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2013 Audi TT-RS

When Audi brought the TT to the U.S. back in the 2000 model year, it was not overly powerful or fast. Rather its 180-horsepower, turbocharged 1.8-liter engine produced adequate power combined with an agile chassis to make a complete sports coupe. As time went on, however, the TT became more powerful and firmly planted itself as one of the best sports cars on the market.

In the 2012 model year, Audi decided it was time to show exactly what the TT could do, given the right tuning. With this came the introduction of the 2012 Audi TT RS , which was a super-high-performance machine that left every other sports car in its wake – even some that were significantly more expensive.

In 2013, Audi will continue this high-performance variant of the TT and will, for the most part, carry the model over from the 2012 model year. So the question that begs to be answered is “can the TT RS continue to dominate with essentially the same setup as it had a year ago?”

Click past the jump to get the answer to that question in our full review of the 2013 Audi TT RS.

Exterior

Audi TT-RS

...the Audi TT-RS boasts a very sexy and sleek exterior that’s a far cry from the odd shape that it featured in its earlier years.

On the outside, the 2013 Audi TT RS is essentially a carryover from the 2012 model year. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing, as the Audi Audi TT-RS boasts a very sexy and sleek exterior that’s a far cry from the odd shape that it featured in its earlier years.

Up front, you get a set of sleekly designed Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights. The headlights also boast an automatic adjustment feature to assure they are always pointing in the right direction. The front fascia features Audi’s signature grille with the four-ring and “TT RS” logos proudly displayed near the top. The TT RS adds in a special grille, which features a high-gloss black diamond-look, giving the front of the TT a sportier look. To add a little more sport to the TT RS’s front end, you can opt for the available high-gloss black grille surround in place of the silver surround that comes standard.

Audi TT-RS

The lower portion of the front fascia features air-intake vents with three louvers covering them. These louvers are given the same high-gloss black diamond-look as the grille to help complete the look. At the base of the fascia sits a silver splitter to help add a little extra downforce.

Audi TT-RS

The side profile of the 2013 TT RS shows a sleek windshield and a roofline that closely resembles that of another German sports car that shall remain nameless. The TT RS boast an arching side glass line that mimics the roofline well. From the sides, you also get a good look at the standard 9- x 19-inch five-arm rotor design wheels coated in high gloss clear. As an available option, you can opt to coat these wheels in titanium or high-gloss black with a red surround.

The side views stand apart from the body on thin posts, helping air swoop by them easier. These mirrors come in a matte-aluminum finish as standard, but you can opt for the available electric-folding carbon-fiber side mirrors. These optional mirrors are heated and feature LED turn signal repeaters.

Audi TT-RS

On the backside, you get a standard dual-post spoiler to add a little more downforce to the already-stout TT RS. At the base of the rear end, you also get a shapely diffusor and dual-oval exhaust exits. The taillights match up to the headlights pretty well and they feature LED technology to lengthen their lifespan and increase visibility from the rear.

The 2013 Audi TT RS is available in eight exterior colors, four of those eight are exclusive to the TT RS model. The colors that it shares with the rest of the TT lineup include: Ibis White, Daytona Gray, Phantom Black and Misano Red. The RS-exclusive colors include: Panther Black, Monza Silver, Sepang Blue and Suzuka Gray. All of the metallic and pearl-effect paints run an extra $475, plus you can plan on adding an additional $950 or $1,075 if you plan to add either the Suzuka Gray or Panther Black paints, respectively.

Exterior Specifications
Overall Length165.3 Inches
Overall Width (With Mirrors)76.9 Inches
Overall Height52.8 Inches
Wheelbase97.2 Inches
Curb Weight3,306 lbs.
Drag Coefficient0.32

Standard Exterior Features:

