BEIJING – The new Audi TT RS packs a 395-hp punch, can spurt from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h), the automaker announces Sunday during the car’s public premiere at the Beijing auto show.
Unveiled in both coupe and roadster body styles prior to its U.S. sales launch in 2017, the TT RS is the first recipient of Audi’s new turbocharged 2.5L inline 5-cyl. direct-injection gasoline engine, which adopts a transversely mounted aluminum block, among other changes.
Underscoring the added performance of the new range-topping TT models is a series of distinctive exterior styling touches, including a heavily structured front bumper with larger air ducts and more prominent splitter element than standard models. There’s also a reworked single-frame grille featuring a honeycomb insert and quattro identification.
Along the flanks are aluminum-look mirror housings and wider sills beneath the doors. The rear is distinguished by a fixed spoiler atop the trunklid, although buyers can opt for a more subtle extendable spoiler. The rear bumper gets a new lower section with an integrated diffuser and two large oval tailpipes.
In an industry first, buyers can opt for Audi’s new organic LED taillamps, each consisting of four elements, the largest of which features the TT logo and Audi’s 4-ring emblem.
The 2.5L turbo, development of which kicked off under the direction of Audi R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg prior to his retirement in late 2015, follows the lead of the automaker’s 4-cyl. engines with an aluminum block that, combined with other changes centered on the induction system, weighs 57 lbs. (26 kg) less than the iron block unit it replaces.
At 2.5L, the TT RS’s overall swept volume is unchanged, although the adoption of Audi’s patented valve-lift system and a dual-injection system that injects fuel into both the inlet manifold and the combustion chamber is claimed to significantly improve overall efficiency.
Specs Up Across Board
In its initial state of tune, with its turbocharger running maximum boost pressure of 20 psi, the new 5-cyl.’s 395 hp yields a specific output of 159 hp/L. By comparison, the iron-block engine in the final incarnation of the first-generation TT RS delivered 40 hp less at 355 hp, or 143 hp/L.
With a curb weight of 3,168 lbs. (1,437 kg) by European measuring standards, the new TT RS coupe boasts a weight-to-power ratio of 8.0 lbs./hp, an improvement of 1.0 lbs./hp over its direct predecessor, the 3,197-lb. (1,450-kg) TT RS Plus. With added structural reinforcement the new TT RS roadster tips the scales at 3,373 lbs. (1,538 kg), endowing it with a weight-to-power ratio of 8.5 lbs./hp.
Torque swells to a peak of 354 lb.-ft. (480 Nm) between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm, providing the new Audi with 11 lb.-ft. (14.9 Nm) more than its predecessor, which made 343 lb.-ft. (465 Nm) between 1,650 and 5,400 rpm.
The increased reserves are channeled through Audi’s standard 7-speed dual-clutch S-tronic gearbox boasting TT RS-specific ratios, launch-control software and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. A revised version of Audi’s electro-hydraulic multiplate clutch quattro all-wheel-drive system that uses new software mapping what the automaker describes as a more precise metering of drive to the rear wheels.
With an extra 198 lbs. (90 kg) to haul, the new TT RS roadster’s 0-62 mph time is pegged at 3.9 seconds, a 0.3-second reduction over the old model. Top speed for both new TT RS models is limited to a nominal 155 mph (250 km/h), although customers can request to have it raised to 174 mph.
Reining in the heady performance is an upgraded braking package featuring 14.6-in. steel discs with eight piston calipers up front and 12.2-in. steel discs with single-pot calipers at the rear. Carbon-fiber ceramic front discs are optional.
The new TT RS rides on a chassis lowered by 0.4 ins. (10.2 mm) over the standard TT. Further changes include the adoption of stiffer springs and dampers and a set of standard 19-in. alloy wheels. Options include Audi’s magnetic ride system, which provides variable damping qualities, and 20-in. wheels.