2018 Audi TT RS First Drive: The Most Thrilling TT Yet

– Lime Rock, Connecticut

Thank Facebook that this car is even here. The original Audi TT RS wasn’t going to make it to America, but when a Facebook petition exploded back in 2010 – it garnered more than 11,000 signatures in a month – Audi decided to bring the high-performance model Stateside. All 500 units sold out for the 2012 model year, so for the following year, Audi of America stole 300 TT RS coupes originally intended for Canada. Those sold out, too.

Fast forward to today, and I’m driving an all-new TT RS that’s lighter, more powerful, and faster than that original. Yet it has all the same building blocks that got enthusiasts hot and bothered seven years ago: punchy five-cylinder turbo engine, Quattro all-wheel-drive traction, and in-your-face looks. Will this car be in as high demand as its predecessor?

After a few laps around the 1.5-mile Lime Rock Park circuit, I’m prepared to say the answer is a firm “yes.” The Audi devours straight lines with a manic burble, the type of off-kilter exhaust sound only an inline-five can make, as the engine and dual-clutch gearbox rocket the car forward. It grips hard in high-speed turns and turns in eagerly to the track’s lower-speed bends, quick steering making it all the easier to swap directions in an instant. Pile onto the optional carbon ceramic brakes and there’s a refreshingly firm pedal feel as speed evaporates.

2018 Audi TT RS
2018 Audi TT RS
2018 Audi TT RS
2018 Audi TT RS


Most of all, though, the TT RS is noticeably forgiving. It’s my first time ever driving at Lime Rock, and i...