  • 9.0Jx19 Five-arm rotor design wheels in high gloss
  • Audi Single-frame grille with RS high-gloss black diamond-look grille with/without license plate holder
  • Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running light technology
  • Automatic headlight-range adjustment
  • Lights Styling package: Front assembly chrome trim, rear dark red lens
  • Rain/light sensors for automatic windshield wipers and headlights
  • LED taillight technology with white reverse lights
  • Daytime running lights, user programmable
  • “Three Blink” touch-to-pass lane change feature in turn signal
  • Automatic light switch controlled by light sensor, coming home/leaving home function
  • Power-adjustable, auto-dimming, heated side mirrors, manual folding
  • Matte aluminum RS model side mirrors
  • Heated windshield washer nozzles
  • Front windshield with gray color strip
  • Dual oval exhaust, finished tips
  • TT RS front bumper, rear bumper, rocker panel and diffuser
  • Carbon fiber engine cover
  • Fixed TT RS rear wing-type spoiler
Optional Exterior FeaturesMSRP
Aluminum matte optic exterior package$950
9.0Jx19 / Five-arm rotor design wheels in titaniumIncl. With Sport Exhaust Titanium Package
9.0Jx19 / Five-arm rotor design wheels in high gloss black and red surround$400 ($0 W/ Sport Exhaust Titanium Package)
High-gloss black grille surroundIncl. With Sport Exhaust Titanium Package
Adaptive headlightsIncl. With Technology Package
Carbon fiber side mirrors; heated with LED turn signal repeaters (electric folding)$1,900
Sport Exhaust Titanium package$2,700
Sport Exhaust$1,500
Speed-deployed electric rear spoiler, with manual overrideTBD

Interior

On the inside, the TT RS features a stylish, yet very clean, design. The TT RS does feature one change for the 2013 model year and that is the addition of optional bi-color leather interior.

Audi TT-RS

As you open the TT RS’ doors, you are greeted by an aluminum door sill with an “RS” logo that lets you know that if you’re not all about excitement, don’t bother stepping in. The TT RS also features its own exclusive door handles to add a little extra something to the package.

Audi TT-RS

...Audi went the extra mile to combine comfort and sport.

As you slip into the silk Nappa leather-wrapped sport seats embossed with “TT RS,” you can tell that Audi went the extra mile to combine comfort and sport. These seats boast 10-way power mobility and 4-way lumbar support with thigh support. For an added fee, you can opt for fine Nappa leather bi-color seats in either black and red or black and titanium. You can also change the seats to a wrapping of leather and Alcantara. Lastly, for those living in cooler climates, the 2013 Audi TT RS has optional 3-step heated seats.

Audi TT-RS

Not only is sitting in the TT-RS something of beauty, but gripping its flat-bottomed, dimpled-leather-wrapped sport steering wheel assures you that you’re in for an intense, yet comfortable ride. Adding to the feel of the TT-RS is the fact the Audi equipped this sports model with a slightly thicker steering wheel than the other TT models.

Audi TT-RS

The entire dashboard dons a shade of black that would typically give you that sea-of-black feeling, but thanks to Audi adding in aluminum accents, it does not have that feel. The center stack features only the most basic controls and they are laid out very well. The gear shifter features an aluminum knob, as well as an aluminum trim piece, giving it a luxurious and sporty look.

Audi TT-RS

If you are a tech nut, Audi didn’t forget about you, as the TT RS features an Audi concert radio. This system features a CD player with MP3 reading capability, AM/FM/Satellite radio with presets, phase diversity for improved AM/FM reception, nine speakers powered by a 140-watt amplifier, and Graduated Audio Level Adjustment which adjusts volume based on vehicle speed. The TT-RS also comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity and voice control for the radio, navigation and your paired cellphone.

There is an optional infotainment system for the 2013 TT RS. This infotainment system is the Audi navigation system plus with six-disc CD changer, which includes: Audi MMI operating logic, 6.5-inch TFT color display, In-dash CD/DVD player, Navigation DVD for US and Canada including Hawaii, two SD card inserts to play MP3 audio data, AM/FM/SAT radio with channel preset capability, Phase diversity, RDS (Radio Data System, Graduated Audio Level Adjustment, Five language settings and voice guidance.

If you are looking for an even cleaner sound, you can opt for the BOSE sound system with AudioPilot. This setup features 12 speakers, a subwoofer and 253 watts of power. This system includes: one 2- x 4.25-inch mid/high-range center-fill speaker in the instrument panel, a pair of 1-inch tweeters (one on each of the instrument panel), a 3-inch neodymium mid-range speaker and 8-inch neodymium woofer in each door, two 1-inch tweeters in the rear firewall, two 6.5-inch low- and mid-range speakers in the fire wall, and one 5.25-inch Richbass woofer in a 9.4 liter enclosure.

Audi TT-RS

Both of the optional audio upgrades come as a part of the Technology Package, which Audi Audi offers for $3,500. In addition to the audio upgrades, the Technology Package adds in ambient LED lighting, adaptive headlights and rear acoustic parking sensors.

