2012 Audi TT RS Roadster review
Audi’s TT RS apportions 360 horsepower to all four corners while the Carrera 4 shares 345 horsepower among its four.
The RS version of Audi’s TT Coupe is an amazing machine that’s unlike any TT I’ve previously experienced; this is a racecar parading itself as an upscale sports car.
One could also refer to the most powerful TT ever as the modest man’s R8, but that would be an injustice to the TT RS. You see, it’s faster to 100 km/h than the V8-powered Audi R8 4.2.
Whatever the label, the TT RS will live up to it, and then some.
The heart and soul of this car is its turbocharged 2.5L TFSI 5-cycliner 20-valve engine. Along with 360 hp @ 5,500 rpm, this renegade cranks out 343 lb-ft of torque from just 1,650 rpm, maintaining the full juice through to 5,400 rpm.
While I have bemoaned 5-cylinder engines in the past, Audi’s version leaves me breathless. Never would I have expected such outrageous performance from a mill with an odd number of cylinders whose total displacement is only 2.5 litres.
This powerplant is a significant accomplishment in the world of stock production engines. And it likes to boast about its credentials through an exhaust note that would send shivers down the spine of Lambo owners.
Hard to believe that the howl produced by TT RS at full throttle doesn’t belong to something from Italy with twice as many cylinders.
And to make the experience just that much more visceral, there’s a button next to the shifter with an “S” on it.
The TT RS is a wild beast with a gentle streak; that is, until you hit the “S” button. Activating the Sport Mode revises throttle mapping, steering response, suspension calibration, and exhaust channeling.
Suddenly, any sense of benevolence is lost. The car sounds angrier, rides harder and reacts with the immediacy of a racecar. Simply feathering the throttle produces astounding performance accompanied by an intensified auditory experience.
Deactivating Sport Mode returns the TT RS to a slightly more civilized machine cloaked in a thin veil of normalcy. This is actually a car that one could live with day to day. While its ride quality remains on the taut side and it’s not the quietest of sports cars, it is tolerable.
2012 Audi TT RS was equipped with Audi’s 6-speed manual gearbox, which made me ecstatic. While the S tronic dual-clutch automatic-shifting transmission is an amazing piece of F1-inspired technology, I relish the occasional opportunity to mix my own gears. Besides, the automated gearbox isn’t offered in the Canadian-spec RS.
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