Audi TT RS Is The Sportiest & Most Powerful Version Of The TT Sports Car

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The last-gen Audi TT RS was a desirable but fairly brutal machine, powered by an iron-block turbocharged five-cylinder, and available to the U.S. buyers with a manual transmission only. Now, thoroughly reworked, the 2018 TT RS has catapulted into the future.

The major mechanical change from the last-gen TT RS is a reworked engine, with an aluminum block, a lighter crankshaft, a magnesium upper sump, an aluminum oil pump, and a number of other measures that slice some 57 pounds from the engine’s weight. That is particularly significant because the engine is entirely forward of the front-wheel centerline.

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Audi TT RS

There’s an all-new engine, the row-it-yourself shifter makes way for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and of course the RS version shares all of the third-gen TT’s lightweight technology and its futuristic user interface.

The engine gets a revised cylinder head, Audi’s variable-valve-lift-and-duration sys on the exhaust camshaft (it switches between cam lobes like Honda’s VTEC sys, although with a different mechanism), the addition of port fuel injection to the existing direct-injection setup, and also boost pressure bumped from 18.1 to 19.6 psi. Those changes increase output from 360 to 400 hp and torque from 343 to 354 lb-ft. Fuel economy is also said to improve slightly, although EPA figures are not yet available. Within the TT model lineup, the engine gives the TT RS 108 more ponies than the TTS and 180 more than the base TT.

It’s launching later this year in the UK, where hopefully we will be able to put one through its paces and see how that stiffened suspension copes with potholes and British tarmac.