2018 Audi TT RS Preview

18Audi_TT-RS_OEM_03.jpg 2018 Audi TT RS | Manufacturer image


Competes with: Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW M2, Porsche 718 Cayman S

Looks like: The bad cop if the regular Audi TT were the good cop

Drivetrain: 400-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Spring 2017

Audi is packing a punch at the 2017 New York International Auto Show by introducing the hottest RS version of its TT coupe to American audiences. We haven’t seen an Audi TT RS stateside since 2013, and this new version has only been available overseas until now. The 2018 Audi TT RS goes on sale this spring with 400 horsepower from a turbocharged five-cylinder engine that adds more than 100 hp compared with a TT S, and zero-to-60 mph lowers to 3.6 seconds.

More 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage


Subtle additions add a racy look to the TT RS. Larger front air intakes better cool the TT RS’ beefed-up hardware, a fixed rear wing sits on the tail, and the rear exhaust outlets are large, oval-shaped finishers. The standard wheels are 19 inches and optional 20-inch wheels in a silver finish are forged, while available 20-inch forged wheels in the Black Optic package are anthracite-colored. All wheels are wrapped in summer tires.  


There’s a little bit of the Audi R8 supercar inside the TT RS. A flat-bottom steering wheel has an engine ignition button and drive mode selector flanking the spokes just like the R8, and the wheel is partially covered in grippy suede-like Alcantara. The TT RS’ seats have diamond stitching and available red contrast stitching, and there are a few reminders you’re in the top RS trim with logos on the seat, steering wheel and aluminum door sill inlays. 

Under the Hood

Like the previous TT RS, the 2018 has a five-cylinder engine, though the new engine is worked over compared with its predecessor and makes 40 more horsepower, but is 57 pounds lighter thanks to the upper portion of the oil pan being constructed of magnesium and the block is now aluminum, which saved 40 pounds, per Audi. The turbocharged engine makes 400 hp and 354 pounds-feet of torque with 19.6 psi of turbocharger pressure forced into the engine.

The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission — there’s no manual transmission — and the TT RS now offers a launch control system for the quickest starts. A standard Quattro all-wheel drive system can send almost 100 percent of available torque to the rear wheels while torque transfer between the wheels is integrated into the drive modes to match grip and control: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual.  

Along with torque transfer, the suspension also varies firmness and reaction in drive modes thanks to standard magnetic shock absorbers that adjust within milliseconds. While available elsewhere in the TT lineup, these shocks have specific tuning for the RS. The top RS suspension, however, is the RS fixed sport suspension included in the Dynamic Plus Package with a stiffer ride for increased performance.

Steering and brakes are also specific to the RS with special steering tuning and two brake packages including an optional carbon-ceramic brake package to reduce weight and increase resistance to brake fade.


The 2018 Audi TT RS starts at $65,875, including destination, and goes on sale this spring.

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