Video: Audi TT-RS Caught Testing on the Nurburgring

Now that the third-generation Audi TT — due 2016 in the United States — has been unveiled, the Germans are busy working on more powerful iterations of the small coupe. The TTS, which shares a 310-pony, 2.0-liter turbo with the Audi S3 , is already underway with Nurburgring testing having commenced in May 2014. Now, Audi is upping the ante with the range-topping TT-RS model, which showed up on the "Green Hell" wearing a TTS disguise.

How can we tell this is a TT-RS mule and not the TTS we saw earlier in 2014? Well, that’s quite simple. The main clue is that the coupe’s exhaust note indicates the presence of a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine under the hood. The super-powerful five-pot is reserved for vehicles such as the TT-RS and the RS3 , while the Audi TTS, whose body was bolted onto the mule’s chassis, is motivated by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger.

Yes, the next-generation TT-RS gets to keep its five-cylinder engine, but not without the mandatory upgrades that come with each new iteration. Expect output to increase to around 375 horsepower, 20 ponies more than the previous model, and 0-to-60 mph times to drop to four seconds, if not 3.9. Routing the power to all four wheels will be the same seven-speed, twin-clutch transmission. We figure fuel consumption will remain unchanged due to updated internals and a slightly lighter vehicle. The previous TT-RS returned 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, so expect to get the same deal.

Drivetrain aside, the TT-RS is also in for a redesigned body and interior, in line with the new-generation TT. The high-performance coupe will be unveiled by the of 2015 and go on sale for the 2016 model year. In the meantime, hit play to watch the TT-RS lap the Nurburgring track for the first time.


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