Focused thrills –Audi TT-RS

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The 5-cylinder TT RS returns with extra power, a meaner look, and plenty of ability to keep it flying slaying supercars

Audi is ending 2017 with a bang by launching not one, but three hot Audi Sport models. The first being the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer’s most powerful ever TT, the TT-RS. 

Powering the sporty coupe is the German automaker’s much loved 2.5-litre motor that’s won the coveted "Engine of the Year" title seven times in a row. At less than 50 centimetres in length, the 2.5 TFSI engine is extremely compact and is 26 kg lighter than the previous model, thanks to lightweight aluminium construction measures. The 5-cylinder 2.5TFSI sees a 17% increase in power to 294kw and 480nm – the same output as the RS3. According to Audi, that’s good enough for a supercar rivalling 0-100kph sprint time of just 3.7 seconds. They also claim it will top out at an electronically limited 250kph, and return fuel consumption of 8.2L/100kms. It’s quick on track too, with it lapping the Nurburgring in 7 minutes 48 seconds!

The motor is linked to a 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission, and sends power to all four wheels via Quattro all-wheel drive. Power distribution is varied between the two axles thanks to a multi-plate clutch, while wheel-selective torque control makes handling even more agile and safe. As with other Audi Sport models, the driver can customize the handling, engine, transmission and exhaust characteristics via the Audi drive select system. The four modes available for this are comfort, auto, dynamic and individual.

The range-topping TT sports an aggressive yet aerodynamically efficient bodykit that is completely distinctive when compared to lesser TT models.  The TT RS is available with either a fixed rear wing or a retractable rear spoiler; both are offered at no additional cost.

The cockpit is as driver focused as they come – just like the R8 supercar. All information is displayed as standard on Audi’s brilliant fully digital virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from three views, including a special RS screen that highlights the tachometer and provides information on tyre pressure, torque and g-force, among other things. The tachometer also serves as a shift indicator. 

For the first time in the RS portfolio, the RS sport leather steering wheel features shift paddles and satellite controls, including an engine start button and a switch for the Audi drive select system – allowing the driver to control all the important functions without having to take his/her hands off the wheel.

Despite the TT being incredibly compact, measuring 4.19 metres in length, 1.83 metres in width and 1.34 metres in height, it’s actually very usable as a daily drive. Seating up front isn’t cramped if you’re of average height, while the basic luggage capacity expands from 305 litres to 712 litres by simply dropping the rear seats. Just don’t try fitting anyone in the back seats.

As you would expect, standard specification is generous, featuring kit like the MMI Navigation, RS Sport suspension, an RS Sport exhaust, 19” wheels, electrically adjustable nappa leather front sport seats, and an Audi sound system to name a few. The options list is pretty long too and includes everything from carbon-ceramic brakes, to a B&O sound system, RS plus adaptive dampers, 20” forged wheels, to Matrix OLED taillights (incidentally used for the first time in a series-production Audi).

The Audi TT RS Coupé is priced at R963 000, and comes standard with the 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan.

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