Interior Specifications
Headroom (Front/Rear)37.7 Inches / 32.6 Inches
Legroom (Front/Rear)41.1 Inches / 29.3 Inches
Shoulder Room (Front/Rear)53.2 Inches / 47.5 Inches
Luggage Capacity (Seats Upright/Second Row Folded13.1 Cubic-Feet / 24.7 Cubic-Feet

Standard Interior Features:

  • Audi premium sound system (one CD) with SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • Ten-way power seats w/ four-way power lumbar
  • Aluminum door sill inserts with TT RS logo
  • Auto-dimming interior mirror w/ compass
  • Bluetooth integration
  • Silk Nappa leather sport seats w/ TT RS embossing
  • Brushed aluminum interior inlays
  • Driver information system with lap timer
  • TT RS multifunction steering wheel with flat bottom
  • Garage door opener (HomeLink)
Optional Interior FeaturesMSRP
Technology Package$3,500
Audi exclusive bi-color interior$3,000
Heated front seats$450
Alcantara/Leather interiorNo Charge
Audi First Aid kit$45
Audi Guard all-weather floor mats/trunk liner$220
Audi Guard all-weather floor mats$130
Audi Guard textile floor mats$130
Audi Guard trunk liner$120
Audi Guard wheel lock kit$100

Engine and Drivetrain

Audi TT-RS

Okay, the inside and outside of the Audi TT RS are stunning, but what you’re truly buying into this model for is its performance. The 2013 TT RS comes fitted with a 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder engine that features a turbocharger, TSFI and a 10.1-to-1 compression ratio. This all adds up to an amazing 360 ponies at 5,500 rpm and 343 pound-feet of torque at a super-low 1,650 rpm. The 2.5-liter’s block is made from cast iron and its cylinder head is aluminum alloy. Sitting atop the cylinder head is a pair of camshafts opening and closing the engine’s 20 valves.

This super-powerful 5-cylinder powerplant hooks up to a 6-speed manual transmission. Showing the TT RS’s true colors, but also alienating a lot of customers, Audi does not offer an optional automatic transmission – we see Audi sliding its S Tronic dual-clutch transmission to the TT RS in coming years. The transmission ships the ponies to all four wheels via Audi’s famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

All of this combines to launch the TT RS to 60 mph in a supercar-like 4.1 seconds – yes, it is quicker than a Porsche 911 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S. Audi stripped the speed limiter from the TT RS model, netting it a maximum speed of 174 mph, which is simply incredible.

Engine and Drivetrain Specifications
EngineDOHC, 20-Valve, 2.5-Liter Turbocharged Five-Cylinder
Engine ConstructionCast Iron Block w. Aluminum Cylinder Heads
Fuel Injection SystemTSFI
Compression Ratio10.1-to-1
Engine Horsepower360 Horsepower at 5,500 rpm
Engine torque343 Pound-Feet at 1,650 rpm
Transmission6-Speed Manual
Drive StyleQuattro All-Wheel-Drive
Acceleration (0-60 mph)4.1 Seconds
Top Speed174 mph
Fuel Economy18 mpg City / 25 mpg Highway

Suspension and Braking

Audi TT-RS

...you get a car that sticks to the road like week-old road kill – yeah, that’s a good thing.

Much like the rest of the TT RS, Audi made sure not to mess with the suspension and braking systems. First and foremost, you have Audi’s famed Quattro system keeping the wheels at their optimal traction levels through the twist. Up front, you have a 5-link independent steel spring suspension and on the rear, you get a trapezoidal-link independent steel spring suspension. This suspension setup is a little dated, but toss in the Audi magnetic ride with Sport button and 10 mm (0.39 inch) lowered chassis and you get a car that sticks to the road like week-old road kill – yeah, that’s a good thing.

Audi TT-RS

It has been tested to hold up to 0.95 Gs on a 200-foot skid pad and it hits a top speed of 70.7 mph – both numbers are extremely impressive considering its front-engine-AWD setup.

Audi TT-RS

The TT RS comes standard with 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with 14.6-inch discs up front and 12.2-inch discs on the rear. Also standard are Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control (ASR), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and brake assist.

On the corners, you get standard 255/35R19 performance rubber to keep the TT RS adhered to the pavement.

