Audi finally came to their senses back in September 2010 when they decided that it was time for the TT-RS to make its way back to the States, but their most recent announcement may leave some with less than what they bargained for. Along with the TT-RS’ first appearance on American soil at the Chicago Auto Show, came Audi’s announcement that we will only be getting a limited run of 1,000 units of the vehicle. Audi is obviously playing the supply and demand game since 11,500 fans expressed their enthusiasm over the TT-RS in only one month. No official details were given on the car, but Audi did confirm that it would be $10,000 more expensive than the current TTS, priced at $51,000. Sales for the Audi TT-RS will begin at the end of Summer 2011.
The Audi TT-RS will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that will deliver an extra 20 HP compared to the European model. With a total of 360 HP, the engine will only be offered with a conventional six-speed manual transmission and will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. We expect to see a greater top speed compared to the European model.
UPDATE 07/08/2011: Audi has announced prices for the 2012 TT-RS, a model that signifies the return of the RS nameplate to the U.S. The Audi TT RS will be priced at $56,850 (excluding destination charges, taxes, title, options and dealer charges). By comparison, the Audi TT-S version is priced from $50K.
UPDATE 07/27/2011: The first Audi TT-RS sold on the US market has been delivered to Forth Worth Audi dealer in Texas. The first client is veteran race car driver Don Istook. He is one of the more than 11,500 fans to sign the Audi TT RS Facebook petition drive, which helped convince Audi to introduce the 360-hp coupe in the U.S. "Having raced at almost every major track in the U.S. and Canada, I’ve pushed the limits in many cars in my 34 years as a race car driver,” Istook said. “I like my street car to give me some of that thrill. With my new Audi TT RS, I not only get that thrill, but I also get that ’race car’ sound."
More details on the Audi TT-RS American model after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
The TT-RS is the most powerful model in the TT line-up and is distinguished by a high-gloss black single frame grille with a frame in matte aluminum look, xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, large wheels in a 5 twin-spoke design, vigorous side sills, and exterior-mirror casings in a matte aluminum look.
On the rear, the car gets a stationary rear spoiler and two large oval exhaust tailpipes – spaced apart – encircled by a diffuser insert.
The interior is distinguished by heated sports seats featured in an Alcantara/leather combination with silver contrasting stitching and an embossed TT RS logo, a leather multifunction sports steering wheel, and an aluminum pedal.
Under the hood of the new TT-RS model, Audi has placed the same turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine as the European model. However, unlike the European model, the American version will deliver an extra 20 HP (up to a total of 360 HP) and will only be mated to a new manual six-speed transmission.
The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in just 4.6 seconds, and after removing the speed limiter, we expect a top speed of around 175 mph.
On the US market, sales of the new TT-RS will begin in Summer 2011. Audi hasn’t revealed prices for the sports car just yet, but they have confirmed that it will be around $10,000 more expensive then the current TT-S model. We expect the TT-RS to be priced at around $61,000 with only 1,000 customers being able to revel in their purchase due to the limited number of units.
The TT-RS has a great look and can provide an impressive performance, but is it enough to stand out in front of some of it greatest competitors like the Nissan 370Z Nismo, the Mercedes SLK350, or the Porsche Cayman R?
The Mercedes SLK is powered by a 3.5 liter direct injected engine that delivers a total of 302 HP and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph. With the new generation launched, the SLK Roadster has gained an impressive look and is more powerful than ever, but is still lacking compared to the TT-RS.
Another close, but not close enough competitor is the 370Z Nismo. This car is powered by a 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 aluminum alloy engine that delivers a total of 350 HP at 7,400 rpm with 276 lbs of torque at 5,200 rpm. Top speed is also limited to 155 mph.
The Cayman R is powered by a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine that develops an impressive 330 HP and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, while top speed is 175 mph with manual gearbox, or 174 mph with PDK. The Cayman R is priced at $66,300 and just may be the only real competitor for the TT-RS, based on both look and performance, but it is still a hair shy of the Audi in our opinion. Of course, the Porsche name may be enough for some to walk right past the Audi TT-RS and climb into the Cayman.
More powerful than European model
Only 1000 units for the US market
Price matches the likes of Porsche which may stunt sales