In-depth reviews

Audi TT RS review - coupe refreshed after an emissions-enforced hiatus - Engine and gearbox

The Audi TT RS has always appealed by virtue of its excellent powertrain, the very bit that’s been messed with in this mid-cycle update

Evo rating
Price
from £52,450
  • Devastatingly quick, sounds great
  • Adjustability is not the TT RS’s thing

Engine and gearbox

There is something so right about two distinct Audi institutions being so well amalgamated. The TT has become Audi's contemporary trademark, so to fit it with an engine so easily relatable to its historic rally successes, seems to give the whole notion of an RS-badged TT that bit more substance.

The fitting of a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine into the TT is not a new thing though, as the last TT RS also had this type of engine, but whereas the old car used a simple US market-based five-cylinder engine, the new one has an all-new unit, designed specifically for Audi RS models – you’ll also find the engine in the latest Audi RS3.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The main difference between the old and new engines is Audi’s adoption of an aluminium crankcase, itself the main contributor to a total engine weight reduction of 26kg. Alongside impressive figures of 394bhp and 354lb ft of torque, the real talent of this engine is its spread of torque, imbuing the small coupe with a broad and muscular feel throughout the rev range. In order to keep this engine in check with the latest emissions regulations, Audi has had to go to some length, installing particulate filters into the exhaust system, subsequently muffling the engine’s addictive thrum. Not only is the volume down (even with the sports exhaust system fitted), the engine and transmission calibration are more conservative too, with less urgency to the drivetrain, even in Dynamic mode.

Audi exclusively pairs the engine to a seven-speed S-tronic gearbox, a fine partner in crime and, as typical for hot Audis, it is four-wheel drive. As dual-clutch gearboxes go, the TT RS’s high torque rating  makes it slur more than you might expect, while the transmission’s lardy response and turbo lag combine to create a sort of lethargy that can be quite difficult to drive around. The TT RS, like other all-wheel-drive cars on VW’s MQB platform, employs a Haldex system that uses a clutch pack to engage the rear axle whenever the car decides it needs torque at both axles, but never sends any more than 50 per cent to the rear.

Most Popular

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting
Hyundai i20 hatchback

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting

Long-awaited second N division model set to shake up the junior hot hatch establishment
20 Oct 2020
£153,000 ​Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA enters final stages of development
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

£153,000 ​Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA enters final stages of development

Alfa Romeo has put its F1 drivers behind the wheel of the Giulia GTA and GTAm ahead of production in 2021
20 Oct 2020
SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 test mule fires up on video for first time
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 test mule fires up on video for first time

A development car for Gordon Murray’s T.50 supercar has been shown firing up on video
19 Oct 2020