The 2016 edition of the Beijing Motor Show begins this week with a slew of new and exciting cars making their global premieres. One of them is the second-generation Audi TT RS, which has been unveiled in coupe and roadster forms.
As suggested by the popular two-lettered designation, the TT RS claims its throne in the TT family with a powerful 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder engine. The aluminium mill produces 400 hp (60 more than the model it replaces) and 480 Nm of torque between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed S tronic and Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
There’s no mention of a manual gearbox at all, so the dual-clutch unit could be the only transmission available for the sports car. Still, with a century sprint time of 3.7 seconds (3.9 for the roadster) and a top speed of 250 km/h (or 280 km/h on request), it will be difficult for three-pedal aficionados to look past the TT RS.
The car is 10 mm lower than the model it replaces, and the stock suspension can replaced with the optional RS sport suspension with magnetic adaptive dampers. Braking power is provided by standard steel discs, although buyers will have the option to swap for the grippier carbon ceramic discs. The steering, gearbox, engine characteristic and exhaust flaps can be controlled via Audi’s Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual Drive Select modes.
As for looks, the TT RS starts where the regular TT left and adds a number of functional sporty elements including bigger air intakes on the front bumper, a fixed rear wing, as well as a pair of large, oval exhaust tailpipes. The car is also the first Audi to feature Matrix OLED (organic light emitting diode) tail lights that give out a 3D effect. The TT RS rolls on 19-inch wheels as standard, with the option for 20-inch forged alloys.
Inside, the TT RS is kitted with a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster (or “virtual cockpit” in Audi-speak) that comes with a shift light and a special RS screen that displays the tyre pressure, torque and G-force. Apart from lightweight sport seats, there is also a leather-wrapped steering wheel complete with paddle shifters and R8-style Drive Select and engine start buttons.
The new Audi TT RS is expected go on sale in Europe later in the year. Prices start from 66,400 euros (RM291,966) for the coupe and 69,200 euros (RM304,278) for the roadster.
Audi is sending the most powerful TT ever into the competitive field. Its newly developed five-cylinder engine delivers 400 hp – accompanied by unmistakable engine sound. The Coupé and Roadster are celebrating their world premieres at the Beijing Motor Show.
Muscular front end, large air inlets, low-positioned spoiler, fixed rear wing – at first glance, the Audi TT RS* clearly hints at just how much power there is under its streamlined skin. Its new five-cylinder aluminum engine delivers 400 hp, which is 60 hp more than the power of the previous model. A full 480 Newton-meters (354.0 lb-ft) of torque is applied to the front and rear wheels, and a traction control system manages its distribution for maximum acceleration with minimal slip. As a result, the Coupé takes 3.7 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph), and the Roadster takes 3.9 seconds. No other TT has sprinted this fast. The brilliant torque is accompanied by typical five-cylinder sound – which is music to the ears of horsepower purists. This sound passes through the RS exhaust system and is projected to the surroundings via two large oval tailpipes. Other eye-catching features at the rear are the new OLED lights in 3D design, which are being implemented for the first time in a production Audi.
This much power requires a stiff chassis setup. At a height of just 1.34 meters (4.4 ft), the Audi TT RS is low to the asphalt, and it is both light-footed and under control as it conquers curves. The direct steering ratio gives the driver the feeling of being one with the road. No matter how intensively the driver turns the grippy sport steering wheel, the low-mounted sport seat with the strong contours of its side bolsters holds the driver in position. In the Roadster, a switch initiates open-air driving fun. It opens the car’s soft top – even while driving at speeds up to around 50 km/h (31.1 mph).
Inside, the TT RS has an extremely sporty appearance – with aluminum or carbon trim elements and RS logos. As in the Audi R8, the driver starts the engine directly from the steering wheel – a feature inspired by car racing. The vehicle handling system can also be operated from an extra set of satellite controls. If drivers wish, they can modify the character of the TT RS over four modes – from comfort-oriented to emphatically dynamic. The instruments are focused entirely on the driver. The fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with its 12.3-inch screen bundles all key information – from driving speed to engine rpm and navigation. And that is not all. A special RS screen displays information on tire pressure, torque and g-forces. When the engine rev limit is reached, a shift light requests that the driver upshift via the steering wheel paddle or selector lever. A precondition is that the manual mode must be active for the dual-clutch transmission, which has sporty short gear ratios in the lower gears.
To always stay up-to-date, the driver can call upon the extensive infotainment content. Audi connect is bringing a wide variety of services on-board, which can deliver the right information – whether you are looking for parking, travel or traffic information, or inquiring about fuel prices, the weather or online news. Passengers can also tweet on the road, and upon request the system can read the messages aloud. They can connect their smartphone or tablet via the Wi-Fi hotspot and surf the world wide web. Select smartphone apps can be mirrored directly into the Audi virtual cockpit. The smartphone battery is charged inductively in the center console. Then the smartphone is also coupled to the vehicle’s antenna for optimal reception, and it connects the driver with the desired contact person when prompted. A practical feature is that the microphones of the hands-free system are integrated into the seat belts in the Roadster, which guarantees high speech quality.
