New Audi TT RS in Australia from mid-2017, priced from around $145k

New Audi TT RS in Australia from mid-2017, priced from around $145k

The second-generation Audi TT RS coupe will hit local showrooms for “around $145,000” when the flagship variant of the small sports coupe lands in Oz in mid-2017.

Its drop-top twin, the first-ever TT RS Roadster, has yet to be rubber stamped for importation, though Audi Australia has suggested that the two-door version would “likely be five grand more (expensive)”.

Like for like, the TT RS coupe marks a modest price hike over its ostensible replacement, the first-generation TT RS Plus, which listed for $139,990 before on-road costs. At $145k-odd, the new RennSport-developed coupe is over twice the price of the entry-level three-door manual TT, which is currently $71,950 (plus on-roads).

The production version of the high-performance TT makes good on promises made at its debut at the Beijing motor show back in April, with 294kW and 480Nm produced by its 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine. Outputs are 29kW and 15Nm up over the older, ultimate Plus version.

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Claimed 0-100km/h acceleration is a scintillating 3.7sec – a 0.4sec improvement over the outgoing Plus – for the coupe and a slightly more leisurely 3.9sec for the Roadster. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h though, as with other RS models, it can be cost-optionally raised to 280km/h.

Both are exclusively offered with seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmissions and RennSport-enhanced quattro permanent all-wheel drive, while acceleration prowess is aided by a launch control system.

The new TT RS marks two milestones for series production Audis. Firstly there’s the debut of its Matrix OLED – pronounced “oh-led” by its maker and meaning ‘organic light-emitting diode’ – technology, a thin-film LED application offering a bespoke three-dimensional effect to the (optional) taillights.

More crucially, perhaps, is the introduction of an all-new five-cylinder engine design.

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The 2480cc inline five is not the same iron block unit as fitted to the old TT RS or current RS3 hatchback, but instead a revamped design with all-aluminium construction. The crankcase and bedpan are new, the crankshaft is hollow (whereas the RS3 engine’s is solid), the (port and direct) dual-injected top end is completely revised, as is the turbocharger unit. All up, the new engine is said to be 26 kilograms lighter as result.

Official average combined-cycle fuel consumption claims are 8.2L/100kms for the coupe – a saving of 0.3L over its predecessor – and 8.3L for the Roadster. Despite some 17-per cent extra power, part of the consumption benefit is attributed to lower kerb weight, the coupe tipping the scales at 1440kg, a saving of 35kg over previous TT RSs models. Compared with the coupe, the Roadster is 90kg heftier, at 1530kg.

The Roadster’s convertible soft top is electrically operated and can be raised or stowed within 10 seconds while the car is travelling a speeds of up to 50km/h.

The steering and ESP tuning are RS specific and globally there’s a choice of either static or optional adaptively damped suspension systems, both 10mm lower than other TT variants.

In Europe, 19-inch wheels with 245mm tyres are standard while 20-inch rims shod with wider 255mm rubber is optional. The standard brake package includes eight-piston/370-mm steel front disc assembly, while a six-piston/carbon-ceramic system is optional in both Australia and Europe.

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The TT RS is available in nine different exterior paint colours as well as a choice of optional matt silver or gloss black accents, with a further choice of ‘Audi exclusive’ hues on special order request. Interior fitment comes in four different colour combination schemes.

Inside, the global menu offers a choice of Alcantara or Nappa leather trim on a choice of either regular RS bucket seats or (optional for Europe) electro-pneumatic high-spec seating with adjustable side bolsters.

The steering wheel has been lifted from the R8 supercar and features both a Start/Stop button and a Drive Mode button, the latter allowing the driver to switch between Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and assignable Individual driving modes.

The Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch digital driver’s display has an animated RS ‘view’ adopting a centralised tacho where, once the gearbox’s manual mode is engaged, the tacho ‘needle bar’ graduates from green through orange and red and then flashes red as an upchange indicator at redline. This mode also displays output and g-force meters.

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The RennSport version debuts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity though it’s unconfirmed if a new Audi Sport Performance app developed for the car will be available for the Australian version. This app logs a number of car parameters such as speed, time, rpm, steering angle, G-force, throttle position and brake pressure for use on racetracks via database or road via Google-sourced sat-nav.

While exact specifications are yet to be confirmed, Audi Australia has revealed that the “expected standard equipment” will include 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, the high-spec electro-pneumatic seats with heating, rear parking camera, smartphone connectivity, MMI Navigation Plus, active lane-keep assist and blind spot monitoring.

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