Here is the third car I drove at this year’s SMMT Test Day – the savage Audi TT RS. Apologies for the lack of pictures, there was a queue for the car, so time with the car was very limited.
I’ve been quite the fan of the new TT RS since it was unveiled last year – I love the way it offers performance not too shy of the R8, but at a much cheaper price point. Yes, it doesn’t have have a great thumping V10 underneath its aggressive skin, but it’s still able to offer 394bhp from its 2.5 litre 5-cylinder unit, with 480Nm of torque. This means it will race to 62mph in under 4 seconds and predictably, the top speed is limited to 155mph. Firing up the engine comes with a deep burble, hinting at the power that lurks underneath.
Set off on the road and it only takes a dab of the throttle to realise how savage this car can be. Force the pedal to the floor and in turn, it will force you back in to the seat as you cling on dear life and start to ponder if you should start writing your will. That’s not to say it’s dangerous of course – in the corners it will stick to the tarmac, thanks to the legendary Quattro four-wheel drive set up. The power is fed through to all four wheels via a 7-speed S Tronic gearbox, but there is no option for a manual.
In all honesty though I think a flappy paddle affair suits this car better as means you can exploit the power more and really focus on hunting down every apex in this German beast. The steering is well-weighted, direct and I love using the flat-bottomed steering wheel to thread the RS from one corner to another. Stab the throttle on the exit and once again the RS will force you back in the seat as you enter warp speed once more.
The power comes in at low revs and as you would expect, the turbo lag is minimal. It’ll rev to almost 7,000rpm, at which point the TT RS really picks up a pace and flexes it muscles. It’ll sound pretty good too, there’s a lovely deep burble as you speed along and it’s a clear sign that you are not driving your average TT. The sports seats are wonderful; they’re supportive but also comfortable and well made, keeping you in place as rip up corners like there is no tomorrow.
Hairdresser’s car? Think again my friend. What you have here is an Audi R8 ‘lite’, which is by means a bad things in my books. And at half the price, it feels like a bargain. This or a BMW M4 though? Hmm. Talk amongst yourselves…