Audi has announced its most powerful TT ever, with plans for its first public appearance scheduled for the New York International Auto Show.
People familiar with TT history will remember the diminutive coupe was called back early in its infancy because of stability reasons. Now, two generations and nearly 20 years later, it joins the Audi Sport stable with a 400 hp engine that will launch it to 100 km/h in under four seconds. Top speed is 250 km/h (or 280, with the Dynamic Plus package).
The exterior is mildly changed from the regular TT, with larger air openings to better serve the more powerful engine’s breathing requirements, and LED headlight and fog lights at the front, and fixed rear wing, large oval tailpipes (blacked out with the RS Sport exhaust) and 3D organic light-emitting diode (OLED) taillights. The standard wheels are 19-inchers, but they can be optioned up to 20 inch versions (and further optioned out with a black optic package, which also adds gloss black mirror housings).
An all-new 2.5-litre turbocharged, direct-injected 5-cylinder engine provides 354 lb-ft of torque (fully available from 1,700 and 5,850 rpm), nearly all of which can be sent to the rear wheels, using a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (with shift paddles) and Audi’s renowned Quattro all-wheel drive. And it wraps it in a symphony of sound to let drivers of the 2018 TT RS know they’re driving an Audi.
Quattro is also integrated with the Audi drive select system that allows the driver to choose between four distinct drive modes — comfort, dynamic, individual or auto — which allow the driver to alter gear shift points, steering response, throttle response and damper control (with magnetic ride), depending on the driving conditions and desired car characteristics.
Audi’s magnetic ride uses a blend of oils with suspended tiny magnetic particles that adjust damper firmness by creating a magnetic field within the shock absorber. It can be opted out in favour of a fixed sport suspension with the Dynamic Plus package. The suspension set-up continues to be front MacPherson strut/rear 4-link.
Standard braking is provided by four ventilated discs, with the front able to be optioned up to carbon-ceramic rotors with the Dynamic Plus package.
The interior is decked out in heated Nappa leather S Sport power seats, with an R8-inspired Alcantara 3-spoke multifunction flat-bottom steering wheel (with the engine start/stop and Audi Drive select buttons located right and left, respectively, in the crook of the wheel spokes), and stainless steel pedals.
Audi’s MMI all-in-one control system is optional, and now features a completely redesigned menu system that mimics an internet search engine, and can be fitted with Audi connect for real-time traffic, weather and fuel-price updates, as well as taking advantage of Apple’s Siri voice control (when paired with an iPhone, naturally). A 12-speaker 680-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system is also optional.
The 2018 Audi TT RS is expected in showrooms this spring.