The iconic TT coupe tops out with Audi’s RS moniker, which historically means a mix of luxury with a direct sporting bent. In reality, does it fill the big shoes left for it by the likes of the RS4 and RS6?
Audi TTRS Coupe Overview
Above the base TT and more sporty TTS, the TTRS was added to the 2+2 Coupe range at the start of 2010 and has proved a relative sales success, selling above its predicted numbers thanks to an audience craving more power and sporting prowess.
Audi TTRS Coupe Engine
Audi has done away with the V6 in preference of a five-pot turbo, offering more torque and super-quick response. The inline-five makes 250kW up at 6500rpm and 450Nm from just 1600rpm through to 5300rpm, and it only has to haul 1450kg. It is a thrumming, tractable engine, with room to tune for the enthusiast.
The TTRS clocks the 0-100km/h sprint in just 4.6secs, which is particularly impressive given its all-wheel-drive configuration, and sips a claimed 9.2L/100km.
Audi TTRS Coupe Interior
The Audi TT is a benchmark when it comes to the cabin, with many other manufacturers aping the original coupe’s innovative dash, air vent design and funky flat-bottom paddle-shift steering wheel.
The TTRS lays on the lavish equipment with full Nappa leather sports seats, a multifunction sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, and soft-touch surfaces surrounded by leather, alcantara and chrome trimmings.
The dash houses a loud and clear six-speaker six-stacker stereo with Bluetooth, iPod and auxiliary connections. Other standard features include cruise control, climate control air-con, auto rain-sensing wipers and auto headlamps.
The front passengers get door pockets and cupholders for storage, but the rear is completely neglected.
Safety is not, with full airbags, hill hold, park assist, traction and stability control, yet only a four-star crash rating (though since the current TT was first launched, advances in safety have reduced some cars to a relative four stars).
The options list isn’t too long, offering an alarm, a bigger BOSE stereo, electric sports seats, an exterior/interior LED lighting package, an extended Nappa leather trim, adaptive headlights, heated seats, additional metallic paint colours and a full multimedia pack including TV and voice control.
Audi TTRS Coupe Exterior & Styling
The TTRS is given a more aggressive bodykit including menacing black honeycomb air ducts, low splitters and side skirts, and a high-lift spoiler and air diffuser at the rear.
The front also gets black-surround bi-Xenons and fog lights as standard, and completing the aggressive appearance of the exterior are massive 19-inch multi-spoke alloys - and unlike the international models that start on 18-inch inch wheels, we get the 19s as standard.
The front wheels hide 370mm ventilated rotors with meaty four piston calipers, and 310mm vented rotors in the rear.
Compared to the shapely, slightly rounded-off coupe styling of the base cars, the TTRS looks edgy and angular particularly from the rear.
Audi TTRS Coupe On The Road
The TTRS is reasonably precise through the wheel, with great engine response and malleable torque, and once you get your head around the electronics – which do come in and sort steering, torque transfer and gripping wheels – the car is quite fast, balanced and light of foot.
The TT RS rides on 10mm lower sports suspension with standard Magnetic Ride dampers that can firm up or soften the suspension at the demand of the driver, using a switch on the centre console.
The electronic diff - usually a cost option, but standard on the TTRS - is quite special, adding to the grip of the Quattro all-wheel-drive with an intuitive torque and grip transfer on the front paws. While it still has natural front-end push, the pull on the wheel is far less noticeable thanks to this diff set.
The six-speed manual is supple and precise, with a lovely short throw.
Off the twisties and in traffic, it settles down nicely, however the ride is typically Audi-firm and does not handle Australia’s typical corrugations and potholes, hitting through the strut tops in protest whenever they pass under tyre. It is certainly a sporting, not a luxury, ride.
Audi TTRS Coupe Challenges
The price. At $140K, the TTRS is quite exclusive and for most, elusive.
The back seats are handbag-only, with kids or small adults maybe able to fit into the rear recess for the odd short trip.
And the ride on 19-inch alloys and low-profile rubber is still too darn firm for Australian roads, despite the flexibility offered through the switchable magnetic ride dampers.
Audi TTRS Coupe Verdict
The TTRS is a lot of fun, and acquits itself well against the bigger-engined sports cars in its class. It’s a lot of cash to lay down, but value for money is quite relative, and there aren’t many coupes on the market with smaller dimensions, all-wheel-drive grip, luxury features and an engine with so much room to move for the tune-happy weekend track racer.
Audi TTRS Coupe Competition
There are just so many excellent sports coupes and hatches out on the market, it’s a tough call to pick a near-$140K coupe when an AWD Subaru STI hatch with an auto and similar power of 221kW at 6200rpm and 350Nm at 3000-6000rpm for half the price, at $65,990.
A Porsche Cayman with PDK, while rear-wheel-drive, costs nearly $20K less, while a BMW M3 can carry four adults or a bookshelf in its boot with the back seats down, and costs $22K more – a lot for some, but not so much for buyers in this bracket. However, like the Audi A5 quattro turbo, it is a far bigger car and usually attracts a different buyer (though cannibalism is a factor within the many Audi models)