Suspension Specifications
Front Suspension5-Link Independent Steel Spring
Rear SuspensionTrapezoidal-Link Independent Steel Spring
Suspension ControlAudi magnetic ride with Sport button
Brakes (Front/Rear)14.6-Inch Ventilated Disc / 12.2-Inch Ventilated Disc
Electronic InterventionElectronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control (ASR), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
200-Foot Skid Pad0.95 G
Slalom Course Sped70.7 mph
Tires255/35R19 Summer Performance Tires

Pricing

Audi TT-RS

In terms of pricing, the Audi TT RS is very competitive, as it comes in at a relatively wallet-friendly $57,200, plus an $895 destination fee. With every single available option selected on the TT RS, making it a completely decked out performance luxury coupe, it comes in at $65,970. Yes, that price also includes the most expensive paint job – Panther Black crystal.

Competition

Porsche 911/991

When you talk about a car company cutting off its own nose to spite its face, Volkswagen is first on that list, as it has so many makes under its umbrella that they are bound to step on each other’s toes. Then again, VW shouldn’t care, as it is getting your money one way or another.

Porsche 911/991

With that, let’s look at the only adversary worthy of taking on the Audi TT RS, the Porsche 911 Carrera S (how many of you just yelled “Blaspheme” right now). Hear us out though. The Carrera S features a 400-horsepower H-6 engine that also cranks out an acceptable 325 pound-feet of torque – that’s a 40-horsepower advantage on the TT RS, but an 18 pound-feet deficit. Then again, the Audi gives the 911 Carrera S a nearly 300-pound advantage, so the numbers should skew toward the 911, right?

Porsche 911/991

Well, now you get to see exactly what it means to combine a low-rpm peak torque with Audi’s Quattro AWD system. The Carrera S with a manual transmission hit 60 mph in a very impressive 4.3 seconds. For those keeping score at home, that makes the TT RS 0.2 to 0.3 seconds quicker to 60 mph, depending on whose tests you believe. Now, when you add in Porsche’s awesome PDK transmission and the Carrera S can finally catch up to the TT RS to 60 mph. In pure top –end muscle, the TT RS loses out, as the 911 Carrera S’ extra horsepower nets it a 188 mph top speed.

Porsche 911/991

We cannot compare the base model features of the TT RS to the Carerra S’ base features, as the Carrera S is pretty well loaded up. However, when you completely deck out the TT RS, to the tune of $65,970, plus tax, you will see that the Carrera S and TT RS nearly mirror one another.

Now onto price… There is absolutely no competition, as the Carrera S comes in at a huge $96,400 base price with a manual, and to get the same acceleration as the TT RS, you have to increase your buy in to $100,480 to get the PDK transmission. That’s a $30,430 to $34,510 increase over the Audi – roughly the price of a base BMW 3-Series.

Okay, back to reality. Are we saying that the Audi features the same pure driving fun that the Porsche 911 Carrera S affords you? Absolutely not, as the 911 is a superior handler and its drivetrain is much more in tune. With that precision engineering also comes some serious maintenance in the future, so we come back to the Audi and its relatively simple design. Hmm, interesting dilemma, but we’ll take the TT RS with a side of 328i – you’ve gotta have a beater car.

Conclusion

Audi TT-RS

...if you are willing to give up the Porsche exclusivity for Porsche-like performance for $30K less, we say act now and snag up a TT RS...

Now that we have thoroughly pissed off the Porsche faithful and are likely now only entertaining those that are actually thinking the TT RS is a good deal, we can continue. We absolutely love the TT RS, but there’s one underlying problem, and that is the fact that it may not last too long in Audi’s lineup. Its low fuel economy and severe niche marketing may render it an obsolete trim level soon. So, if you are willing to give up the Porsche exclusivity for Porsche-like performance for $30K less, we say act now and snag up a TT RS before it’s too late.

Audi TT-RS
LOVE IT
  • 4.1 seconds to 60 mph and 174 mph top speed
  • Porsche-like performance at bargain-store pricing
  • Quattro AWD is the best, hands down
LEAVE IT
  • Poor city mpg
  • Looks a little too much like its 911 sibling rival
  • May get hard to find


5 comments:

quite expensive. but then again, it has it all: good looks and even better performance!

although not as good as the porsche, i am sure it’s more than enough. and it looks good too.

the TT use to be a car to go to the hairdresser with, but now it’s a car to take around a track and come back with a messed hair.

i was drawn here by the looks of this car. looking at it’s performance, i can see this one isn’t just a good looking car, but a very powerful one too.

wow, that’s a lot of reading. however, the TT RS is one awesome car. i may think about it when i’ll have an extra 65.000$.

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