2012 Audi TT RS: Nice Car, Too Much Money

2012 Audi TT RS, front

USA Today called the new TT RS “the poor man’s R8.” The latter car costs “$115,450 to $154,350 to start,” whereas the TT RS will come in at $57,725, including shipping.

Both are overpriced. For that kind of money, you can buy a Porsche Boxster or Cayman with real handling and sports-car performance. Audis like this have always struck me as just a little too frou-frou, a little too Teutonic slick. These are cars for the sports-car poseur, not the real enthusiast.

That said, the new TT RS, going on sale this summer, will please those who like 5-cylinder power, Quattro all-wheel-drive, a 6-speed manual, “magnetic ride control” and of course all the goodies—electro- and otherwise—like 10-way power seats.

The engine is strong: a 2.5-liter turbo with direct injection, producing 360 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque to get you to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The entry-level TT, on the other hand, gets only a 211-hp turbo 4-cylinder but costs nearly $20,000 less than the RS.

2012 Audi TT RS, rearThe cabin is a rather cramped 2+2 configuration (32.6-inch headroom in the back seat), which might accommodate kids and dogs who like getting thrown around in corners. You also get stone-ugly 19-inch rims (see right), larger air intakes in front, and other dressy performance options to visually distinguish the car.

Despite all my carping, this car will definitely find a limited market in the U.S. It has lots of power, a typically well-conceived and finished Audi interior, and styling that has proven its appeal to many.

I still don’t like sports-car poseurs.

What’s your reaction to the 2012 Audi TT RS’s pricing? Is such a car worth almost $60K?

—jgoods

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1 Comment

  1. I always thought the TT roadster was a nice looking car. Something like an expensive electric shaver on wheels. I haver had a chance to drive one, although I did hear about the tendency to turn into a SAAB (and take off like a fighter jet) at very high speeds. This version doesn’t really do it for me, I’d rather have a beemer. Audi has always forced itself to labor under a pseudo-lux handicap, and I’d like to see what they could produce if they’d drop all the gadgets (including quattro and turbos) and make a real stripped down balls2thewall sports car.

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