The new Audi TT-RS isn’t expected to be unveiled until later in the year as prototypes of the car are still hammering out some lap times around the Nürburgring. But one recent excursion around the infamous “Green Hell” ended pretty badly for one of the prototypes as a test driver crashed a prototype into one of the circuit’s metal fences. The damage wasn’t extensive, but it was enough to cause some dings on the rear end, specifically on the area where the taillight clusters are supposed to be.
Seeing as how overly protective automakers are of the finer details of their cars ahead of their scheduled debuts, the test driver, with the help of a colleague who was testing his own TT-RS prototype, quickly sprung to action to cover the entire mule car as they waited for a flatbed to come pick it up and take it away for inspection.
The video does show glimpses of the damage caused by the car but more importantly, precious few seconds passed with the front door of the car swung open, giving us a look at the car’s interior. There is some distance from where the video was shot so it’s not as clear of a look as I’d like, but if my eyes don’t deceive me, that steering wheel looks a lot like the steering wheel from the TT-S model.
The prototype was eventually scampered of to safety, but not before the whole episode gave us a better understanding on the lengths automakers really go through to keep their prototypes away from the prying eyes of those video cameras.
Why it matters
The actual crash wasn’t actually caught on video but from the looks of things, the damage done to the Audi TT-RS prototype looks to be minimal. The driver should consider himself lucky that he didn’t hurt himself from pushing the testing too hard. We all know that the ‘Ring has a reputation for swallowing up some cars so in some ways, you can chalk this TT-RS prototype up as another victim of the infamous Green Hell.
That said, the really interesting part of this whole episode was the reaction of the test driver upon noticing that there were cameras recording the whole thing. The reaction itself wasn’t captured on camera, but judging by how feverishly the test driver and his partner were trying to cover up the TT-RS prototype, it shows how important it was for Audi to keep some of the details of the car from being caught on video.
That points to the long-held belief that automakers will do anything to keep those details as closely guarded as possible until the car’s scheduled release. It becomes even more important in events of a crash because you never know how the damage to the car will look like in front of the cameras. Maybe something about the architecture gets captured. Maybe some detail gets exposed. Worse, maybe the camouflages come off completely and you see a majority of the car in its glory.
Nobody can really tell how accidents like this will turn out, which is why the immediate reaction of the test driver wasn’t to check the extent of the damage, but to cover up the car entirely as quickly as possible. If anything, it’s fascinating to watch and even if it’s a small sample, it sheds a light on how these drivers are instructed in the event something like this happens.
Audi TT RS