When Audi introduced the RS variant of its compact sports car TT line in 2009 exclusively for the European market, buyers in the U.S. felt left out. So enthusiastic were these Audi devotees for the new high-performance Coupé and Roadster, they created an online campaign convincing Audi executives to export the new R8 supercar look-alike to the U.S. for the 2012 model year.
In 2022, after a decade of subtle performance improvements, the RS variant remains competitive with other high-performance sports cars in its class such as the 2022 BMW M2 Competition, Chevrolet Corvette 1LT Stingray Coupe, and the Porsche 718 Cayman.
However, slow sales and a shift in the auto industry toward electrification, have doomed the TT RS for the U.S. market. The 2022 model will be the last year of import and Audi is honoring the line with the TT RS Heritage Edition.
Here are the features of the 2022 Audi TT RS that make it an excellent choice for the enthusiast who wants to participate in the Audi TT RS legacy.
2022 Audi TT RS
- 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 powerplant
- State-of-the-art infotainment system with 12.3-inch display
- Luxurious leather interior
- Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged inline 5 cylinder
- Horsepower: 394 hp
- Torque: 354 lb.-ft.
- Drivetrain: AWD
- Transmission: 7-Speed Automated
- Exception acceleration
- Sleek attractive styling
- Superior handling with AWD
- tiny rear seats
- Limited cabin storage space
Audi 5-Cylinder Engine With Supercar Exhaust Note
While the Audi TT is appealing for its attractive styling with sleek characteristic Audi headlights and a front that resembles the flagship R8 supercar, the standard trim suffers from subpar performance. However, the TT RS corrects the deficiency with a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 powerplant producing 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.
Built with an aluminum-alloy block and cylinder head, the engine includes a 20-valve DOHC valvetrain and features Audi's TFSI (Turbo fuel stratified injection). The system augments power output and creates optimum engine response while improving fuel efficiency with reduced emissions.
Not only does the unique 5-cylinder give the TT RS an exceptional boost, but it also produces a distinctive sound that would convince even the casual observer a supercar is passing by.
Seven-Speed Automated Transmission And AWD
Audi's closest competitors produce more power: 450 hp for the 2022 BMW M2 Competition, 490 hp for the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 1LT Stingray Coupe, and the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman offers several engine options with power varying from 300 to 493 horsepower. However, the Audi TT RS has a superior handling feature lacking in the other three sports cars: the Quattro all-wheel drive. The others use RWD.
The Audi TT RS engine sends power to a lively 7-speed dual-clutch automated transmission and center limited-slip differential. The seven-speed works in various modes. A computer selects the gears for the fully automatic mode based on the selection of D (Drive) or S (Sport) programs. In manual mode, the driver shifts gears with the selector lever or optional rocker switches on the steering wheel for smooth, dynamic, and extremely precise changes.
The Audi TT RS Passes With Ease And Sticks Through The Turns
While the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 1LT Stingray is the fastest accelerating sports car in the segment, reaching 60 mph in a blistering 2.9 seconds and the quarter mile in a mere 11.3 seconds, the 2022 Audi TT RS Coupe is a respectable distance behind. The RS accelerates to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds taking 11.9 seconds to reach the quarter mile, and tops out with a maximum speed of 155 mph.
For the average driver, such responsive acceleration is most evident when passing a slower car on the open highway. The seven-speed transmission effortlessly downshifts upon demand producing an immediate surge that can snap the driver's head back until safely impacting the headrest.
The Audi RS badge signifies a car designed more for driving pleasure than comfort levels and the TT RS is no exception.
The AWD and well-tuned suspension provide better handling than most vehicles that send power only to the rear wheels, and the TT RS standard adaptive dampers provide additional stability making the sports car feel like it is going through the turns on rails. Even inexperienced drivers can take on the most challenging curves with confidence.
The Audi TT RS Luxury Interior And Superior Infotainment System
For a sports car with an emphasis on performance, the Audi TT RS has a surprisingly luxurious interior and up-to-date technology. The front row is spacious and accommodates the driver and passenger in comfortable leather seats with diamond stitching, built for support during hard cornering.
While the driver controls are well-positioned in the cabin, the interior provides limited storage, and the rear seats are so cramped even a small child would find the ride uncomfortable.
Perhaps the best feature of the Audi TT RS interior is its infotainment system with a multi-functional, 12.3-inch touchscreen touted by some critics as the highest quality in the automobile industry. The system's connectivity options include Audi Smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, and Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 12 speakers.
The Audi TT RS Heritage Edition May Be Worth The Extra Bucks
Audi plans to manufacture only 50 Audi TT RS Heritage Edition models in 2022 to commemorate the last RS model sales year in the U.S.
The Heritage Edition sells for $86,395, over $12,000 more than the standard TT RS with an MSRP of $74,295. The limited-edition model that comes in five colors is identical to the TT RS except for a sport exhaust system, OLED exterior lighting, unique 20-inch wheels, and special Heritage Edition logos etched into the rear windows.
While the differences are mostly cosmetic, the limited production may make the Heritage a sought-after model for future collectors and worth the additional investment.