However, the Audi TT RS is another story. From the tip of its blunt face to its cocky little fixed spoiler, this convertible is a whole lot more masculine -- with a lot more attitude.
What is an Audi TT RS?
First introduced in 1998, the Audi TT is a two-door sports car available as a 2+2 hardtop, and two-seater convertible.
The hopped up TT RS version didn't appear until 2009, and was available in coupe or roadster formats. Fitted with a more powerful engine and race-inspired specs, the TT RS was meant to be a return to Audi's sporting legacy from the ‘80s.
2013 Audi TT RS Price and Specs
The base price of my TT RS tester is $67,600. Add such options as Sepang Blue Paint ($650), Sport Exhaust ($1,500), Titanium Styling Package ($4,000), Audio Package ($1,300), Navigation System with AMI ($2,300), Air: $100 and Freight and PDI: $1,995 and it tops out at $77,350.
The Audi TT RS is available only with the 2.5L inline 5-cylinder engine, matched to a 6-speed manual transmission. Europeans get the option dual-clutch automatic transmission. Its output of 360 horsepower with 343 lb-ft of torque can propel the TT RS from 0-100 km/hr in 4.6 seconds.
|The Audi TT RS is available only with the 2.5L inline 5-cylinder engine, matched to a 6-speed manual transmission. (Photo: Audi)|
Driving the 2013 Audi TT RS
Firing up the Audi TT RS induces a raspy bark. It's quite civilized though, and its adaptable suspension makes it easy to drive around town in "Comfort" mode.
Choose the "Sport" button and the magnetic dampers firm up considerably and steering becomes laser-sharp. The engine note in the 2013 Audi TT RS grows from a low snarl to an enraged wail, as the left exhaust pipe opens up, rerouting past the sound baffles. Ferocious, intoxicating, it reverberates throughout the cabin, vibrating from seat bottom to back molars.
There's a fairly decent sound system, but you'll have to crank it to 11 to hear it over the exhaust note in the 2013 Audi TT RS. As wonderful as the snarling exhaust sounds, its relentless droning does get a bit annoying on road trips and makes conversation a challenge.
The flat-bottom, leather-wrapped wheel is connected to sharp steering that's a bit light, but firms up at speed. Large two-piece racing-style brake rotors with "RS" badged 4-piston callipers look great lurking behind the aluminum rims -- and easily rein in the TT RS after a fast run.
The stubby shifter executes perfectly placed throws while the drilled aluminum clutch pedal has just the right take-up -- neither too grabby nor too soft.
With its ultra-stiff body and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, the 2013 Audi TT RS is agile and corners flat on twisty roads. Its impressive grip level and Haldex Quattro all-wheel drive provide an unshakeable road-hugging ability that will make any driver look good. Over rough pavement the suspension is firm to the point of harsh -- transmitting jolts and bumps into the cabin.
Brilliant at cut and thrust, it turns mundane on-ramps into an exercise of joy -- all while delivering 12.3L/100km city and 8.1L highway.
|Choose the "Sport" button and the magnetic dampers firm up considerably and steering becomes laser-sharp. The engine note in the 2013 Audi TT RS grows from a low snarl to an enraged wail. (Photo: Audi)|
Inside and Out of the 2013 Audi TT RS
Bright peacock blue with flat silver trim on the chin spoiler, fixed rear wing and side mirrors, my 2013 Audi TT RS tester is also lower, with a more aggressive fascia, rear diffuser and side cladding than the base TT.
It rides on 19" wheels exclusive to this model.
The cabin is simply executed, boasting typical Audi craftsmanship from its leather-clad panels finished in contrasting stitching to suede door panel inserts and aluminum-trimmed gauge panel, console, and shifter knob.
The Audi TT RS' sparse simplicity will be appreciated by those who are easily frustrated by complicated user interfaces. Instead of scrolling through endless screens, there are three large, round knobs that continue the circular theme established by the air vents: straightforward and user-friendly. Aside from some brushed aluminum trim and drilled pedals, it's an uncluttered environment focused on driving.
Racing-style seats are highly bolstered and richly upholstered in thick leather. Embossed into the seatbacks and featured on the gauges is the TT RS logo. Available only as 2+2 coupe the Audi TT RS does offer what could be referred to as "rear seating" but in reality is more like a nicely upholstered parcel shelf. The 50/50 split seats, however, fold flat expanding the trunk space from 368 litres to 680 litres and easily accessed via the car's liftback hatch.
|Bright peacock blue with flat silver trim on the chin spoiler, fixed rear wing and side mirrors, my 2013 Audi TT RS tester is also lower, with a more aggressive fascia, rear diffuser and side cladding than the base TT. (Photo: Lesley Wimbush)|
Comparing the 2013 Audi TT RS
The TT RS' closest competitor is probably the Porsche Cayman S, a lithe and balanced sports car that elevates driving to a whole different level. However, the Audi TT RS trumps it soundly in terms of practicality with its liftback hatch and fold-down rear seats. Unlike the Audi, the Porsche can't boast AWD. Similarly equipped Caymans also command up to $20,000 more. Buyers might also cross-shop the Audi with the BMW 1 M (which is again more practical), the Lotus Evora S or the Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG Coupe.