After two decades of production, Audi plans to scrap the TT in 2023, leaving the brand without a small sports car for the first time since the 1990s. An electric replacement for the car is planned, but that’s reportedly only in the early stages of development for now, and it could very well be bigger, heavier and even potentially a four-door according to Auto Express† So the 2022 TT RS is the last hurray of the top-level TT as we know it, and to mark the occasion, Audi has unveiled an ultra-limited Heritage Edition specific to the US market.
But the question remains, can the TT RS still compete with its rivals when it comes to the real driving experience? It certainly offers some unique features and quirks, but it faces a lot of competition, both from old enemies like the Porsche Cayman and new blood like the Toyota Supra† Let’s take a closer look at what the smallest sporty Audi does right and wrong, and how it compares to its competition.
10 Unique five-cylinder engine
In a world of highly edgy four-cylinder and turbocharged V6s, the TT RS stands alone in offering a five-cylinder engine, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. No manual option here, unfortunately.
Paired with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive, it’s a surprisingly powerful unit, with plenty of willingness to give an extra boost of acceleration even at higher speeds. The seven-speed automatic transmission downshifts quickly and acceleration remains fast all the way to the car’s red line.
9 Precise Control
The TT RS is in every way the athletic sports car buyers expect, but it’s also a docile highway cruiser when not driven hard. It feels precise and predictable whether on a highway or back road, although drivers accustomed to the thrilling curves of the Porsche Cayman can’t quite replicate that with the TT RS considering its AWD.
The biggest American TT RS rival, the Chevrolet Corvette, may also be a more capable car in terms of raw performance, and it will remain planted at higher cornering speeds than the TT RS will be able to. It’s not that the Audi disappoints, far from it, but it’s not the class leader in handling and hasn’t been for years.
8 Tight interior
Audis are known for their sleek yet stylish interiors, and the TT RS is no different. A carefully crafted selection of leather and polished aluminum greets the driver as he steps inside, nowhere cheap-feeling hard plastic.
The downside to this focus on clean minimalism is that the TT RS lacks some of the luxury features that its rivals offer: the seats, for example, have no memory function for the driver or passenger and the steering wheel is not adjustable. It seems like an odd omission considering the TT RS is such a driver-focused car, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.
7 Exclusive Heritage Edition
To commemorate the end of the TT’s long production run, Audi unveiled five special edition TT RS models, each limited to just 10 units. These models get unique paintwork and a revised interior, and of course buyers can brag by saying they own one of the rarest TT variants ever made.
At $86,500, however, the Heritage Edition represents a price increase of about $12,000 over the regular TT RS, so it’s worth considering whether what’s essentially a unique paint job, nicer interior, and limited-edition plaque really is that much. is worth extra.
6 Feature-rich infotainment
With the TT RS’s small cabin, Audi had less dashboard space to work with than most other Audi models, and the compromise is that it lacks the nearly ubiquitous central infotainment screen, with a smaller screen in the space usually taken up. cluster by the meter instead.
Despite its first appearances, the TT RS manages to pack a lot of technical features, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a WiFi hotspot all available as standard. A 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo setup is also standard.
5 Surprising efficiency
As the price of gas continues to rise, efficiency becomes a more relevant topic, even in segments where it traditionally didn’t matter, such as sports cars. The TT RS is surprisingly efficient given its fast performance, beating many of its rivals.
Reviews from the EPA estimate that the TT RS will earn 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Car and Driver did a real efficiency test at 120 km/h along a highway and found the TT RS even surpassed its EPA ratingsreturning 31 mpg.
4 Good cargo space, bad back seat
The rear seat of a sports car will never be the most important factor, yet it is almost comical how useless the rear seat of the TT RS is. Even a kid would struggle to sit in them, so it’s a mystery why Audi even bothered including them in the first place.
Fold those seats down, though, and drivers are greeted with one of the most generous cargo spaces in the sports car segment. It still won’t fit a larger passenger car or even a crossover, but it’s easy to see how the TT RS could be used as a grocer and general commuter if the driver so chooses.
3 Competitive Warranty
An extended warranty is always good for a buyer’s peace of mind, especially since Audi is not known for their high reliability scores. The TT RS’s powertrain and limited warranty both cover four years or 50,000 miles, broadly competitive with what else is offered in the segment.
It would be nice to see some free maintenance though, especially since many rivals offer at least some maintenance for free. The Jaguar F-Type even offers five years of free maintenance, so it’s disappointing that the TT RS offers absolutely nothing, especially for the price.
2 Reasonable prices
As for pricing, the asking price of the TT RS is reasonable, around $74,000 for the standard equipment. As mentioned, opting for a limited-edition Heritage Edition car will push the price up to $86,000, making it roughly the same as a Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 for context.
A well-specified Corvette costs about $75,000, but a top-spec Supra costs about $65,000, undercutting both by a significant margin. A base spec Jaguar F-Type also costs about $75,000, putting the TT RS firmly in the middle of the pack, not a bargain, but certainly not too expensive either.
1 Final verdict
Overall, the TT RS has done a great job of remaining an exciting yet livable sports car, even as newer rivals offer better performance or a more luxurious interior. It’s not a bargain, especially in Heritage Edition form, but it makes up for that by being the last of its kind, the end of an era that Audi just has no intention of ever replicating.
It’s hard to say the TT RS offers the best value in the sports car segment, but it certainly has a host of unique selling points and remains one of the few cars with a five-cylinder engine, period. It’s no longer the standout bargain it was twenty years ago, but the 2022 TT RS is a fitting swan song to Audi’s venerable little sports car.
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