The Audi TT RS Is The Perfect Entry Point To The 400HP Club, If You Can Afford It

Harnessing 400hp on the road requires some skill, but the 2018 Audi TT RS makes it seem easier than you might think.

The combination of the Quattro all-wheel drive with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission means that grip is always there and shifting a gear is just a pull of a paddle away.

Add to that the multi-awarded five-cylinder 2.5-liter turbo engine that makes 400hp and 354lb-ft and one of the most characterful soundtracks on the segment, and the TT RS suddenly becomes a more appealing package than what its style-heavy approach might suggest.

Straight-line performance is easily comparable with much more expensive metal, as the German coupe can hit 60mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds and it won’t stop accelerating until it hits 174mph if you tick the optional Dynamic Plus package.

Despite the impressive numbers, the TT RS remains a friendly car to drive fast, presenting easy-to-control understeer close to the limit. It might not be the most fascinating sports car out there, but it makes really fast progress with the least amount of effort from the driver.

As Carlos Lago from Edmunds explains, the TT RS is an impressive car, but at its price range, the competition is really stiff.


  • Vanquish

    for $80,000 for what is essentially an A3 coupe should be alot more than a good “entry” point to be honest………..the reviewer didnt sound impressed at all. It was sort of the passive aggressive compliment someone gives when they dont think they should say anything bad or negative..The TT RS looks nice like the TTS does (how the TT looks bland its the same car im not sure but it does) but its a FWD hatchback at its core thats more style than substance

  • Wandering_Spirit

    I’d rather go for an Alpine despite the gap in power. I like the TT, but it’s not for me.

  • Vassilis

    Isn’t the RS3 the perfect entry point to 400 hp? It’s cheaper to begin with and it’s also more practical while probably being better to drive.

    • Vanquish

      well no if youre just talking the perfect entry point for 400 hp it would be something alot cheaper than a 56k jetta but at least its cheaper than a TT RS…

      • Vassilis

        You really think the RS3 is simply a 56k Jetta?

        • Vanquish

          thats all it is, it is the fastest version of the A3, Audis version of the Jetta….slapping an RS badge on it doesnt give it any nicer interior than the regular A3 nor does it change the fact its still just a slightly and I do mean slightly nicer jetta variant chock full of rubberized plastics and seats with manual controls. Youre essentially paying for the engine and no matter the benefit of an engine that started life as the base engine in the last gen jetta it doesnt make the RS3 a completely different car than the A3

          • Vassilis

            OK. First of all the A3 is Audi’s premium version of the Golf, not the Jetta. Second, the Jetta you mention is based on an entirely different platform. The latest one is MQB-based but that doesn’t make them the same cars because everything else is very different. Engine, suspension, transmission, everything that matters. Third, the RS3s’s 5 cylinder is completely different to the one you mention. It’s a brand new engine.

            The RS3 is on an entirely different level to a plain A3. There are similarities in many things obviously but the things that differentiate them make the RS version be a class apart.

          • Vanquish

            Hmm yeah DEAD WRONG…The 5 cylinder in the RS5 and this TT RS is the same engine that was in the last TT RS which was a version of the SAME engine used in the base Jetta so please save the made up fanboy information to make the love of your life sound better.The A3 is still nothing more than an economy car with derivative Audi styling, and a cheap looking and feeling interior the RS3 has the same interior as the A3 despite your fanboy wish list it is nothing more than an econobox masquerading as a luxury car……..Upgrading the suspension and giving it a new transmission doesnt make it a new car just like the M3 is still a 3 series except the 3 series didnt start life as an economy car with an interior that would have worked in a matchbox car…

          • Vassilis

            Please tell me you meant to write RS3 and you don’t actually think the RS5 has a 5 cylinder. Anyway, it’s not the same engine. Are you familiar with engine codes? The Jetta’s you mention is BGP, the RS3’s DAZA. The RS3’s is an engine designed by Quattro GmbH, not VW. The block is different, the internals are different, every part is different. The Jetta’s engine is discontinued.

            I’m sure you think you’re very clever right now but you’re only embarrassing yourself so just stop. You’re simply wrong. Also, I’m no fanboy. I just appreciate a good car. You instead, are wrongly belittling it, who knows why. Stop being so biased and have so much hate for a car.

  • smartacus

    Leaving MOTOR TREND was
    the best possible career move
    this guy ever made!!

    MT has gone to the dogs with
    that Johnny Loserman
    sucking-off everyone for free
    just to keep his job.

    • Evan McMaster

      lolol savage

  • SteersUright

    Very cool car, quite overpriced. At $60k this would’ve fared much better. At $80, sorry, I’ll pick up a lightly used 2016 911 all day over this.

