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2020 Audi TT RS Review

The 2020 Audi TT RS sits at the top of the TT lineup as the ultimate TT. It uses a unique 5-cylinder engine paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels through standard all-wheel drive. This is the same powertrain offered in the equally hardcore RS 3, but in the case of the TT, it comes in the shape of a swoopy, aggressive sports car.

Speaking of attractive shapes: For those who adore the sharp styling and precise handling of the R8 supercar but would rather spend five figures instead of six, the TT RS could be an ideal choice. Features that make the TT RS’s case as a great supercar alternative include a magnetically controlled adaptive suspension, a lightning-quick dual-clutch automatic transmission and a swanky interior design that ditches the traditional center-stack infotainment display and instead delivers info directly to the driver through a fully digital gauge cluster that Audi calls its virtual cockpit.

Audi’s RS models represent the company’s top performance offerings and are on par with BMW‘s and Mercedes-Benz‘s top-tier M and AMG models, respectively. RS models generally come with unique engines putting out huge power, revised suspension setups and styling to match.

The 2020 Audi TT and the 2020 Audi TTS are reviewed separately.

What’s New for 2020?

Not a lot changes with the TT RS for 2020. Red brake calipers have been added as a standalone option, and a new exterior color, Pulse Orange, has also been added. See the 2020 Audi TT RS models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Unique 5-cylinder engine
  • Sounds great
  • Impressive acceleration
  • Iconic shape
  • Dialed-in dynamics

What We Don’t

  • $75,000 is steep for a small sports car that isn’t a Porsche
  • Brand name isn’t as strong as competitors’
  • Tight quarters, compromised storage
  • Useless back seat just adds unnecessary weight
  • Steering could be more tactile

How Much?

$68,495

Fuel Economy

The Audi TT RS uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine that generates 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters sends power to all four wheels via standard AWD.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving. As you could probably guess, the TT RS runs on premium fuel.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Audi TT RS ($68,495) premium compact sports car is only available in the TT’s coupe body style. In fact, buyers looking for a convertible TT are limited to the base model here in the U.S., as the mid-tier TTS is also coupe-only.

Standard equipment includes 19-in alloy wheels wearing summer performance tires, full LED lighting, TT RS-specific front and rear aerodynamic and cosmetic treatments, a fixed rear wing, oval exhaust tips, rain-sensing wipers, an adaptive suspension, 8-piston front brake calipers, ventilated brake discs at each wheel, keyless entry and ignition, selectable driving modes (with engine start/stop and drive mode buttons on the steering wheel), a flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in leather and simulated suede, automatic climate control, 12-way power-adjustable front sport seats, Nappa leather upholstery with contrasting diamond stitching, simulated suede-covered shift knob, aluminum cabin accents, a 12.3-in virtual cockpit configurable driver’s information display incorporating a Sport mode, a garage door opener, a rearview camera, a semiautomated parking system, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a CD/MP3 player, AM/FM/HD/satellite radio, a 9-speaker audio setup, voice control, a touchpad with handwriting recognition, two SD card slots, two USB ports and an auxiliary audio input.

A Technology package adds navigation, Audi connect Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and a 680-watt, 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Other options include bigger wheels, OLED taillights, an adaptive rear spoiler and a few cosmetic packages. A fixed sport suspension is available as a no-cost option that replaces the standard adaptive setup.

Trunk space obviously isn’t one of the TT’s selling points, but 12 cu ft. should accommodate a couple of golf bags, especially with the small rear seats folded down.

Safety

In addition to the mandatory protective and preventative equipment, the TT RS has eight airbags, including two for the front occupants’ knees.

No agencies in the United States have crash-tested the TT RS or the regular TT.

Available active safety features are limited to blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and front and rear parking sensors.

Behind the Wheel

Audi has a way with interior design that encompasses sophistication, modernity and style. The cabin in the TT RS is special, even in this exalted company. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is complemented by pedals covered in stainless steel. The driving position is enhanced by the comfortable and supportive front sport seats, which are designed to hold occupants in place even in tight racetrack corners.

Sprinting from standstill to 60 mph takes a claimed 3.6 seconds. That’s quite fast — in fact, it’s a full second faster than the 288-hp TTS. There’s also a unique sound emanated by that 5-cylinder engine that should grab anyone’s attention, whether they’re inside or outside the vehicle.

What might not be so pleasing — and at this point, we’re looking for hairs to split — is that the TT RS’s steering doesn’t quite transmit to the hands what the front wheels are really up to. More feedback would result in greater involvement and ultimately a better driving experience — but again, we’re splitting hairs. Even so, the TT RS is a high point in the already outstanding Audi portfolio.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Chevrolet Corvette — The all-new 2020 C8 Corvette moves to a midengine platform and comes powered by a naturally aspirated V8 making 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. With pricing comparative to that of the TT RS, the new Vette is shaping up to be the best bargain in the sports car world.

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman S — Accessible pricing for a Porsche. The Cayman S has 350 hp, along with a beautiful midengine/rear-drive balance. Like the Corvette, it’s only a 2-seater, but so is the TT RS, in practice if not in theory.

2020 BMW M2 Competition — Comes only in coupe form, with 405 hp from a turbocharged inline six and BMW’s traditional rear-wheel-drive layout. It’s not the design statement that the TT RS is, but it’s wonderful to drive.

Used Porsche 911 — Whenever someone wants a small, ultra-sporty coupe, deep in their hearts, they really desire the Porsche 911 — a car that has occupied a special place in the automotive landscape since the 1960s. Check out Porsche‘s certified pre-owned program.

Autotrader’s Advice

The TT RS is a decent alternative to better-known sports cars such as the Corvette, the Cayman and the M2. Though it won’t give you the visceral experience of any of those RWD-based vehicles, the TT RS makes a unique design statement and offers an exceptional platform, although its standard front-wheel-drive-based AWD system means it’s just a little different than the competition when it comes to driving dynamics. Either way, a vehicle such as this one is such a personal purchase that the right options and packages really come down to your preferences. That said, if you’ve never owned a vehicle with blind spot monitoring before, we have to say that it’s a pretty great feature to have. Find an Audi TT RS for sale

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