The range-topping TT RS fields some remarkable performance claims - at 3.7sec to 62mph it's well into supercar territory for acceleration figures, and when we first drove the car on track the on-board app recorded a time of 3.4 seconds - quicker even than the 3.5sec evo once recorded in a Ferrari Enzo.
The new RS utilises a revised version of the characterful inline five-cylinder motor found in the RS3. Featuring an all aluminium block, it's 26kg lighter than the previous RS engine. It also has a vast torque range, with its 354lb ft being generated from 1700-5850rpm.
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The range-topping TTS is next quickest. Some 50kg lighter than the previous model, its 2.0-litre TFSI engine puts out 306bhp and 280lf ft of torque – good enough to enable the car to sprint to 62mph in 4.9sec (4.6 for the S-tronic) and onto a limited 155mph top speed.
The acceleration figures are certainly quick enough to put the TTS ahead of its closest rivals (a Cayman takes 5.6sec even with a PDK ’box) and while the four-pot isn’t stirringly musical in its soundtrack (it’s certainly not as characterful as the latest Golf R), there’s a pleasing edge to its voice and you do get the now increasingly common fireworks on a trailing throttle. The engine pulls cleanly and strongly, with hardly a whiff of turbocharging about its very linear delivery.
As for the 2.0-litre 227bhp TFSI petrol TT, performance and response is equally as linear, but character is reduced even further. The engine feels and sounds flat, delivering its 6-second 0-62mph time with relatively little drama.
Even the diesels are brisk. In 2.0 TDI form the TT will reach 62mph in 7.1 seconds from rest. That's in front-wheel drive form, too - opt for the newly-introduced TT TDI with Quattro all-wheel drive, and that time dips to 6.7sec as a result of the traction advantages. Top speed is pegged at 145mph, which should be plenty for most drivers.
Every car in the TT range is as civil as you would expect, especially if equipped with the dual-clutch S-tronic. We’re drawn to the optional manual gearbox, though, as it’s so good to use. Like the steering, there isn’t a great deal of weight to it, but the stubby lever moves satisfyingly slickly and precisely around the gate. It doesn’t feel over-geared either, so you get to enjoy slicing up and down the ratios while still extending the engine to its red line.
Whichever TT you choose, this is a car that definitely leans towards the tamer side of sporty driving. It's a highly functional daily driver with an interior that is a lovely place to sit and while it might boast some fairly impressive performance stats, a Cayman this is not. In fact, you'd find yourself getting more excitement from many similarly priced hot hatches.
As with most sporty Audis, you can adjust the demeanour of the car via the Driver Select menu. Pre-defined Comfort, Auto and Dynamic modes tailor the dampers, steering and engine in the usual fashion, or you can have it your way and mismatch the various settings to your individual taste, something that we’ll come back to later.