In a world that is currently drooling over anything and everything that is inches off the ground and calls itself a crossover or an SUV, it is extremely tough for the manufacturers to push along cars that have been engineered and produced to be fast and low. The Audi TT RS is the feistiest TT one can go and grab right now, but I don’t believe that the long line that we see outside an Audi showroom is for the 2020 TT-RS. The TT-RS is an Audi RS vehicle to the core with its sharp handling, amazing four-wheel drive and oodles of power that could see it scorching the asphalt even though it usually gets overshadowed considerably by the Porsche 718 Cayman S and the Chevrolet Corvette.
At a glance, the 2020 Audi is moving forward with the new family frontend that it shares quite a bit with it’s elder sibling the Audi R8 but the TT-RS is much more manageable due to it’s more compact dimensions. The 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engines push out an extremely respectable 394 hp that makes it blisteringly fast for its weight class. The engine is paired to the ever famous Quattro All-Wheel Drive system and is coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The engine is quite a gem on the TT-RS as it comes in the rather odd configuration of a 5 cylinder but we have certainly no complaints when it sounds as good as it does on the 2020 TT-RS. The power that is available on tap for the driver is astonishing, to say the least as you don’t expect how viciously the TT-RS shoves you in the seat when you flex a little bit of that right foot. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is blisteringly quick between gear shifts and downshifts, the moment you even think about it. The engine and gearbox combo is so well-tuned together that passing people on the highway is a job that doesn’t even need quarter throttle. It is not just all brute power in the TT-RS’s cabin as the moment you ease off on the accelerator pedal, the car slots into a higher gear and suddenly turns into a very comfortable cruiser which ensures that you very well can use it as your daily driver. The TT-RS can also be had with an adaptive suspension that is adjustable on the fly and keeps the vehicle glued to the road even though all the twists and turns of a mountain pass. The confidence that it inspires in the driver is quite admirable as one would unexpectedly push the car harder than usual through bends which goes to show how well Audi has tuned their TT-RS. The TT-RS’s suspension is a very capable setup in isolation, but when pitched against the likes of the Corvette and the Porsche 718 Cayman, it isn’t necessarily the best that you could spend your cash on and if track days aren’t your primary ordeal you can certainly skip on the Dynamic Plus package that gets you the adaptive suspension.
When you move to the inside of the Audi TT-RS, you are greeted with amazing and rich interiors that are something that has become a staple in modern Audi’s as they have certainly found their groove in the anterior segment. Leather seats with diamond stitching are standard and look fantastic when juxtaposed alongside the aluminum trim present in the cabin. The TT-RS also comes with the Audi Virtual Cockpit that is seen on other modern Audi cars and to be brutally honest, it is the best system you can have period. Having gone through multiple digital gauge clusters, I have personally found no other system to be as rich, polished and aesthetically pleasing as the Virtual Cockpit as it is one of the few systems that feels more like an actual gauge cluster and less like a stuck on the screen with huge bezels. The TT-Rs might come with some decent level of kit on offer but it gets no prizes as it misses out on quite a few expected features in the form of the ventilated front seat, power-adjustable steering wheel, and memory functionality. The rear seats on the TT-RS are just as useable as any other 2+2 in the segment which entails that either you need to have no legs to even contemplate sitting in them, or you can use them for holding your everyday items such as backpacks and other nick nacks. Personally, I feel that using it as a storage area makes more sense as amputating yourself to fit in the back would be quite extreme and the TT-RS anyways doesn’t have a lot of room in the cargo department. The liftback style boot has a long opening and looks nice but the narrow opening makes it ever so impractical. The TT-RS might be the best of the bunch at eating luggage when you combine the rear seat storage and the boot as no other car in the segment would be able to stuff itself up like the TT-RS even though we are using seats that weren’t intended for this- or were they?
The infotainment system inside the 2020 TT-RS is a similar affair to other Audi’s as it gets the Audi MMI system which is intuitive and fluid to use. Unlike other Audi’s where one usually gets a central display or touch screen, the Audi TT-RS has to make do with the Virtual Cockpit display as the primary infotainment screen too as Audi decided to open up a little bit more space in an otherwise compact cabin by opting for this particular approach.
The TT-RS, therefore, comes from a much-respected manufacturer that has a history of making exceptional performance monsters via the RS lineup and the TT-RS is no exception. Yes, it may not be the best handler or the most feature-rich or even the most striking looking but there isn’t any domain where the Audi falls short of bloody great on its own. The moment you look at the TT-RS in isolation to its competition you realize how much of a value the TT-RS brings to the table and if you are one of the chosen few that would rather have a sports car than a big hunk of metal called an SUV, you could never go wrong with the 2020 TT-RS.