This or a Porsche Cayman S?
It was on April 25th, 2016 when Audi unveiled the third-generation TT RS, but it’s only now the model is getting ready for the U.S. market. Set to make its local debut later this month at the New York Auto Show, the most powerful road-going TT ever will go on sale this spring and it’s going to carry a starting price of $64,900 MSRP (or $2,800 less than a Porsche 718 Cayman S).
At the heart of the 2018 TT RS is Audi’s newly developed turbocharged five-cylinder engine with a 2.5-liter displacement delivering a healthy 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque like in the RS3. As with all RS-badged models from Audi Sport, the new arrival in the U.S. family benefits from a standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Responsible for channeling the engine’s power to the two axles is a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission, which can send almost all of the torque to the rear wheels.
With this being the strongest TT of them all, it’s no wonder the high-performance coupe is also the quickest. 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) takes a mere 3.6 seconds (only 0.1s slower than the $162,900 R8) and the top speed is electronically governed at 155 mph (250 kph). If you want to exploit the engine’s full potential at the track, go for the optional Dynamic Plus package that will allow you to reach a maximum velocity of 174 mph (280 kph).
Speaking of optional goodies, you can replace the standard 19-inch alloy wheels with a larger 20-inch set and you can also spend more to have the RS sport exhaust system featuring black tips. For superior stopping power, Audi Sport will be more than happy to throw in front ceramic brakes with grey calipers as part of the Dynamic Plus kit we mentioned above. It also includes the RS fixed sport suspension for a stiffer ride to boost the car’s agility around the corners.
On the inside, you’ll be happy to hear the fantastic 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster comes as standard, and you can optionally pair it with an upgraded MMI infotainment system with navigation. Also at an additional cost, the 2018 TT RS can get a fancy 12-speaker, 680-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, although the soundtrack provided by the TFSI engine should be music to your ears.
Gallery: 2018 Audi TT RS U.S. Spec
Most powerful production TT ever – the all-new 2018 Audi TT RS joins the Audi Sport Model Line
- All-new 2.5-liter TFSI® engine produces a class-leading 400 hp and delivers the distinctive five-cylinder sound that is unmistakably Audi
- Standard quattro® permanent all-wheel drive has the ability to send nearly 100 percent of available torque to the rear wheels, allowing the TT RS to sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds
- Inspired by race cars, the interior features a driver focused cockpit with standard S sport seats, Audi Virtual Cockpit and a new multifunction sport steering wheel with shift paddles and satellite controls
NEW YORK, NY, April 4, 2017 – With an all-new five-cylinder engine delivering 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, the all-new 2018 Audi TT RS is the most powerful production TT model Audi has ever produced. Joining the new Audi Sport model line, the 2018 TT RS will make its US debut at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.
2018 Audi TT RS
Featuring a new 2.5-liter TFSI® engine, that delivers the distinctive five-cylinder sound that is unmistakably Audi and harkens back to the original turbocharged five-cylinder, the Audi Ur-quattro, the all-new 2018 TT RS joins the lineup of Audi Sport vehicles launching this spring. As with any vehicle that bears the RS badge, the TT RS is the most powerful production TT ever produced, boasting impressive driving dynamics and unmatched performance coupled with RS specific design differentiators. In addition, the TT RS features standard quattro® all-wheel drive, the legendary technology that was once a dominant force in the World Rally scene and that has earned the Audi brand many triumphs in motorsport at racetracks worldwide.
Powertrain and Performance
More powerful than its predecessor, the all-new 2.5-liter TFSI® five-cylinder engine delivers a class-leading 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque to the front and rear wheels. With lightweight aluminum construction, engineers were able to reduce internal friction and increase power delivery. As a result, the engine’s maximum torque is available between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm.
At less than 20 inches in length, the 2.5-liter engine is extremely compact and is 57 pounds lighter than the previous generation. The upper portion of the oil pan is made of magnesium while the engine block is made of aluminum, saving more than 40 pounds. The engine also has a completely new crankshaft which is lighter and smaller than its predecessor.
A traction control system, specifically calibrated for the TT RS, manages distribution for maximum acceleration with minimal slip. As a result, the TT RS sprints from 0 to 60 mph in a class-leading 3.6 seconds, faster than any other TT model, and achieves a top track speed of 155 mph, or increased to 174 mph with the optional Dynamic plus package. That acceleration is accompanied by the distinctive five-cylinder sound as it passes through the RS exhaust system to the two large signature oval tailpipes or the optional RS sport exhaust with black oval tailpipes. The unique 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence, which allows the ignition to alternate between adjacent cylinder and those further apart, gives the TT RS its own special rhythm.
The gas exchange of the five-cylinder is designed for high throughput. The large BorgWarner turbocharger forces the intake air into the combustion chambers at up to 1.35 bar (19.6 psi). On the exhaust side, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) changes duration of valve opening depending on the throttle and engine speeds. In addition, a new dual-injection fuel system combines the benefits of indirect and direct injection and uses an intelligent engine management control unit to help optimize fuel injection and distribution based on engine load.
Seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission
The power of the 2.5-liter engine flows through a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that focuses on high levels of performance and acceleration. With the S tronic dual-clutch transmission, the TT RS also now offers a launch control program that allows a heightened level of acceleration through precise engine speed and an automated clutch release.
The TT RS is standard equipped with quattro® permanent all-wheel drive with an electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch which has the ability to send nearly 100 percent of available torque to the rear wheels. This compact and lightweight clutch is positioned at the end of the prop shaft for ideal axle load distribution. This allows the quattro system to constantly adjust the distribution of torque to help maximize grip and control.
