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First Drive: 2012 Audi TT RS

Return of a performance line.

by on Oct.18, 2011

Audi brings back its performance badge with the launch of the 2012 Audi TT RS.

We’ve never understood why Audi has been so stingy with its performance line-up.

True, there was a time when BMW’s M models and the Mercedes-Benz AMG offerings would come and go, disappearing for a model-year or two, but these days they are mainstays of their respective brands.  Not so the comparable Audi RS line, which hasn’t planted its badge on a U.S. offering in three years.

The good news is that the performance brand-within-a-brand is back, making its return debut on the 2012 Audi TT RS – with the RS5 set to follow.  That’s not the best-kept secret, we have to admit, Audi having set out to slowly build buzz with some carefully crafted social media campaigns over the past 18 months – which only made us more eager to climb behind the wheel when given the chance.

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Our destination: New England and upstate New York, a perfect time of the year considering the fall colors.  Or, at least it would be were it not for the steady drizzle that threatened to drench our initial enthusiasm.  Then again, considering the 2012 Audi TT RS will only be offered with the German maker’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, we came to realize it really was the perfect opportunity to test the car’s mettle.


Sneak Peek: 2010 Audi TT RS

Top-performance from a two-seater.

by on Feb.27, 2009

Audi TT RS: Cabrio or Coupe

Audi TT RS: Cabrio or Coupe

Audi’s got an assortment of new products to reveal in Geneva, next week, but is lifting the covers a bit early. We’ll have some pics of the all-new allroad for you, as well as the top-range model of the Audi TT line-up, the TT RS, shown here.

Those add-on initials stand for either Renn Sport or racing sport, as you prefer, but there’ll be no debate about the performance of the new car, which relies on Audi’s inline-five-cylinder engine. The I-5 configuration has a long history within the VW luxury brand. The first time the Germans used an I-5 was in the Audi 100/5000 in 1977. Seven years later, the 200 Turbo, with an inline-five making 170 horsepower, became the world’s fastest four-door model.

The new 2.5-liter five cylinder engine for the TT RS combines direct injection and turbo technology to punch through the 300 hp barrier. The light weight model, based on Audi’s Spaceframe technology, should be able to reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.