    • Evan McMaster

      But the TTRS is faster than every 2016 911 thats not a Turbo or Turbo S

      • Vanquish

        yeah youre wrong there… a long shot….an 11.9second quarter mile???? thats Mustang GT, Camaro SS, and Challenger fast and that was with launch control…..not to mention without using launch control its really no faster than a Base cayman??? quite unimpressive at 80k

        • Evan McMaster

          The 2018 TTRS does 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and does an 11.9 quarter mile.
          A 2016 Carrera S does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and does a 12.2 qm.
          A 2016 Carrera GTS does 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and does an 11.9 qm.
          A 2018 base Cayman does 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and does a12.8 qm.
          So on all accounts you are wrong.

          • Evan McMaster

            Although the official Porsche website says the base 2018 718 Cayman does 0-60 in 5.1 seconds.

          • Vanquish

            with bogus information where to start……..we both watched a video showing it does a high 4 second o to 60 without launch control I didnt make that up, I didnt make up its 11.9 second quarter either or the fact that a Cayman S equipped with a PDK would dominate this car in every regard leaving it to fight against the base model with a PDK not a manual since this TT doesnt come with one……………you mentioned the TT RS is faster than “EVERY” 911 except the Turbo or Turbo S….just for dramatic effect I’ll repeat that again a TT RS is faster than “EVERY 2016 911 EXCEPT A TURBO OR TURBO S”…..the 911 a car with about as many variants as its had generations…..1st ALL variants of the 911 of that year had a higher top speed so youre already wrong before getting into any other times, the 911 GTS,S, 4S, R and GT3 RS all are faster in the Qtr mile and the GT3 RS is faster to 60, QTR mile and top speed

            If youre going to compare the TT to the legendary 911 at least have your facts straight……manipulating numbers with nonsense wont work. Porsche times are fairly conservative from the factory the fact a PDK Cayman S is quicker to 60 and in the quarter mile versus the TT RS is proof of that……no dice

          • Jon Malloch Brown

            Cayman S official 0-60mph from Porche website says 4.2 seconds with PDK and launch control. Thats still half a second slower than the TTRS. As for the 1/4 mile the Porche is 1/10th second slower so close but no cigar!

          • Vanquish

            Another blog troll fishing for relevance……AGAIN PORSCHE TIMES ARE CONSERVATIVE…….O to 60 in 3.5 seconds 11.7 quarter mile with 50 less horsepower and 1 less cylinder and Ill play your game 3.6 seconds according to Audis official numbers for this VW Golf coupe…..again…no dice

          • Jon Malloch Brown

            So you want to compare unofficial Porsche times to official Audi times, yes that is fair! I have seen a stock TTRS do a 3.36 second 0-60. Don’t get me wrong the Cayman is a great car (I presume you think so too?) but its still slower to 60 than the car you a describe as joke!

          • Vanquish

            lol not to mention every test of this TT RS talk about how its not a real competitor to the 718 Cayman…so its just a fast TT a car that is not even a real performance car in the first place…this car is a joke, its all style and no substance ……

          • Jon Malloch Brown

            Sorry mate, Audis figures are conservative too! I have seen a stock TTRS do a 3.36 second 0-60 – Dont get me wrong the Cayman is a fantastic car and officially it is 2 seconds faster round the Nurburgring with same pro driver behind the wheel of both cars. So i guess its just a question of taste or practicality and opinions will always be divided there. Enjoy the clip:

      • SteersUright

        Look, I’ll give you that the TTRS is exceptionally fast and I adore that inline-5 (wish it found the true sports car chassis it deserved). But sports cars are about so much more than a straight line for me. They evoke emotion in every sense, from design to sound, to feel. Drive a TTRS, be astonished by its speed. Once that fades you’re left with understeer, nose-heavy, somewhat numb sports car. Its certainly good and appealing. But at $80k, it doesn’t measure up. If you’re able, get on Turo and rent a Porsche 911 S, GTS, or even a Cayman/Boxster S, or GTS. Surely, these are just to my own preference, but I’d be curious if you’d have a better grasp of what I mean. I regularly derided the “overpriced” Porsche experience, for years in fact. Then I almost accidentally rented a 2015 911 S cabriolet in Vegas for the heck of it. When the road turned twisty and that flat-6 barked, growled, popped and screamed I didn’t even understand what was happening and why I was falling so hard for it. Also, I’ve never experience a PDK until then. Whoa, its like playing Formula-1 driver with its lightning quick shifts. Then I cruised 200miles back home in the same beast and guess what, it was comfortable and quiet on the highway, almost 2 cars in one.
        See it isn’t necessarily the speed that stuck with me, it was the experience.

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