For the first time on the TT RS, the quattro all-wheel drive is fully integrated within the Audi drive select system offering four distinct drive modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. Each of the various modes allows the driver to change gear shift points, steering, throttle response and damper control (when equipped with magnetic ride).
The TT RS is equipped with a four-link rear suspension and a McPherson front suspension with forged aluminum lower control arms. Standard-equipped RS magnetic ride uses a synthetic blend of oils that contain tiny magnetic particles to adjust the firmness of the dampers within a few milliseconds by creating a magnetic field within the shock absorber.
The progressive steering has been specifically tuned for the TT RS. The steering rack is designed so that the steering ratio becomes increasingly direct when turning, helping to provide the driver more precise road feedback while driving. The available RS fixed sport suspension, included in the Dynamic plus package, offers a stiffer ride for enhanced performance.
Two brake systems are offered on the new TT RS, both offering outstanding stopping performance. The TT RS comes standard equipped with eight-piston monobloc brake calipers with 370mm ventilated and cross-drilled discs at the front. Also available are front carbon-ceramic brake discs with Anthracite Gray painted calipers as part of the Dynamic plus package. These are more than 8 lbs lighter than the traditional cast-iron rotors and offer increased resistance to brake fade.
Exterior Design and Body
The design of the new TT RS features the same timeless lines of the original TT coupe coupled with reinterpreted sporty elements that harken back the vehicle’s racing heritage. The three-dimensional Singleframe® grille with the signature quattro script, larger air intakes to serve the engine’s need for cooling, fixed rear wing spoiler and large oval tailpipes instantly convey the vehicle’s sporty DNA. Additionally, for the first time in a series-production Audi, the TT RS offers available OLED (organic light-emitting diode) rear taillights in a visually impressive 3D design.
Additional exterior design highlights include:
- 19-inch, five-arm design Galvano silver wheels with summer performance tires or available 20-inch, seven-spoke-design, Galvano silver forged wheels with summer tires
- Available Black optic package includes 20-inch, seven-spoke design, high-gloss anthracite forged wheels with summer tires, high gloss black exterior mirror housings and a TT RS specific black optic exterior
- Standard full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
- Standard LED taillights with dynamic turn signals or available OLED taillights
- Standard Matte Alu-optic exterior styling package including matte Alu-optic exterior mirror housings, front blade, rear diffusor and Singleframe® grille surround
- Standard Aluminum race inlays or available carbon fiber decorative inlays
- Fixed rear wing spoiler
Interior Design and Infotainment
Similar to the TT Coupe, the TT RS features a driver-oriented interior with easy-to-operate controls and functions. From its S sport seats with the integrated head restraints and deeply sculpted adjustable side bolsters, the TT RS is a sports car with a high degree of everyday practicality.
Carrying over from the TT Coupe, the revolutionary HVAC controls eliminate the need for a conventional dash console and instead integrate fan speed, air vent selection and temperature directly into the center of the three central vents, underlining the clean, uncluttered design of the interior.
In addition to the impressive aesthetics, the TT RS represents the Audi brand’s advancements for in-vehicle technology. Similar to the R8 V10, the TT RS features three-spoke multifunction flat-bottom sport steering wheel with shift paddles and two steering wheel-mounted satellite buttons (engine Start/Stop and Audi drive select). Behind the steering wheel, the Audi virtual cockpit, an entirely digital dashboard with 3D graphics, transforms the way the driver interacts with vehicle displays such as the tachometer and speedometer as well as navigation.
Additional interior highlights include:
- Leather/Alcantara® three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel with RS badge and two satellite buttons
- Heated, front Fine Nappa leather S sport seats with diamond stitching
- Available design selection interior includes red contrast diamond stitching with seat perforations, red accents on air vents and seatbelts, and RS floor mats
- Eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar support and pneumatic side bolsters
- Aluminum door sill inlays with TT RS logo
- Stainless steel footrest and pedal caps
Additional infotainment features include:
- Standard Audi virtual cockpit features a 12.3-inch display that delivers vibrant color at 60 frames per second with NVIDIA® quad core processing power. Specific to the TT RS is a unique screen that displays information on tire pressure, torque and g-forces. When a defined engine speed is reached, the colored background of the scale prompts the driver to upshift via the steering wheel paddle or selector level.
- Optional MMI® navigation plus with MMI touch features a completely redesigned menu structure and an all-new MMI search, which operates similar to an Internet search engine making text input simpler and quicker.
- Available Audi smartphone interface for compatible devices, which provides Apple CarPlay™ and Google™ Android Auto integration via USB connection, making smartphone interactions easier and more seamless for the driver.
- Available Bang & Olufsen® Sound System featuring 12 speakers capable of producing 680 watts of pure, crisp sound.
- Available Audi connect® features (supported by 4G LTE where available) include online traffic info, weather updates, fuel prices, Apple Siri® Eyes Free integration for compatible devices, internet radio streaming as well as picture navigation, read-aloud personalized news headlines and Twitter® alerts, among other features.
- Available Audi side assist provides blind spot monitoring via LED indicators on the exterior mirror housings at speeds above 9 mph.
The all-new 2018 TT RS will join the Audi Sport model line launching this spring.
Model year 2018 TT RS model line starting manufacturer suggested retail prices:
2018 TT RS
*Prices above exclude destination charge ($975), taxes, title, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.