For those keeping track, that represents an increase of 60 hp over the previous version, accompanied by 354 pound-feet of torque. Channeled to all four wheels in typical Quattro style, those 400 horses will propel the TT RS to 62 miles per hour from a standstill in as little as 3.7 seconds.
That's enough to undercut the new Porsche 718 Cayman S by a good few tenths, and will leave the vast majority of drivers on the road or track looking at its pair of oval tailpipes, OLED taillights, and fixed rear wing rather than the new front end with its oversized air intakes. Those lucky enough to find themselves inside the new TT RS will find a pair of low-slung bucket seats along with standard TT fare like a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display, Audi Connect infotainment system, and inductive smartphone charging.
US pricing and availability are still being worked out, but Audi of America spokesman Mark Dahncke tells Autoblog that the new TT RS will arrive in showrooms Stateside "sometime next year." Overseas the new model is set to launch in the fall. The starting price of €66,400 euros listed for Europe works out to nearly $75k at current exchange rates. More tellingly the TT RS price is just above the €64,118 that Porsche charges for the new 718 Cayman S. This is clearly one bout of sibling rivalry that's just heating up.
Audi is sending the most powerful TT ever into the competitive field. Its newly developed five-cylinder engine delivers 400 hp – accompanied by unmistakable engine sound. The Coupé and Roadster are celebrating their world premieres at the Beijing Motor Show.
Muscular front end, large air inlets, low-positioned spoiler, fixed rear wing – at first glance, the Audi TT RS* clearly hints at just how much power there is under its streamlined skin. Its new five-cylinder aluminum engine delivers 400 hp, which is 60 hp more than the power of the previous model. A full 480 Newton-meters (354.0 lb-ft) of torque is applied to the front and rear wheels, and a traction control system manages its distribution for maximum acceleration with minimal slip. As a result, the Coupé takes 3.7 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph), and the Roadster takes 3.9 seconds. No other TT has sprinted this fast. The brilliant torque is accompanied by typical five-cylinder sound – which is music to the ears of horsepower purists. This sound passes through the RS exhaust system and is projected to the surroundings via two large oval tailpipes. Other eye-catching features at the rear are the new OLED lights in 3D design, which are being implemented for the first time in a production Audi.
This much power requires a stiff chassis setup. At a height of just 1.34 meters (4.4 ft), the Audi TT RS is low to the asphalt, and it is both light-footed and under control as it conquers curves. The direct steering ratio gives the driver the feeling of being one with the road. No matter how intensively the driver turns the grippy sport steering wheel, the low-mounted sport seat with the strong contours of its side bolsters holds the driver in position. In the Roadster, a switch initiates open-air driving fun. It opens the car's soft top – even while driving at speeds up to around 50 km/h (31.1 mph).
Inside, the TT RS has an extremely sporty appearance – with aluminum or carbon trim elements and RS logos. As in the Audi R8, the driver starts the engine directly from the steering wheel – a feature inspired by car racing. The vehicle handling system can also be operated from an extra set of satellite controls. If drivers wish, they can modify the character of the TT RS over four modes – from comfort-oriented to emphatically dynamic. The instruments are focused entirely on the driver. The fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with its 12.3-inch screen bundles all key information – from driving speed to engine rpm and navigation. And that is not all. A special RS screen displays information on tire pressure, torque and g-forces. When the engine rev limit is reached, a shift light requests that the driver upshift via the steering wheel paddle or selector lever. A precondition is that the manual mode must be active for the dual-clutch transmission, which has sporty short gear ratios in the lower gears.
To always stay up-to-date, the driver can call upon the extensive infotainment content. Audi connect is bringing a wide variety of services on-board, which can deliver the right information – whether you are looking for parking, travel or traffic information, or inquiring about fuel prices, the weather or online news. Passengers can also tweet on the road, and upon request the system can read the messages aloud. They can connect their smartphone or tablet via the Wi-Fi hotspot and surf the world wide web. Select smartphone apps can be mirrored directly into the Audi virtual cockpit. The smartphone battery is charged inductively in the center console. Then the smartphone is also coupled to the vehicle's antenna for optimal reception, and it connects the driver with the desired contact person when prompted. A practical feature is that the microphones of the hands-free system are integrated into the seat belts in the Roadster, which guarantees high speech quality.
Want to know more? The TT RS Coupé and TT RS Roadster launch in fall 2016.
Prices for the Coupé start at 66,400 euros, and the Roadster is listed at 69,200 euros.