2018 AUDI TT RS QUATTRO S TRONIC
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...