2018 Audi TT RS Coupe
When Audi’s TT first came out, in 1999, it was a beautifully designed alternative to the Volkswagen GTI with which it shared much of its mechanicals. If you liked the idea of driving a GTI but couldn’t stand that it looked like the most common three-box car in world history, the TT provided a solution with its Bauhaus-like design. Audi has continually improved the TT since, achieving performance enhancements over the GTI that are nearly as great as its visual advantages.
As evidence, behold this latest TT RS, the reworked top-of-the-line model, based on the third-generation TT introduced in 2014. Distinguished by its aggressive front fascia and powered by a thoroughly revamped version of the 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine, the new model promises to scoot from zero to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds—a heady figure indeed for a car often dismissed as all style and no substance.
The major mechanical change from the last-gen TT RS is a reworked engine, with an aluminum block, a lighter crankshaft, an aluminum oil pump, a magnesium upper sump, and a number of other measures that slice some 57 pounds from the engine’s weight. That’s particularly significant because the engine is entirely forward of the front-wheel centerline.
The engine also gets a revised cylinder head, Audi’s variable-valve-lift-and-duration system on the exhaust camshaft (it switches between cam lobes like Honda’s VTEC system, although with a different mechanism), the addition of port fuel injection to the existing direct-injection setup, and boost pressure bumped from 18.1 to 19.6 psi. Those changes increase output from 360 to 400 horsepower and torque from 343 to 354 lb-ft. Fuel economy is said to improve slightly, although EPA figures are not yet available. Within the TT model lineup, this engine gives the TT RS 108 more ponies than the TTS and 180 more than the base TT. Read more...