It took me about 90 miles to stop driving the Audi TT RS like a power-crazed teenager.
From the first time I started the engine and heard the raucous exhaust, I couldn’t resist blipping the throttle. I was on the loose with 360 turbocharged horses and a healthy 343-foot-pounds of torque that mainlines from 1,650 rpm to 5,400 rpm. That’s basically from second gear through sixth.
As the red mist lifted, the Audi-ness soaked in. There is almost a delicate refinement to the engineering of accelerator action, steering and gear engagement. Then I apologized to the car for being so greedy in my first days of driving and it responded by showing me new limits that were in supercar territory.
The test car had endured more than 5,000 miles of testing that was, no doubt, similarly rowdy to mine – and it still felt crisp, tight and eager.
This top-line, two-plus-two coupe brings back Audi’s RS high-performance treatment and there are more to come. This summer brings the 450-hp, V8-powered RS5 coupe followed by similar treatments in the S6, S7 and S8.
The TT RS gets a specially engineered version of the turbocharged, direct-injection 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder with a short-throw six-speed manual transmission – with no option to go automatic. The turbo is a part of the engine, not a bolt-on, which shortens the travel for the air to get pushed through. There is no turbo lag - and this car is not particularly lightweight at 3,306 pounds. The engine also was fortified with a huskier crankshaft, lightweight pistons and sodium-cooled exhaust valves.
The power just pours on in second, third and fourth. And with the bounty of torque the driver isn’t making continual shifts to stay in the power. Audi claims 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, it just feels quicker. And when the throttle goes down, there’s no wondering if the tires will hook-up, they all do. For an all-wheel-drive car, this one steers easily with the gas pedal to push out the nose or let it drift back. Cornering adhesion goes beyond my fear factor to push ever harder – at least when not on a track.
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