When Audi introduced their TT Coupe here in the United States back in 2000, the motoring public wasn’t sure what to make of it. The small coupe with the turtle-like styling was like nothing the company had designed before. It came to our shores with 180 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged inline-four, sprinted to 60 mph in around seven seconds, and had a base price of just over $30k.
That however, was almost 20-years ago, and in that time, things have changed for the TT. The little hot rod you see here, for example, is the new 2018 TT RS. The turbo inline-4 has been replaced by a turbo inline-5 and instead of 180-hp it now packs a whopping 400. It’s blisteringly quick and a hoot to drive. However with an “as tested” price of $74,024.00 it’s also $40k more than the original.
For the full 2018 Audi TT RS Coupe review, specs, pricing and data read on.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Exterior
It took me a long time to appreciate just how simplistically cool the Audi TT RS is. Like most people, when I first saw it, I was a bit perplexed by its angry bulldog demeanor. The front end, for instance, is a mixture of a blacked-out honeycomb SingleFrame grille, sharp edges and massive aerodynamic callouts. The wheels are large 20” seven-spoke units that run 255/30-series summer tires that remind me of a wind turbine. Look closer and you’ll see they’re covering massive 14.6” ventilated eight piston RS specific brakes. Then there’s that paint, what Audi calls Nardo Gray. Truth be told, it’s just about the best color in Audi’s arsenal.
As a whole the TT RS is free of any chrome or stainless accents aside from the traditional Audi rings and TT RS badging. The subtle use of gloss black trim around the windows and wheels, combined with a blacked-out rear diffuser, mirror caps and exhaust tips ad enough contrast though to break up that gray paint. A fixed wing rear spoiler and nicely sculpted OLED taillights (a first for Audi) round out the package.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Interior
While the exterior of the new 2018 TT RS is beautiful in its own right, the interior is simply stunning and one of the best I’ve seen in any car at any price. This is a driver’s car. It was produced for the individual behind the wheel and no one else. Therefore the cabin, and every control placed in it, is focused on the pilot. By incorporating a fully customizable digital 12.3-inch virtual cockpit into the dash, Audi has allowed the driver to control just about every aspect of the vehicle without having to take their hands off the wheel. Here one can monitor vehicle diagnostics, set drive modes, utilize the onboard navigation and infotainment features, along with configuring the actual display to any number of variations. MMI touch has also been incorporated into the center console and allows users to use handwriting-recognition technology to “write” in an on screen entry as opposed to selecting letters and numbers via a scroll wheel or annoying buttons.
This is a cabin that will let you enjoy your time on the road. Carbon fiber inlays, black leather seats with red crosshatch stitching along with the flat bottom leather wrapped steering wheel with paddles are seen as soon as one enters the cabin. Then there’s the Bang & Olufsen audio system, suede inserts, and the climate control system that is integrated into the aluminum vent dials. In all honesty, if this interior doesn’t make you feel special then there is something wrong. Now granted, no one ever said opulence comes cheap, but hot damn if I didn’t feel like I received a salary bump every time I opened the door. This is a cabin that makes you feel just as special sitting in a parking lot as it does at triple digits. However, rear seating is a bit on the cramped side for both children and adults.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Performance:
With a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine under the hood that makes 400-hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, the TT RS is extremely quick. 60 mph comes up in just 3.6-seconds and it will run the ¼-mile in 11.9-seconds. The combination of Quattro All-wheel Drive, along with a tuned 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox allows one to pin the pedal and go. The TT RS is also extremely nimble as it rides on a compact wheelbase of just 98.6 inches and has an overall curb weight of 3,306 pounds. Audi’s magnetic ride suspension resides under that gray bodywork and has the ability to adjust to changing road surfaces within milliseconds. And while this is amazingly handy to have whilst on a racetrack, it can, when combined with the optional 20” wheels with 255/30-series summer tires, make ride quality a bit harsh under normal driving conditions.
The TT RS also offers a choice of two braking system. Eight-piston monobloc calipers on 370-millimeter ventilated disc come standard, however opt for the Dynamic plus package and you’ll be treated to a set of front carbon-ceramic discs that are both lighter than stock and offer increased resistance to brake fade under track conditions. This is a car that is truly at home on your favorite back road or stretching its legs during a track event at your local raceway. It’s also quite frugal on gas with EPA economy numbers coming in at 29 mpg on the highway, 19 mpg city and 22 mpg* in combined driving.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Safety
Equipped with the latest in safety technology, the 2018 Audi TT RS Coupe comes to us with such features as adaptive driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control with secondary collision brake and Quattro all-wheel-drive. Additional safety features can be seen at AudiUSA.com.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Overall
With a base price of $64,900.00 and an as-tested price of $74,025.00, the 2018 Audi TT RS Coupe is a well-rounded sports car that delivers on all performance fronts. It is a car that was truly made for the individual behind the wheel and offers an interactive driving experience that few can match.
Drop by your local AutoNation Audi dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $74,025.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.