Front view of Blue Audi TT RS Coupe

New Audi TT RS Coupé

From £58,165

The Audi design icon TT draws inspiration from motorsport, so it was a natural progression for it to obtain RS performance-car credentials – joining the Audi Sport family. The TT RS Coupé with legendary Audi Sport performance features a redesigned 5-cylinder engine, providing 400PS of power to launch from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds*

The Audi TT has consistently delivered an exciting drive in a car which is compact, well made and good to look at too. Consistently premium-feeling, the TT feels uniquely well-suited to life on the UK’s roads, where its compact size and nimble handling allude it well to winding British lanes.


The exterior of the TTRS is squat, muscular and certainly eye-catching. Considering it’s actually quite a small car out on the road, it commands a lot of attention. We’ll admit that the RS model, with its huge rear wing and wide oval exhaust pipes does look distinctly more noticeable compared with the regular TT models, so if standing out from the crowd is for you then the TTRS is likely to be right up your street.

Even base-spec cars ride on large 19-inch alloy wheels, while top-spec versions benefit from huge 20-inch alloys instead. Either way, it’s a car that will grab a lot of people’s eyes.


The interior of the TTRS is completely centred around the driver and as a result there are few areas of distraction within the cabin itself. There’s a distinct lack of screens - certainly compared with other Audi models - and everything feels pared back and clean. The material quality is, as you’d expect from Audi, very good indeed. High quality materials such as aluminium meet leather areas to create an interior which feels genuinely special.

If you’re after a car for practicality reasons, though, then the TT might not be the best option. Given its compact proportions there’s more space available than you might think, but it’s not what you’d call spacious. That said, it does well on the boot front, with 305 litres of space to play with. It’s more than enough room for a few weekend bags, at least.


As we’ve already mentioned, the interior of the TTRS doesn’t actually feature a lot of screens or technology. The main access point is via the Virtual Cockpit placed where you’d expect to find the conventional dials, and it’s here that you’ll be able to control pretty much all of the infotainment functions. Satellite navigation, media controls and even the Bluetooth settings are all viewed via this screen and controlled by a small rotary dial in the middle of the car.

The only real downside to this setup is that passengers are left with not a lot to look at. However, the way it cleans up the cabin is more than enough to offset this rather small criticism.


The Audi TTRS has been designed with performance in mind, which is why it punches well above its weight in this department. A 2.5-litre turbocharged engine in a car of this size makes for a 0-60mph time of well under four seconds, and that’s down to 394bhp - a huge number for such a compact vehicle. All of this fury is channelled through Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system, which does make the TTRS exceptionally good in all weathers and conditions. Particularly in the wet and windy UK, the TTRS’s traction and capability makes particularly good sense.

In fact, it’s the five-cylinder engine which dominates the whole experience. It’s easily one of the most exciting engines on sale today and really helps to give the TTRS an awful lot of character.

What trim levels are on the Audi TT RS Coupé?


Given that the TTRS sits at the top of the TT line-up, it’ll come as no surprise that even the base-spec cars get a lot of standard equipment. Features such as 19-inch wheels and a full sports suspension system are included in the initial cost, as well as full LED headlights.

Audi Sport Edition

Up next is Sport Edition. This trim builds on the base trim with larger 20-inch alloy wheels and a black styling pack helps to give the car some real visual appeal; black is used on areas such as the radiator grille and rear diffuser. You also get a full sports exhaust package for an even racier noise.


Finally, there’s Vorsprung. Audi’s magnetic ride is one of the biggest additions here as it gives you the option to make the ride firmer or softer depending on where you are. Upgraded Matrix LED headlights are a great inclusion too, thanks to the impressive amount of light they provide.

​First Drive: Subtle updates ensure the Audi TT RS retains its edge

The TT RS has been given a minor refresh. Darren Cassey finds out if meeting new emissions regulations has blunted Audi’s ferocious super coupe

What is it?

Cars undergo mid-life refreshes all the time. Even as recently as the 2000s, this usually meant a slick new look, more engine options and better technology. However, these days it tends to be a milder affair – a little bodywork nip and tuck to improve air flow, an engine tweak to improve emissions, and a new set of alloy wheels, if we’re lucky.

The fresh-for-2019 Audi TT RS, though, has just been given a mild update even by modern standards. WLTP is to blame. Under EU law, new cars must meet strict new emissions regulations, so manufacturers are working through their ranges to meet these targets rather than getting creative with their updates.

Fortunately, the TT RS was already a riot to drive, so the key question here is whether meeting emissions standards has blunted its character at all.

What’s new?

