, small tear shaped rear side windows flow gracefully down to a short end. The hatchback is huge, the boot not so big, but there is room for a couple more shopping bags that perhaps you would expect.
Technically there is a back seat, but unless your name is Snow White, this is pretty much a car for two people. You could get two young kids in the back, but they wouldn’t thank you for it, and they’ll only get bigger.
Inside the dashboard is actually fairly minimal, in addition to the regular speedometer, the digital numerical display right in the middle is essential or easily keeping one eye on your speed, and one hand on your driving licence. You can’t play a CD without taking the sat-nav map DVD out, and there is no USB port either, so you’ll have to copy all your music onto a SD card before you get in (or like me, end up lost). Somewhat surprisingly there are no reversing sensors either.
Thankfully the engineers at Audi have concentrated on what happens when this car goes forward and for those people who say there is no need to have such a fast car, well, they are right, but they have also probably also never driven this car.
Available with a manual 6-speed transmission, the version I road-tested featured the excellent dual-clutch transmission with steering wheel paddles. You don’t have to travel at 174mph to appreciate the exhilaration and power of the engine. 0-60mph takes just 4.3 seconds and strong neck muscles.
The acceleration is there in spades whenever you need it. If 340bhp@ 5400-6500 RPM isn’t enough for you, there is also the obligatory ‘Sport’ button. This will quicken throttle response and stiffening the suspension, producing an even sexier exhaust sound that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Not that it needs much enhancing, the large twin exhausts already produce a quite wonderful sound. When the turbo kicks in at around 1,500-1800 rpm it growls, like the engine is gulping down vast breathes of air in tandem with your foot. The rear spoiler keeps the car locked to the road, and in terms of handling at higher speeds the TT RS will let you bolt around the track, but will never completely let go of the reins.
The steering is supremely well balanced, heavy enough to keep you (and the car) in control but never losing feedback from the road surface itself. If you really push it, it will eventually under-steer, but it won’t frighten you like other fast cars can.
It loves roads with twists and turns, and is happy wherever its handling capabilities can be tested, i.e. off the motorway. This is where you will really feel like you are driving the TT RS, and not just along for the ride.
It’s main competitors are the BMW 1M, Porsche Cayman and Nissan 370Z, all excellent in their own rights, and all worth a test drive. If you’ve got this far and £50,000 in your pocket, then you’ve got a very nice problem.
Audi TT RS 2.5 TFSI Quattro
Top speed: 174mph
CO2 Emissions: 199 g/km
44.8mpg extra urban
2480cc / 5 cylinder
7 speed S-tronic transmission
340 horsepower @ 5400-6500 RPM
450nm @1600-5300 RPM
Insurance group 20/40 E
For more info visit www.audi.co.uk