RIGHT ON TRACK
The 2018 Audi TT RS displays prowess on mountain highways and urban
The track can expose a weakness before you’ve completed a lap. On the unforgiving tarmac, flaws have no place to hide.
From the first corner it devoured, the 2018 Audi TT RS announced it was ready to be tested in the triple-digit heat on the high desert track north of Los Angeles. Having been developed on the Nürburgring and other racetracks, the car seemed like a lion looking for prey on the hunting grounds of the Serengeti.
The previous-generation Audi TT RS made its mark by reintroducing the turbocharged, inline-5-cylinder engine made famous by the original Audi quattro® road and rally cars of the ’80s. The five-cylinder engine in the 2018 Audi TT RS is 57 lbs lighter compared to the engine in the previous-gen TT RS, thanks to an aluminum-alloy engine block and magnesium upper oil pan frame. By reducing internal friction and adding a dual-injection fueling system that uses both direct and indirect injectors, the engineers increased power up to 400 hp from 5,500 to 7,000 rpm, and torque is up from 343 lb-ft to 354 lb-ft, which is available from 1,650 to 5,850 rpm.
Out of pit lane
With the exhaust placed to a more vocal setting, the engine fired up with a feral bark. And then the driver seat’s lumbar support started increasing pressure, reminding me to sit up straight and pay attention. For the track, you find Dynamic mode in Audi drive select menu. Once you press the button, Audi drive select enters into the Sport settings. Then you can set the Audi virtual cockpit screen to Sport, where the tachometer sits front and center, with the speedometer in the inner circle.
The inline 5-cylinder makes its own style of music because of the number of cylinders and its 1-2-4-5-3 firing order. You can call it a thrum or, making up words here, a “worffle” or a “woofle” as it rises and falls through the rpm range. Power comes on progressively, and you can feel the torque rise from as low as 1,650 rpm, when the turbo starts feeding extra air into the intake.