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In an effort to further distinguish its track-inspired vehicles, Audi’s R and RS models are now part of the newly created Audi Sport brand. The all-new 2018 TT RS is the latest hotshot vehicle to join the performance-oriented lineup.

What's New for 2018

The TT RS has been completely redesigned as part of its move to the third-generation TT's platform. The 2018 model receives a new 2.5-liter engine, new brakes, revamped exterior details, and interior updates. The six-speed manual transmission has been replaced by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system remains standard but is now fully integrated with the Drive Select system, which offers a choice of four drive modes.

Audi TT RS

Choosing Your Audi TT RS

Briefly side-stepped following the 2013 model, enthusiasts have plenty to be excited about regarding the new TT RS. Again offered in coupe and roadster iterations, the TT RS remains a single-trim vehicle with prices starting at $65,875 (which includes the $975 destination charge). Prices aren't yet available for individual option groups.

With its all-new 2.5-liter, turbocharged, five-cylinder engine, the redesigned performance TT RS now delivers 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production TT ever built. A standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system helps the hardtop TT RS hit 60 miles per hour in an estimated 3.6 seconds (3.9 seconds for the roadster). Top speed is 155 mph but an optional Dynamic Plus Package boosts that figure to 174 mph.

With more power come brakes with bigger eight-piston calipers and rotors that are 1.3 inches larger in the front than the TTS model. More stopping power with carbon-ceramic brakes is an available option as part of the Dynamic Plus Package, which also adds a stiffer, sport-tuned suspension. The TT RS comes standard with 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer performance tires. Twenty-inch wheels are an option as is a Black Optic package for added cosmetic treatments.

Audi TT RS

The updated exterior further separates the RS model from the TT lineup with large air intakes in the front and a fixed spoiler and large tailpipes in the rear. The large spoiler can be omitted in favor of a more discreet, electronically-operated one similar to lesser TT models. LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights are standard but a new option is organic light-emitting diode taillights.

Although Audi replaced the manual transmission with a dual-clutch system, the TT RS now features launch control and a driver-oriented interior with standard sport seats, Audi Virtual Cockpit, and a new multifunction flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters. Also, the newly integrated drive select system further allows drivers to adjust gear shift points, steering feel, throttle response, and damper controls through four different modes (comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual).

Some interior carryover is from the standard TT model, such as integrated climate controls within the center vents. A TT RS-specific highlight, however, is a unique screen that displays vehicle information such as tire pressure, torque, g-forces, and, interestingly, a performance indicator of sorts which changes the background color of the tachometer as the engine revs approach redline and the driver should prepare to upshift

RS badging is displayed throughout the cabin. Additional interior options include a new multimedia interface system, smartphone integration, a 12-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system, and Audi Connect, which provides real-time traffic, weather, news, and other local information.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is not yet available.

CarsDirect Tip

Being a mono-trim vehicle takes the guesswork out of which features are available at what price point, but additional package options and a la carte features can make the TT RS an expensive toy. Still, regardless of how the redesigned model is optioned, the TT RS is a true driver-focused performance vehicle compressed into a small, approachable package.

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