You’d forgotten about this one, hadn’t you? Well, un-forget it – the TT RS is quietly one of the best fast Audis of the past decade.
It’s down to the engine, but before we go all gooey about the five-cylinder motor and start using works like ‘warble’ and ‘Group B rally pedigree’, let’s hold fire. Other Audis – like the RSQ3, RS3 and the old TT RS, have also used a sonorous 2.5-litre turbo engine, but beyond raw pace and a cracking soundtrack, been more one-dimensional than a Disney villain.
For the TT RS, Audi went to town on its anachronistic five-pot motor. It had to, or the notoriously petrol-o-holic would never have been signed off by the emissions testing people. With a new block cast in aluminium rather than steel, and lighter internals, Audi lopped some 25kg off the TT’s nose-heaviness. Meanwhile, the throttle response felt like it’s had Red Bull injected into its eyeballs. And there was the upshot of a dollop more poke, to almost four-hundred horsepower.
As a result, this blisteringly rapid designer-label shoe no longer handled like a Christmas shopping trolley with all the wine and gin piled into the front. It cornered with some obedience, instead of understeering like the tyres were made of wood. Okay, the quattro drive still lacks the adjustability of what AMG and Ford can manage, but cross-country, the TT RS was quicker than a supercar. And sounded like one.
It’s off-sale now, as Audi sweats how to get the facelifted TT through the strict new WLTP efficiency tests. If the TT can survive CO2 boot camp, it’ll be a welcome late arrival at the Supra’s sports car party…
Engine: 2.5-litre 5cyl, turbocharged
Transmission: 7spd DCT, AWD
Torque: 354lb ft
Top speed: 155mph
Killer detail: choose between a 2+2(ish) seater coupe, a strict two-seater soft-top, and rest assured that as per usual for a fast VW Group car, the claimed 0-62mph time is very pessimistic. We’ve seen these things go sub 3.5sec to 62mph.