Audi TT-RS Turbo German engineering at its best
Performance like that of the Audi TT-RS Turbo doesn’t come cheap. It starts at $64,000. (Photo courtesy Audi)
By C.A. Haire
n car dealer lots, it’s easy to fi nd a wide selection of expensive German four-wheel toys to play with. The Audi TT-RS is one of the bunch’s more practical choices, but it still provides a superb driving experience. It is also one of the sharpest-looking rides on the street and it gets plenty of attention—whether it’s being driven or parked. Under the hood is a small 2.5-liter fourcylinder engine. Thanks to a sophisticated turbocharger system, the total output cranks a healthy 400 horsepower, hooked to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The gears can also be chosen manually, thanks to paddle shifters on the steering wheel. A computer launch control program can propel the car from a stoplight at 3,000
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rpm, with claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. The top speed is listed at 174 mph for those who dare. The official fuel economy is shown at 19/29 mpg. The cabin has plenty of electronic gadgets to play with. Pressing the “drive select” button gives the choice of comfort, dynamic, automatic or individual mode. The main control brings up settings for radio, vehicle, phone, smartphone, navigation, Audi Connect and basic car settings. The second-row seats allow passenger seating for four and fold down for larger cargo carry room. We clocked over 650 miles on this car in one week. This included driving on plenty of curved mountain roads. With the optional 20-inch wheels, 255/30 performance tires, and even weight distribution, this TT-RS
hugged the pavement like glue. The optional ceramic brakes ($6K extra) stopped the car on a dime. The 0-60 time clocked at 3.7 seconds with Launch Control, or 4.2 without, which is quicker than most V-8 muscle cars. The high-speed stability on highway trips is excellent. Th is is German engineering at its best. Naturally, performance like this doesn’t come cheap. The starting price for the RS starts at $64K. This one is loaded up with all the goodies, so it shows $79K. Potential buyers who want the styling but are willing to sacrifice power can get the 2.0T version with 220 horsepower. It’s quick enough to reach 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and has a base price of only $43K. Either choice will offer a pleasant driving experience.