Impressive performance: the new five-cylinder engine
A jury of international motor journalists has voted the 2.5 TFSI “Engine of the Year” six times in a row. Now Audi has further developed the five-cylinder engine in all areas – with lightweight construction measures, reduced internal friction and increased power delivery. As a result, the turbo engine gains a good 17 percent increase in performance at an unchanged capacity of 2,480 cc. At 294 kW (400 hp), it is more powerful than ever before. The maximum torque of 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) is available between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm. It ensures fantastic pulling power, which accompanies the unmistakable sound. Cylinders positioned directly beside each other and far away from each other fire in alternation. This brings with it a very special rhythm. The TT RS Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds, the Roadster in 3.9 seconds – this corresponds to the level of a supercar. Audi regulates the top speed at 250 km/h (155.3 mph), or at 280 km/h (173.9 mph) upon request.
For the best traction and plenty of driving pleasure: the quattro drive
The forces of the 2.5 TFSI engine flow via a seven-speed S tronic, which shifts at lightning speed, to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its multi-plate clutch distributes the power freely between the axles. This provides strong grip and immense driving pleasure. The wheel-selective torque control makes handling even more agile and safe. Using the Audi drive select system, the driver can influence the quattro drive and other components such as the steering, S tronic, engine characteristic and exhaust flaps. The four modes available for this are comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual.
Pure dynamics: the chassis
In addition to its light weight, the Audi TT RS has its sporty chassis to thank for its outstanding handling. The direct steering provides close contact with the road and makes it a pleasure to drive challenging winding stretches. At the front axle, ventilated and perforated steel discs are in action behind the 19-inch wheels – or 20-inch forged lightweight wheels as an option. Alternatively, lighter and particularly abrasion-resistant carbon-fiber ceramic discs are available. At the back, a steel monoblock disc is used. As an option, Audi supplies RS sport suspension plus adaptive dampers in magnetic ride technology. In this case, the damping characteristics can be influenced electronically. The control technology is integrated into the driving dynamics system known as Audi drive select.
New feature: Matrix OLED lights
For the first time in a series-production Audi, Matrix OLED technology (organic light emitting diode) is used in the rear lights as an option. These emit an extremely homogeneous, high-contrast light. The light can be continuously dimmed, it does not cast any shadows and does not require any reflectors – this makes the OLEDs in 3D design efficient, light and visually impressive. Each rear light contains four wafer-thin units which become smaller from the inside out. The biggest bears the TT logo and the four Audi rings. The TT RS has LED rear lights and LED headlights as standard. Alternatively, the latter are available as intelligently controlled Matrix LED units.
Athletically streamlined: the exterior design
Large air inlets, a Singleframe grille with a newly designed honeycomb grille and quattro logo, a fixed rear wing and two large, oval exhaust tailpipes – the new TT RS Coupé and the new TT RS Roadster exude concentrated power. Along the flanks, aerodynamically-shaped side sills emphasize the dynamic design. Both models measure 4.19 meters (13.9 ft) in length, 1.83 meters (6 ft) in width and 1.34 meters (4.5 ft) in height.
Inspired by racing cars: the cockpit
Controls and display in the new TT RS are focused completely on the driver. All information is displayed as standard on the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from three views, including a special RS screen that highlights the rev counter and provides information on tire pressure, torque, and g‑force, among other things. The Audi virtual cockpit also displays a shift light which informs the driver that the engine speed limit has been reached. For the first time in the RS portfolio, the RS sport leather steering wheel with shift paddles has two operating satellite buttons for turning the engine on and off as well as the driving dynamics system known as Audi drive select, in addition to multifunction buttons. This means that the driver’s hands stay on the wheel at all times. The driver can influence the exhaust flap control via the sound button on the center console.
Best entertainment: infotainment and Audi connect
Audi also offers a huge amount of high-end infotainment technology. The options include MMI navigation plus with MMI touch including free text search and natural voice control, as well as the Audi connect online module with Wi-Fi hotspot. Using Audi phone box, compatible cell phones can be charged inductively and paired with the onboard antennae for optimal reception. The new Audi smartphone interface technology displays selected apps from the cell phone directly in the Audi virtual cockpit. The Bang & Olufsen sound system is a highlight for fans of excellent acoustics.
Golden Fall: market launch
The new TT RS models will be launched on the European market in fall 2016. The Coupé prices start at 66,400 euros, the Roadster is listed at 69,200 euros.