When someone tells me, “It’s an incredible car,” I take those words with a large pile of salt. When the someone talking is Joel Weinberger, 2011 National Runoff Champion and who’s family owns a Ferrari/Maserati dealership, I throw the salt shaker out the window. The guy can drive anything he wants and yet this is his fav?? Come on…
Joel had been telling me about his 2012 Audi TT RS for a year or so, and when our schedules finally clicked, Joel tossed me the keys (literally), trusted me to be good, and pointed out a small test track and back road nearby his dealership.
Launched in 1998, redone in 2006, I I had driven a couple of TT’s, both coupe and convertible, and the car has always struck me as a nifty little package of spirited performance and streamlined good looks. Futuristic when released, still now holding its own, nice but not a driver’s car.
The Audi TT RS is another story, and very few folks have seen, much less driven, this potent little sports coupe.
The RS features bigger wheels, cool badging and a beautifully integrated rear spoiler, with a wicked front grill looking to eat stuff.
Boring interiors are often the hallmark of mid-priced European cars, but Audi wisely chose to upgrade not just the drivetrain but the TT RS inside as well. Beautifully done from the sports seats to the the dashboard, this is an easy car to drive to work even if you’re in a suit.
But the Audi TT RS wasn’t designed to wow you with frills… but wow you it will!
Propelling this little machine is a wonderful 5 cylinder turbo producing 350 HP. Turbos are known for their lag, but not this one; the briefest spool-up and great big gobs of torque materialize seemingly out of nowhere.
A stop sign, a clear patch of road, and just punch it…the little missile sprints from 0-60 in just 4.1 short seconds…and that’s damn fast.
Wonderful grip (skidpad data says nearly 1G), it turns quickly, never steps out of line, and even if you get caught in 3rd, there’s plenty of power to pull you through the exit.
Audi’s presently testing the next generation of TT RS. Expect a step up to 375HP, 0-60 times will dip into the high 3’s, and the factory claims 20 MPG in the city.
If you are shopping for BMW M3 or Porsche Cayman S, you might want to consider the Audi TT RS. Chances are you will have to spend lots of time shopping as there are maybe 1,200 of these in the US.
Thanks to Joel Weinberger for the opportunity. I get it now…