As the latest entry in Audi’s Sport model line, the 2018 TT RS is the most powerful TT model that the company has ever produced, drawing inspiration from the original Audi Quattro of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Boasting an all-new, lightweight engine, this max-performance compact coupe lays down class-leading numbers, yet still retains all of the luxury and comfort that Audi is known for.
Follow along as we explore the power and usability of Audi’s track-car-for-the-streets with the help of our 2018 Audi TT RS Coupe test model.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Exterior
Building upon the already-stunning looks of the base TT Coupe, the 2018 TT RS features a number of enhancements inspired by Audi’s long history of racing.
The most noticeable differences are the larger front air intakes and fixed rear wing spoiler, which hint at the performance that lies beneath the sculpted hood. Audi’s signature quattro script has been added to the Singleframe grille, while the lower chin diffuser receives aerodynamic upgrades.
Our test model came painted in an eye-catching Nardo Gray, and sported 20-inch 7-spoke design high-gloss anthracite forged wheels as part of the optional Black optic package. High-gloss black mirror housings and other model-specific accents are also included with this classy styling package.
At the rear, the available Dynamic plus package swaps the standard taillights for OLED bulbs (the first-ever for a production Audi), and black exhaust tips indicate the presence of the optional RS sport exhaust system.
These racing-inspired details help the TT RS stand out from its competitors, and does so without disrupting the signature design language that made the original coupe so distinguished.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Interior
Inside the spacious cabin, you’ll find even more unique elements seemingly plucked straight from Audi’s motorsports efforts — our eyes gravitated immediately to the Alcantara and leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with aluminum paddle shifters. The engine start/stop button and Audi drive select button have both been moved from the center console to the lower quadrants of the steering wheel, making you feel like a real race car driver every time you fire up the TT RS.
Further enhancing the overall experience is Audi virtual cockpit, a vibrant 12.3-inch digital display that replaces the analog instrument cluster. This full-color, fully-animated screen is now offered as standard equipment, and allows the deletion of the traditional MMI touch infotainment screen that’s usually found on the dashboard. This uncluttered cockpit design offers a distraction-free environment for the driver, and moves the menu screens for music, navigation, phone, etc to a more convenient location. Steering wheel-mounted controls, voice commands, and handwriting recognition offer quick access to all of the vehicle’s entertainment and connectivity features.
Similar streamlined design elements can also be found in the air conditioning controls, which have now been integrated into the three center vents, making the standard dash console obsolete. It’s an intuitive system that also emphasizes the clean aesthetics of the cabin.
The rest of our test model’s black interior is a sophisticated blend of soft-touch materials, textured aluminum inlays, and Fine Nappa leather. The front S sport seats grab your attention with white diamond stitching, and offer heat as well as eight-way power adjustment, four-way power lumbar support, and pneumatic side bolsters. We’ve never felt more comfortable than when sitting in these stylish bucket seats.
Our 2018 TT RS test model also came equipped with the available Technology package, which adds Audi smartphone interface, Audi connect services, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. All of these standard and optional features come together to create a highly-practical environment that provides the best in luxury, connectivity, and design.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Performance
Whenever Audi blesses one of its vehicles with an RS badge, it means something magical is going to transpire under the hood. In the case of the 2018 TT RS, that enchanting upgrade comes in the form of an all-new 2.5-liter 5-cylinder TFSI engine that delivers 400 horsepower and 354 lb. ft. of torque to all of the wheels.
This class-leading performance rockets the TT RS from 0 – 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, and features a top track speed of 174 mph when equipped with the optional Dynamic plus package. This premium upgrade also adds front ceramic brakes, an RS fixed sport suspension, and a carbon fiber engine cover.
To make sure as much of the TT RS’s power gets applied to the pavement, a seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission has been mated to the compact engine, and now includes a launch control program. Quick gear changes plus Audi’s legendary quattro permanent all-wheel drive system means the acceleration G-forces are some of the most intense we’ve ever experienced.
With the ability to send almost 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, the quattro system constantly adjusts the distribution of power to ensure maximum grip and a true sports car experience. As a result, the TT RS corners like it’s glued to the ground, and offers incredible levels of control thanks to an advanced suspension architecture and specially-tuned progressive steering.
Striving for maximum performance, our test model’s fixed sport suspension delivers a stiffer ride than the standard TT coupe, but Audi drive select still allows us to adjust other vehicle characteristics, like gear shift points, steering weight, and throttle response.
Piloting the 2018 TT RS is a unique and rewarding experience that makes even the most mundane commutes feel exciting. And for those times when you’re stuck in traffic, simply open the flaps of the RS exhaust system to hear the engine’s signature sound at low RPMs.
Fuel economy for the 2018 Audi TT RS Coupe is an EPA estimated 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway**.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Safety
At its core, the 2018 TT RS is still a luxury vehicle, and that means it boasts a long list of standard and available safety features, many of which are aided by advanced predictive technology.
An airbag protection system, brake assist, Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), rearview camera, and tire pressure monitoring system are just a few examples of standard safety equipment included on the TT RS.
Our test model also came packaged with Parking system plus, which utilizes acoustic sensors to warn of stationary objects, as well as Audi side assist, a radar-based blind spot detection system.
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe Overall
For those who love the open road, there are few cars as exciting and rewarding to drive as the 2018 TT RS. It’s the best way to sample Audi’s history of motorsports while taking advantage of the car’s everyday usability.
Starting MSRP for the 2018 Audi TT RS Coupe is $64,900, and our test model came well-equipped with the Dynamic plus, Technology, and Black optic packages for $78,425*.
Feel the rush of the RS series by visiting your local AutoNation-affiliated Audi dealership.
*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.