Photography by ©2018 Toni Avery
Nearly two years since reviewing the 2016 Audi TTS Coupe, Audi loaned me the latest TT variant; the 2018 TT RS.
The TT RS is powered by a 2.5 L 5-cylinder TFSI engine producing 400 HP and 354 lb-ft of torque mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission sprinting from 0-60 in just 3.6 seconds.
The TT RS has significantly more power than then TTS I drove in 2016 and it’s quite obvious when engaging launch mode from a stop. It’s quick and delivers a mean sound especially when Dynamic Mode is in use. After driving the RS3 briefly I determined that the TT RS was a much better handling car, it didn’t have nearly the lean of its sedan brother and felt overall more like a sports car.
The car remained planted to the road even with traction control turned off, thanks to the quattro all-wheel drive system. But the car overall felt heavy. It didn’t feel as nimble as what I remember from the TTS. Only weighing in a 3,306 lb., which isn’t bad for how much stuff is packed into this car, it just didn’t feel as light as I was hoping for a high-performance car. But that wasn’t the car biggest downfall. I again feel the S tronic transmission sucks a lot of the potential out of the TT RS. It’s not the most efficient, precise or rewarding transmission. The car is fun and quick, but with a better dual clutch it would perform even better.
In the Dynamic Plus Package, the front brakes are ceramic and the Audi Magnetic Ride suspension is replaced by the RS fixed sport suspension. The suspension was stiffer than I remember in the S and the front ceramic brakes performed as expected in traffic and during more spirited driving.
There are four different drives modes to choose from in the TT RS. There’s Comfort Mode that is perfect for long trips to help provide a more comfortable drive.
Dynamic Mode provides tighter steering, even more precise throttle response and gear changes happen much higher in the rev range allowing for a more aggressive performance focused feel. It also sounds as though the exhaust valve opens up in this mode, making it my favorite by far.
Auto Mode provides the best of both worlds combining both comfort and performance into an ideal daily driving setting.
Individual Mode gives the driver the ability to select their steering, throttle and transmission up shift preference. For example, you can combine Comfort, Dynamic and Auto by choosing your preferred setting from each into your very own custom drive mode.
Overall, the TT RS is a very comfortable car to drive and is plenty quick even for the hardcore automotive enthusiast.
The exterior of the TT RS features the Black Optic package with 20” 7-spoke deign high-gloss anthracite forged wheels, 255/30 summer performance tires, black optic exterior kit with quattro script, high-gloss black exterior mirror housings, in addition to the RS sport exhaust system with black tips. The car was finished in Mythos Black metallic.
Inside the TT RS featured an all-black interior with Cresendo Red stitching, and the RS design package which includes leather-covered center console and door armrests, red accents on air vents and front safety belts, RS embroidered floor mats and the Bang & Olufsen Sound System.
I felt the center gauge cluster with Apple Car Play compatibility worked well to save space but was also more difficult to use. While using Car Play, scrolling from one app to another or just navigating the interface in general while connected to my phone was a bit more work than I’m used to in other cars.
Do I like the TT RS more than the TTS? I’m not sure. It looks more aggressive, sounds great and is still probably my favorite Audi to drive. Would I purchase it over something I’m more familiar with (same price with options considered), say a Cayman S? That’s the real question.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe quattro S tronic:
Base Price: $64,900
Mythos Black metallic, Dynamic Plus Package (carbon fiber engine cover, Direct
TPMS, front ceramic brakes, OLED taillights, RS fixed sport suspension
– deletes Audi magnetic ride, 174 mph top speed limiter),
Technology Package (Audi MMI navigation plus, Audi connect w/ online services
– 6 month subscription, Audi smartphone interface, Audi side assist,
Bang & Olufsen sound system), Black optic package (20″ 7-spoke design high-gloss
anthracite forged wheels, 255/30 summer performance tires,
black optic exterior mirror housings), RS sport exhaust system with black tips,
RS design package (leather-covered center console and door armrests,
RS embroidered floor mats), carbon fiber inlays
Destination Charge: $975
Total Price: $80,200
Fuel Economy: 19 City, 29 Highway, 22 Combined
GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2018 Audi TT RS Coupe quattro S tronic an overall rating of (out of 5 total):