The Audi TT RS is a 2-door sports coupe/roadster made for those who like the Audi TT, but want a more exhilarating driving experience. The TT RS packs an iconic Audi 2.5L 5-cylinder engine that both drives great and sounds great. As such, the TT RS is the true flagship of the TT range and it offers quite a lot of stuff for the money.
This only makes sense if you are the type of guy who likes these types of cars. The TT is not the most spacious nor the most luxurious car you can get for the money. However, if you are after a sensible performance and luxury compact car combo, the TT RS is somewhat of a class leader in that regard.
When it comes to reliability, the TT RS is not perfect, but that is the case with 99% of cars out there. The most common TT RS issues are related to the engine, high levels of oil consumption, the transmission, the electronics, and the equipment.
If you maintain the car adequately and you change all the fluids when necessary, it should be able to last you a long time. If you are buying a used example, make sure to do a thorough pre-purchase inspection as you don’t want to risk it with such a purpose-made performance car.
Audi TT RS – Engine issues
The Audi TT RS 5-cylinder engine seems to be fairly reliable for the most part and that is why so many people are keen on tuning it. There are many TT RS examples out there with upwards of 600hp which make these small 2-door coupes as fast as some hypercars. However, be sure to check the engine mounts if you are after a used example as these can get worn out over time.
Some owners have reported the engine suffering from flap screws coming loose and making their way into the engine. These are mostly associated with Mk2 TT RS models while newer models seem to be a lot better. Finally, owners have also reported issues with ignition coils, but it seems like these aren’t too common on newer models as well.
Audi TT RS – Oil consumption issues
The Audi TT RS and many other gasoline-powered Audi models are known to go through oil like nobody’s business. Some say that this is normal, but it isn’t as there are many cars with three times the output of the TT RS which do not suffer from these issues. Audi says that this is “normal” for performance cars, but that is hardly the case.
As such, if you are after a used TT RS, be sure to ask the owners about the car’s oil consumption. If you are looking at an example that does like to burn oil a bit too much, you ought to take it to an Audi dealership and demand them to fix the issue for you, especially if your car is under warranty. Otherwise, you can top up the oil more frequently than recommended.
Audi TT RS – Transmission issues
The TT RS comes with a dual-clutch 7-speed Audi S-Tronic gearbox which fits the character of the TT RS really well. It is true that many people miss a manual gearbox in the TT, but the S-Tronic is faster than even the most skilled racing drivers with a manual box. The S-Tronic works fine for the most part, but there are some issues to mention.
First of all, the transmission can get clunky and hesitant, especially while engaging reverse gear. Other issues include slow downshifts and the car being jittery at slower speeds. This can be an issue if you are trying to maneuver slowly.
Audi TT RS – Electrical issues
Electrical issues are common with used Audi models as these cars are usually packed with technology. The most common electrical issues are associated with the virtual cockpit/analog gauge clusters which can either freeze, go blank, or misinform you.
Other electrical issues include faulty power windows regulators, faulty exterior lightning, and problems with interior switch gear.
Audi TT RS – Equipment issues
The TT RS also sometimes suffers from equipment-related issues such as leaky sunroofs, issues with the power roof, and issues with the front trunk latch breaking. Other equipment-related issues include problems with the rear spoiler and saggy sports seats which tend to wear out extremely early in the car’s lifespan.
Should I buy the Audi TT RS?
If you like compact performance cars, the TT RS should definitely be on your radar. This means that there aren’t too many cars that can compete with the TT RS, except maybe the BMW M2. Many performance enthusiasts out there deem these two to be the most driver-focused Audi RS and BMW M models which certainly is high praise.
As such, if you love these types of cars, be sure to consider the TT RS. On the other hand, if you don’t like compact cars at all, the TT RS is definitely a car you should skip.
Is the Audi TT RS a baby Audi R8?
The Audi TT RS can be viewed as a baby version of the Audi flagship supercar, the R8. These two are similar in design, but the TT is a slightly smaller car. Moreover, the R8 features a naturally aspirated V8 while the TT RS uses a 5-cylinder that feels and sounds like a baby R8.
You will not be able to compete with an R8, but you will definitely feel what an R8 can give if you go for the TT RS.
Is the Audi TT RS going out of production?
The Audi TT RS is going out of production as is the case with all other Audi TT models. Audi says that they are going to replace it with something bigger, more emotional, and with four doors. It is true that 2-door compact performance cars are going out of style and the sale charts certainly do remind you of that.
As such, this is a great time to go for an Audi TT RS as the TT RS is likely going to hold its value really well due to the 5-cylinder engine and the fact that the TT is going out of production entirely.