All that being said, there are a few changes of note. There are new petrol particulate filters that make the engine emissions compliant, at least until current regulations end in 2021, and hopefully beyond. Hopefully, because the 2.5-litre unit is a sonorous centrepiece worthy of whatever investment is required to save it.

It’ll take a true TT RS aficionado to spot the exterior styling changes, but the front air intakes have been redesigned and made bigger, while a new rear spoiler with side winglets gives a more menacing appearance befitting of a ballistic sports coupe. There’s also a new-look rear diffuser and optional OLED taillights.

And finally, the car we’ve been testing up in the Scottish Highlands debuts a new Audi Sport Edition trim. It adds 20-inch alloy wheels, carbon inlays, black styling pieces for the radiator grille, rear diffuser and various badges, as well as an RS sports exhaust system to let that engine sing.

What’s under the bonnet?

Engines with an odd number of cylinders are increasingly rare, because having an even number is simply easier – and therefore less expensive – to engineer. In fact, Audi is about the only mainstream manufacturer that still makes a five-cylinder engine.

For petrolheads this perseverance is to be applauded. We could write a boring, complicated essay on why the inline-five that sits in the TT RS is so damn good, but the short story is that it surges smoothly but urgently towards the red line, seeming to pick up pace and ferocity as it goes. Odd, for a turbocharged unit.

With 395bhp and 480Nm of torque it feels faster than those figures suggest, and accompanied by the sports exhaust fitted to the Audi Sport Edition we tested, rewards those who resist the urge to upshift early with an aggressive, off-beat howl.

What’s it like to drive?

The first thing you notice when you plant your foot is just how quickly the TT RS catapults itself forward. It gets the latest Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, which is lighter and distributes power more cleverly than before. Whether you’re flawlessly and repeatedly replicating the coupe’s sub-four-second 0-60mph time or planting your foot unfeasibly early on the exit of a corner, grip is sensational.

One criticism that could be levelled at Audi’s RS models is that they’re so capable of going quickly they take some of the fun out of the experience, and there’s an element of that here, but the TT RS has a little extra edge to its agility that elevates it above other go-faster Audis in the fun stakes.

Negatives? Just a couple. Firstly, even in comfort mode it jiggles and jolts over bumpy roads at normal speeds, even if you opt for the optional magnetorheological dampers, which is worth noting if you intend to drive it daily. Also, the gearbox can be a bit sluggish if left to its own devices, which can be mildly irritating. Using the paddle shifters to manually shift gears when pressing on is recommended.

How does it look?

The iconic TT shape is present and correct, and in RS specification looks suitably aggressive with its gaping, angular air intakes up front and eye-catching rear spoiler. The subtle changes that have been added to the exterior, such as the spoiler’s winglets and the redesigned rear diffuser, only exaggerate that go-faster ethos.

Meanwhile, the Sport Edition’s black touches – seen on the badging and various trim pieces – give a nod to those in the know that this is the new, top-spec trim level, while those out of the loop will no doubt appreciate the way they give a subtle, sophisticated edge to the otherwise ostentatious body kit.

What’s it like inside?

The interior is one aspect of the TT that truly excels. Again, it’s not new, but the way the temperature gauges are incorporated into the vent design is as pleasing now as it was at launch five years ago, while the now-familiar digital cockpit contributes to the coupe’s clean, uncluttered interior.

The Nappa leather-upholstered sports seats are comfortable while holding you tightly through hard cornering, while the slate grey interior theme is restrained for what is an otherwise shouty car. Perhaps the only disappointment is that the Alcantara on the steering wheel is shiny and therefore less grippy than you might expect, while the stitching inside the rim rubs your thumbs.​

What’s the spec like?

As you’d expect from a premium manufacturer, standard equipment levels are impressive. However, as is also the norm in this sector, you can spend an eye-watering amount on options. In fact, one of the cars we tested had been specced up to a whopping £67,000 from the £57,905 starting price of an Audi Sport Edition trim.

Prices start at £53,905 for the coupe, with virtual cockpit screens, a connected infotainment system, heated sports seats, an RS gear lever and steering wheel, and RS body kit on the outside all standard. Step up to the Audi Sport Edition to get 20-inch alloy wheels, black styling pieces, carbon inlays inside, and an RS sports exhaust.​


Just as it was pre-refresh, the Audi TT RS is an absolutely fantastic, old-school-character meets new-age-technology sports car that’s worthy of celebrating. Its hard-edged ride can be a little unforgiving for daily driving duties but attack a back road and it comes alive. Its capabilities, even in the wet, boggle the mind.

But it’s the engine that’s the highlight. This five-cylinder unit should have died out by now, but Audi has persevered to keep that angry warble alive. Electric cars might be the future, but the internal combustion engine is going out with a bang.

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