Automobile - - All - Stars 2018 -

Five Cylin­ders of Fun

The TT RS gar­nered acres of ado­ra­tion from our merry band, but de­spite the love fest, the arc-shaped Audi didn’t quite stand out enough to match the stature of this year’s heavy hit­ters. “I love this car,” on­line edi­tor Ed Ta­haney ad­mit­ted, “but I’m a lit­tle bi­ased be­cause I now own a first-gen­er­a­tion TT Road­ster. This five-banger is a hoot to drive on the street and track.”

The novel five-cylin­der en­gine seemed cen­tral to the TT RS’ theme of be­ing well­liked, as it pro­duces a broad swath of smooth-spin­ning torque while op­er­at­ing in har­mony with the quick­shift­ing dual-clutch sev­en­speed trans­mis­sion. “I had to place a vote for this be­cause it’s such a spe­cial con­fig­u­ra­tion,” Re­hbock en­thused. “I loved driv­ing it on the track and was able to just crush cor­ners in it. The cabin is re­ally amaz­ing as well, and it of­fers far more space than you would ex­pect.”

The open space around the dash­board re­calls the in­te­rior lay­out of early Porsche 911s, and the cabin’s over­all de­sign di­rec­tion lends it a con­tem­po­rary, tech-savvy feel. Also aid­ing its case is in­cre­men­tally edgier style than most Audi of­fer­ings.

How­ever, not all were en­tirely smit­ten by the TT RS bug, with sev­eral edi­tors call­ing out its hefty $80,200 as-tested price, which pushes well into Porsche 718 Cay­man S ter­ri­tory. “It’s not a bad car—not at all,” Nel­son said, “but all I can think when I’m be­hind the wheel of the new TT RS is how badly I want to be driv­ing the last TT RS, a truly great and en­gag­ing coupe with its pri­or­i­ties straight.” That dis­tinc­tion be­tween good and great is what sep­a­rated the con­tenders from the win­ners at this year’s All-Stars.

— Basem Wasef

PRICE: $65,875/$80,200 (base/as tested) EN­GINE: 2.5L DOHC 20-valve turbo I-5/400 hp @ 5,850-7,000 rpm, 354 lb-ft @ 1,700-5,850 rpm TRANS­MIS­SION: 7-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic LAY­OUT: 2-door, 4-pas­sen­ger, front-en­gine, AWD coupe EPA MILEAGE: 19/29...

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