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More powerful TT-RS coming in May

2011-03-09 11:08

POWER PLUS: The standard TT-RS is very much at home on a circuit. Audi’s new Plus version should be an even more accomplished track-day machine.

Audi’s TT-RS is the company’s unheralded halo car.

When it was launched in 2010 the car was intended to revisit all that was good about Audi’s seminal performance machine, the original quattro.

To ensure it stayed true to that heritage the TT-RS has a turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine (Audi’s first forced-induction five-pot in nearly two decades), sophisticated all-wheel drive and BMW M3 humbling performance.

As a package, the TT-RS's effortless pace and unflappable agility have made it a giant-killer in the sports coupe market. Detractors point to its garish aerodynamic styling aids but the fact remains: the TT-RS is one of the quickest working-world performance cars from A-to-B.


The car was launched with a six-speed manual transmission but Audi’s now added a lightning-quick dual-clutch transmission derivative and one honestly questions how the TT-RS could be further improved.

Well, you can never have quite enough power, now can you?

With the imminent launch of the RS3 (powered by the same 2.5-litre 250kW engine), Audi feels the performance discrepancy between its new high-performance Sportback and TT-RS could become too close for comfort.

The fix? Audi’s new TT-RS Plus.

A leaked internal product planning document from Audi details the existence of this new TT-RS, with its Plus suffix adding 15kW to take the engine to 265kW. Besides the boost in power, the car should feature a raft of light composite components (following the R8 GT’s design example), to reduce weight.

SAYS SO IN THE MEMO: The leaked document detailing Audi’s TT-RS Plus…

With more power and a lower licensing mass, the seven-speed S Tronic-equipped TT-RS could become something of an embarrassment to 911 Carrera owners. Consider the Audi's all-wheel drive traction and forced-induction boosted mid-range torque and its ability to run with (and away from) an entry-level Porsche 911 in certain dynamic driving scenarios, will be hugely upsetting to those who fervently believe in the traditional German performance-car hierarchy.

With the VW Group's best engineering projects all going the way of Porsche recently, Audi's TT-RS Plus is a none-too-subtle sign that Ingolstadt believes it can produce performance sports coupes on an equal footing with Zuffenhausen.

Perhaps even better...

Although most details are very much speculation at this stage, Audi is expected to launch the TT-RS Plus in May 2011 - a date coinciding perfectly with the start of the European summer driving season.

We asked Audi SA to comment on its future in South Africa - "Not for SA" was the terse comment - which at least confirms the car's existence.


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