The 2019 Audi TT RS features a powerful 2.5-liter TFSI engine.
Styling treatments include 20-inch wheels and red brake calipers.
The new TT RS joins the Audi Sport model line and is available now.
Audi is showing off the latest hot rod version of the TT sport coupe, the TT RS. The RS goes a long way to dispel any notions of the TT being all show and no go thanks to a *check notes* – holy smokes! How much power does this little guy have?! Jumpin’ August Horch on a pogo stick, are you kidding? The 2019 Audi TT RS really packs a punch!
The answer to that question is “no I am not kidding” (and certainly neither is Audi). More to the point: 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. of torque thanks to a reworked 2.5-liter TFSI engine. That is, to use the technical term, a lot of power. Especially for a car this small.
Action & Traction
Yes, the TT, like all Audis, are heavier than you’d expect. They’re chunky guys loaded with lots of machinery, this one weighing in at 3,300 lbs. Still, nearly 400 ponies is worth respecting. This 2.5-liter TFSI plant is that good, old school five-banger derived from the Ur-Quattro, cracking away in the “so ugly it sounds beautiful” 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence. Add this all up and the latest, hottest TT can jet to 60 mph in a very respectable 3.6 seconds.
The five-cylinder mill is hooked up to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Audi says the launch control program allows a “heightened level of acceleration,” which just cracks me up. Heightened? Yeah, like Genghis Khan had a “heightened” appetite for land acquisition. Speaking of land acquisition, thanks to the standard quattro permanent all-wheel drive setup; and the ability to send nearly 100 percent of the available torque to the rear wheels; and a traction control system, this thing can grab the tarmac with all four paws and just m-o-v-e.
Rain? So what. Snow? Who cares. Mud and gravel? Not my problem. The 2019 Audi TT RS is all about optimal acceleration with minimal slip.
Styling & Design
The exterior of the new TT RS got a slight going over with a matte black Singleframe grille and the signature quattro script in matte titanium. Audi says there are additional radiators (plural!) behind the honeycomb grille for improved cooling. Lateral air inlets now extend to the front wheel wells and a continuous front spoiler gives the car a lower, Motorsport-inspired look. Full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights are on the front end with LED taillights hanging out back. Also out back is a fixed rear wing and large oval tailpipes, adding to the TT’s overall aggressive appearance.
If you want to go all fancy-smancy the TT RS offers available OLED (organic light-emitting diode) taillights.
19-inch, five-arm design Audi Sport wheels with a titanium matte finish and summer performance tires come standard. The newly-available Dynamic package offers 20-inch Audi Sport, seven-spoke forged wheels; also in a titanium matte finish. The package also includes summer tires, red brake calipers, and a Sport exhaust system with black tips.
On the inside, the 2019 Audi TT RS features heated Nappa leather seats with honeycomb stitching and adjustable side bolsters. Contrast stitching and leather accents are present in the door armrests, center console, and dash. You can even add red or blue highlights around the air vents, seats, floor mats, and safety belts. The 2019 TT RS also shows off the standard Audi virtual cockpit, an entirely-digital instrument cluster with 3D graphics.
Other tech updates include wireless charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system cranking out 680 watts.
Pricing & Availability
The refreshed 2019 TT RS joins the Audi Sport model line starting at $67,000. You get three new colors for 2019: Turbo Blue, Tango Red metallic, and Kyalami Green, bringing the total color count up to seven.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.