Gimme five and make it a turbo

Audi’s TT RS is a rocket ship of a coupe. Ex­pect to see it here next year, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

THE syn­co­pated beat of a tur­bocharged five-cylin­der mo­tor is com­ing back to Audi. The un­usual en­gine de­sign was the heart of the Qu­at­tro that rev­o­lu­tionised per­for­mance motoring in the 1980s and dom­i­nated the World Rally Cham­pi­onship.

Now the feisty five is com­ing back for a fast-car pace­set­ter called the TT RS.

It won’t be spit­ting flames or roar­ing through an open ex­haust like the en­gines in the Qu­at­tro coupes that con­vinced the world all­wheel drive was the way to put big power on the ground, but Audi prom­ises more than 225kW to turn the TT into some­thing spe­cial.

‘‘It will be a sen­sa­tional lit­tle rocket ship,’’ Audi Aus­tralia spokes­woman Anna Burgdorf says.

The fi­nal fig­ures will not be re­vealed un­til the TT RS makes its de­but in a fort­night at the Geneva Mo­tor Show, but Audi is hint­ing at a four-sec­ond sprint to 100km/h and a po­ten­tial top speed well be­yond its elec­tron­i­cally lim­ited 250km/h.

The TT RS will be built as a coupe and a con­vert­ible, with a bunch of body tweaks to re­flect the mus­cu­lar po­ten­tial of the 2.5-litre en­gine hooked to its qu­at­tro drive sys­tem.

The bad news is a price be­yond $100,000, based on to­day’s TT S at $98,900.

But the good news is that the RS will come to Aus­tralia. It will be sold as a coupe only — the con­vert­ible is con­sid­ered too lim­it­ing— and the tim­ing is about six months af­ter the first de­liv­er­ies in Europe.

‘‘It will def­i­nitely come in 2010 but it’s very hard to tie down a date at this stage,’’ Burgdorf says. She can­not com­ment on de­tails, in­clud­ing the move away from in-line fours and V6s to the new five, but says the TT RS is not a show car or a lim­ited-edi­tion tease.

‘‘It is a pro­duc­tion car. What will be shown on the stand at Geneva is the pro­duc­tion car,’’ she says.

‘‘We don’t know the an­swer on pro­duc­tion num­bers, but it is a reg­u­lar pro­duc­tion model. And the en­gine is a new one that al­lows the TT to per­form ex­tremely well with good fuel econ­omy.’’

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