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It’s lift-off for the new Audi TT RS … and the unique five-cylinder engine is still the star

By Paul Connolly

Audi has unveiled its latest TT RS model – the range-topping version of the popular two-door sports car.

And the new facelift confirms the continuation of the five-cylinder powerplant that many buyers say gives the car its fun-filled driving personality.

Subtle styling tweaks and a redesigned front and rear end ensure the new model is different from its predecessor, whilst not being out of character.

The RS is the peak of the TT range, appearing in coupe and cabriolet form as the TT RS and TT RS Roadster.

The TT range has been around since 1998, and is now in its third generation. The name comes from a familiar British and Irish motorcycling racing tradition moniker: ‘Tourist Trophy’.

There’s been a multitude of models, including quattro, S-Line, ClubSport and off-road variants, with the RS version at the pinnacle of the range.

The 2019 TT RS becomes available to order in April, delivering hard-edged performance as you’d expect at the top of the brand.

The five-cylinder 2.5-litre petrol engine delivers 400 metric horsepower and 480Nm of torque, enabling a sprint time of 3.7 seconds to 62mph and up to 174mph at the limit.

An even more dynamic design for the body and extra equipment as standard round out the latest updates to the Audi Sport spearhead.

Audi Sport CEO Michael-Julius Renz said: “The new TT RS is in absolute peak form. Like a well-trained athlete, it showcases even more prominently how much power lies beneath its muscular outer skin.”

Audi’s Oliver Hoffmann added: “The outstanding performance is achieved by the low weight, the maximal athletic tuned suspension, and our award-winning five-cylinder.

“We have received the sought-after “International Engine of the Year Award” with the 2.5 TFSI engine for the ninth time in a row.”

Enlarged lateral air inlets are each divided by vertical strips on the inside and outside and extend almost all the way to the front wheel wells, allowing the new TT RS to appear extremely wide.

A continuous front spoiler that is drawn up steeply at each side pulls the front apron down sharply, accentuating the motor sport look.

At the rear, there’s a newly designed fixed rear wing with side winglets, and two large oval exhaust tailpipes create the signature RS finish.

The new TT RS is available in eight different colours, including the new RS-specific colour Kyalami green and the new colours Pulse orange and Turbo blue. Upon request, the matt aluminium and styling package highlights the blade and rear wing. The fabric top of the TT RS Roadster is black. Privacy glass is fitted to the Coupé as part of the standard equipment list.

The powerplant is quattro all-wheel drive, claiming an official (combined fuel consumption 34.9 – 35.8mpg and combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 183 – 181).

The forces of the five-cylinder engine flow via a seven-speed S tronic to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive that distributes the power as needed between the axles via a multi-plate clutch.

Wheel-selective torque control is designed to make handling even more agile and safe. The driver can use the Audi drive select dynamic handling system to influence the quattro drive and other components such as the steering, S tronic, engine characteristic, and exhaust flaps. The four modes available for this are comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual.

There have been unconfirmed reports Audi is considering ending the TT range due to customer preferences for SUVs and the growing impact of electrification on Audi’s strategy.  But the latest upgrade suggests the RS versions still have life in them yet.

Prices are expected to be in the £60k (coupe) and £62k (roadster) range, with orders opening this month for April delivery.

The main TT range – the trim levels are Sport, S line and Black Edition  –  starts from £31,530.

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