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THE PLUSSED AND THE NONPLUSSED? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The RS derivative of Audi's TT is the most powerful version of this car we've seen yet. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the improved version.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 44
Audi's improved TT RS might not offer quite the tactility of some of its best rivals but as a pure road car, it could well make more sense, being fast, beautifully finished and superbly equipped. As usual, buyers choose from Coupe or Roadster bodystyles.
Backgroundword count: 134
The Audi TT started life as a design icon, an acutely modern trinket to be looked at and lusted after but one that never completely convinced as a driver's car, perhaps, in truth, because it was little more than a Volkswagen Golf with a prettier look. The current improved third generation version though, is much more its own car, so the idea of a 400PS 2.5-litre TFSI engine beneath the bonnet has quite an appeal. If you're a real Audi fan, the combination of four-wheel drive and a charismatic five cylinder turbo can really only bring to mind one car: the legendary 1980 Audi Quattro. This RS, the Germans tell us, is its spiritual successor. No pressure there then. Yet you can't deny that it's been equipped for the task. It's a tantalising prospect.
Driving Experienceword count: 224
You buy an Audi TT RS for its engine. If you merely wanted a very quick Audi TT, the TTS model with its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine more than fits the bill. It's good for 306PS and delivers its power effectively in almost all weathers. The RS is an altogether more charismatic thing, the warbling of its in-line 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine harking back to more famous Quattros of the past. In RS guise, that engine has been massaged to 400PS in its current form. It only comes mated to 7-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission and will catapult you from rest to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds in Coupe form. The Roadster is only two tenths of a second slower and whether you choose soft top or metal roof, the top speed can be 174mph if you ask your dealer to remove the 155mph limiter. And through the corners? Well, the progressive steering, whose ratio becomes ever more direct with increasing steering input, is RS-tuned. Targeted spring and damper modifications make the chassis with technically elaborate four-link rear suspension more dynamic and precise. The body sits ten millimetres lower than the base model, and this also applies for the optional 'RS sport suspension plus with Audi magnetic ride' set-up. Here, the damping characteristic can be changed electronically using the Audi 'drive select' driving mode system.
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Category: Sporting Cars
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