A raspy, inline-five cylinder pocket rocket, the 2017 Audi TT RS debuted in coupe and roadster form at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show.
The new TT RS is now lighter and more powerful than its predecessor.
It’s also available with adjustable magnetorheological dampers for maximum performance.
Like many Audi and Volkswagen vehicles, the TT RS is based on the modular MQB chassis. Compared to the prior generation, the 2017 Audi TT RS is 22 pounds lighter. The coupe weighs in at 3,174 pounds while the roadster comes in at 3,373 pounds.
Audi engineers have stuffed the 2017 TT RS with a re-designed, 2.5 L turbocharged five cylinder, which produces a healthy 394 horsepower and 354 lb.ft. torque. The only transmission available is a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic (sorry, three pedal enthusiasts).
Power is sent to all four wheels via the Quattro all-wheel drive system.
The new engine is 17% more powerful than before thanks to a new turbocharger, which creates 19.6 psi of boost. With the re-design, the 2.5 L engine gets rid of its old iron block for an aluminum one, which dramatically reduces the weight. An aluminum crankcase and a hollow crankshaft further reduce weight by 39.7 pounds and 2.2 pounds respectively.
The transmission gets a new driveshaft too, which cuts 4.4 pounds.
Chassis and Handling
Compared to the standard TT, the range-topping TT RS’s suspension is lower by 0.3 inches. The steering tuning is also unique to the 2017 Audi TT RS, and the rear suspension features a unique four-link layout for improved response.
Selecting the optional RS suspension adds magnetic shocks, which allows the driver to change the damping electronically via Audi’s Drive Select. The TT RS comes standard with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and uses software to calculate the torque sent to the rear wheels. While cornering at high speeds, the Quattro’s electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch can partially send torque to the rear wheels, for maximum stability.
Inside, the 2017 Audi TT RS is fitted with lightweight, RS sport seats and integrated head restraints. More aggressive side bolsters can be optioned with pneumatic adjustment. The seats are covered in Alcantara material and diamond patterns.
An embossed RS logo on the back rest is standard.
Nappa leather is available in four color combinations: black/gray, black/red, Murillo Brown/gray, and Palomino Brown/gray.
Aluminum inlays are standard on the TT RS but can be optioned as carbon fiber. The optional RS package adds red and gray accents in the air vents and seat belts, while the floor mats get RS logos. Audi’s optional virtual cockpit, with a 12.3 inch TFT screen, displays everything from the current song being played to navigation.
A unique feature is a rev counter with an integrated speedometer, which can be accessed via the RS screen. In manual mode, the car signals when to up shift before the computer kills off fuel to the engine.
The MMI infotainment system is standard and can be upgraded with 4G LTE connectivity and wireless charging for Qi-compatible smartphones. Smartphone apps can be integrated into the MMI system via Audi smartphone interface, which projects them onto the virtual cockpit. The only other optional extra is a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.
All 2017 Audi TT RS models have LED headlights and taillights. The optional matrix OLED headlights are available in markets outside the United States.
To differentiate the TT RS from the TT, Audi has fitted it with more aggressive front and rear fascias, massive wheels, bigger brakes, and a fixed rear spoiler. However, if the customer wants, the fixed rear spoiler can be replaced with a hidden, electronically operated spoiler.
The Audi TT RS will go on sale in Europe this fall with other markets to follow. Unfortunately, the U.S. will only get the TT RS coupe. The roadster will not be sent across the pond (sorry, open top enthusiasts).
*Rahul Raman is the Founder of CARS 360 Mke, an automotive news outlet. He is a regular contributor to Automoblog and the author of our First Look series.