2012 Geneva Motor Show: Audi reveals faster, more powerful TT RS Plus

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 6, 2012

Audi is set to launch the TT RS plus in Roadster and Coupé versions early this year. The vehicle is powered by a five-cylinder turbo, which provides 265 kW (360 hp), enough to achieve a top speed of 280 km/h (173.98 mph). The 2.5-liter TFSI used in the Audi TT RS plus is a high-performance engine. Compared with the engine on which it is derived, this direct-injection, turbocharged powerplant provides 15 kW (20 hp) more power.

It also generates a torque of 465 Nm (342.97 lb-ft), which is 15 Nm (11.06 lb-ft) more than before. The vehicle comes in either the seven-speed S tronic with lightning-fast gearshifts or a manual six-speed transmission. The dual-clutch transmission has a launch control function which optimizes acceleration from a standstill. In addition, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system brings engine power to the road in supreme style. It operates with a multi-plate clutch. How the TT RS plus combines efficiency and dynamics is very impressive indeed.

The Coupé fitted with S tronic accelerates to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) from a standstill in 4.1 seconds. The same acceleration is achieved by the Coupé with manual transmission in 4.3 seconds. Meanwhile, the Roadster version with S tronic completes this same routine in 4.2 seconds while the one with manual transmission can achieve the feat in 4.4 seconds. For all of the vehicle variants, the top speed is limited to 280 km/h (173.98 mph). The S tronic-equipped Coupé utilizes an average of 8.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (27.67 US mpg) only while the Roadster consumes 8.6 liters per 100 km (27.35 US mpg). 

The vehicle model has a high-performance brake system, which can cope with the power of the engine anytime. Four-piston fixed calipers matched with perforated brake disks are fitted on the front axle. The Audi TT RS plus features 19-inch cast wheels of five-arm “Rotor” design, which are finished in black paint with contrasting red rim flanges. The wheels are equipped with 255/35 tires.

Audi magnetic ride, which is an adaptive damping system, is offered as an option. The vehicle model also has a large, fixed rear wing, which boosts downforce at the rear. In Germany, the TT RS plus Coupé fitted with manual transmission has a price tag of €60,650 while the one with the seven-speed S tronic costs €62,800. The TT RS plus Roadster has a list price of €63,500 for the unit with manual transmission and €65,650 for the S tronic-equipped one.

What makes the Audi TT RS exciting for many is that not only is it the latest offering from the brand, it is also the first classic sports car to come from the RS range. Developed by none other than quattro GmbH, this model shows without a doubt that it is a driving machine with pure power. This is the same description many associate with the Audi RS6, and even the Audi RS4.

The main highlight of the TT RS is the new manual six-speed transmission which not only manages to channel the extreme power of the engine but also allows for precise, and surprisingly easy, operation. This is due to the shift lever that has been designed specifically for this model and exhibits a short shift travel. Still on the matter of the transmission, its main quality is that the gear ratios have a narrow spread and the ratio itself has high efficiency. The chassis of the TT RS is another highlight as it utilizes the advanced base TT design.

Playing a significant part in all of this is the four-link suspension in the rear which is able to manage lateral and longitudinal forces, but separately. In addition there is the power steering which is able to adjust depending on how fast the vehicle is currently going. Its electromechanical steering meanwhile is very efficient. The brand also made use of a good mix of different materials like sheet steel in the rear and aluminum for the front.

Through this method, the TT RS is able to offer well-balanced and excellent distribution for the axle load. This also contributes to its remarkable rigidity and amazing crash safety. Overall it sets the foundation for the precise handling that this model delivers. Fitted as standard is the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its main feature can be seen on its rear axle: the hydraulic multi-plate clutch that is electrically controlled.

What this does is that when the need arises, the clutch ensures that a large part of the torque that has been transmitted to the wheels in the front is instead sent to the ones in the rear. It does this by using an electrical pump which works with an accumulator after which the two utilize a hydraulic pressure to press the plates of the clutch together. Of course, every conversation about the Audi TT RS invariably leads to its quattro drivetrain. With this, the model is able to have excellent dynamics, deliver remarkable stability, and amazing traction.

Having been driven around a race track or through winding roads on the mountain, the Audi TT RS is able to offer more than excellent handling. The quattro powertrain of the Audi TT RS also has the constant velocity joint that has been placed before the propeller and the compact rear-axle differential. In fact, these two are heavy-duty parts. Everything about the Audi TT RS shows that it is indeed a sports car.

Examples include how the steering is not only responsive but precise and the way the chassis can react immediately. It also displays neutrality when at the cornering limit and it has good grip when coming out of a curve. Of course, the power delivered by the engine is a factor as well.

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