Review: Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015)
Characterful and powerful five-cylinder engine. Easy to drive at low speed. Sporty cabin. Available as a Coupe or a Roadster.
Expensive compared to the rest of the TT range. Not as involving to drive as the similarly priced Porsche Cayman.
Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015): At A Glance
The second generation Audi TT transformed the image of the TT. Whereas many people viewed the first generation model as slightly soft, the newer model is a genuinely great sports car. And as if to prove this further, there's a high performance model in the shape of the TT RS.
Of course there's already the impressive TTS and with 272bhp it's certainly no slouch. But as with all the RS models across the Audi range, the TT RS takes things onto the next level. The big talking point is the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharger engine which produces 340bhp - that's more than a Porsche Cayman S - which gives the top of the range TT a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds (4.7 seconds in the Roadster if you're counting).
This engine was unique to the TT RS, originally no other Audi used it until the launch of the Audi RS3 in 2011. It's certainly characterful with a distinctive sound and sublime performance. Audi has ensured the TT RS stands out from the rest of the TT range with an aggressive bodykit including a fixed rear spoiler and bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels.
It's available as either a Coupe or Roadster, so you can add open-air enjoyment to the high performance experience. However, neither version is cheap with new prices at more than £45,000 putting it up against cars like the excellent Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman, plus the latest BMW Z4.
It can't quite match the Porsche models when it comes to driver enjoyment and the TT RS lacks some of that feelgood factor you'd expect in an RS model from Audi. But it's still a great car to own and drive - and one that will always look stylish.
What does a Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015) cost?
Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 250–700 litres
The cabin of the TT RS is suitably sporty to help it stand out from the standard TT models and the first thing you notice is the flat-bottomed thick-rimmed steering wheel which is as good to hold as it looks. There's plenty of brushed aluminium trim to add to the sporty feel including metal pedals, while the sports seats with their bolstered side support are great for holding you in place if you decide to indulge in some enthusiastic driving, which is very tempting in the TT RS.
The quality of the finish and construction are superb and this Audi feels every inch the premium sports car it's supposed to be. Details such as the chrome-ringed air vents and deep-set dials only add to the allure. There's a real cockpit feel to the cabin, but this doesn't mean it's cramped and there's plenty of leg and head room, even for taller drivers.
Both cars offer plenty of boot space too even for golf clubs. There's 290 litres in the coupe extending to 700 litres with the rear seatbacks folded down. The rear seats are fairly pointless for passengers, but useful as extra stowage for bags and coats. There are no rear seats in the Roadster of course, but it still has a usefully wide and flat boot area with 250 litres of space.
The TT RS is fitted with a close ratio six-speed manual gearbox and there is also a Sport button as standard. Located by the gear lever, this makes the accelerator pedal more responsive and also opens a flap on the exhausts to make them even louder. On cars fitted with the optional magnetic ride damping system, it makes the suspension firmer for better agility in corners.
There's plenty of scope for personalisation with the TT RS. If you don't like the rather overt fixed rear spoiler, you can opt to have it removed at no cost, leaving you with the standard retractable spoiler. However, that's one of very few no cost options. The 19-inch wheels (fitted to the car in our pictures) are an extra £1,200 and with them the Audi magnetic ride is essential at a further £1,125. Go for the sports exhaust to get an even more gorgeous exhaust note and you're into an extra £850, while to remove the 155mph speed restrictor giving a top speed of 174mph (and add a ‘carbon design pack' to the engine bay) is £1,300. RS bucket seats are £1,580 a pair (or a startling £3,530 with colour matched seatbacks) while DVD satnav is an extra £1,615. So it's very easy to get into £50,000 territory.
This might be why Audi is restricting supply. That ensures exclusivity and their rarity means they'll always be sought after, so anyone who does buy one should not lose too much on resale.
Equipment from launch (June 2009):
There is just one trim level so all TT RS models get 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, sports suspension, CD stereo, sports seats in Nappa leather, heated seats, high-performance brakes, ESP with sport mode, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, climate control, short shift manual gearbox, TT RS multi-function three-spoke leather steering wheel, sport button, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, electric front windows, fixed rear spoiler, sill extensions, twin oval exhaust pipes plus TT RS front and rear bumpers.
Child seats that fit a Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015) like to drive?
- Engines range from 2.5 TFSI quattro to 2.5 TFSI quattro S tronic Roadster Plus
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 27–35 mpg
The 2.5-litre turbcharged engine develops a quite extraordinary 340bhp but, more usefully, a stonking 450Nm of torque from just 1500rpm up to 5300rpm (where maximum power takes over). And while it makes wonderful burbling noises when manoeuvring at low speeds, it's as docile as a kitten and easy to drive.
But when you do want performance, the TT RS doesn't disappoint. The engine rumbles into life with a prod of the accelerator and the increase in pace is instant. 0-62mph takes just 4.6 seconds in the Coupe version which is quicker than plenty of quick stuff including the Nissan 370Z. If you don't use all of that performance, there's a good chance you'll at least get close to the official 31mpg combined. And, unlike the 370Z, it only emits 214g/km CO2, so car tax rates are reasonable. Insurance isn't likely to be so friendly, though.
If you opt for the Roadster you'll be able to be seen in your TT RS as well as enjoying that gear engine and exhaust sound even more. It's quite blowy though as the wind deflector is back behind the roll bars and gusts trend to blast round the side windows. Top up it's still a bit noisy cruising at motorway speeds, so if it's relative peace and quiet you're after you'd better opt for the Coupe.
The TT RS comes with quattro four-wheel drive as standard so there's always impressive traction, even in the wet when coming out of a slow corner. It's also noticeable when pulling out of junctions into fast flowing traffic. The ride is as firm as you'd expect in a high performance sports car, but it's not crashy and is actually quite comfortable on most surfaces.
The handling is impressive too with precise steering, although it could do with slightly more feel. There's practically no body roll in corners and the TT RS always feels poised and agile, giving you plenty of confidence to push on. But despite all this, it doesn't feel involving in the same way a Porsche Cayman or Boxster does. It's hard to get the same easy flow on a twisting road and while the TT RS is very quick, it doesn't always feel particularly natural on demanding roads.
|2.5 TFSI quattro||31 mpg||4.5 s||209 g/km|
|2.5 TFSI quattro Plus||31 mpg||4.3 s||209 g/km|
|2.5 TFSI quattro Roadster||31 mpg||4.6 s||212 g/km|
|2.5 TFSI quattro Roadster Plus||31 mpg||4.4 s||212 g/km|
|2.5 TFSI quattro S tronic||33 mpg||4.3 s||197 g/km|
|2.5 TFSI quattro S tronic Plus||33 mpg||4.1 s||197 g/km|
|2.5 TFSI quattro S tronic Roadster||33 mpg||4.4 s||199 g/km|
|2.5 TFSI quattro S tronic Roadster Plus||33 mpg||4.2 s||199 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Audi TT RS (2009 – 2015)?
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