Potent new Audi TT RS takes five at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show

At the 2009 Geneva Motor Show (March 5th to 15th) the spirit of the revolutionary Audi quattro coupés of the 1980s will be reborn for the 21st Century in the TT RS, a remarkable fusion of these two emotive modern day Audi hallmarks equipped with a new high-tech, 340PS interpretation of the quattro's evocative five-cylinder turbo engine.

* New TT RS Coupe and Roadster debut at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show
* First modern day Audi model since the emblematic quattro coupes of the 1980s to feature charismatic five-cylinder power in a new high-tech form that makes 340PS and 30mpg a reality
* 2.5-litre TFSI unit delivers 340PS from 5,400rpm to 6,700rpm, 450Nm from 1,600rpm to 5,300rpm, 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds (Roadster 4.7 seconds), top speed limited to 248km/h (155mph) but can be increased at extra cost to 278km/h (174mph), combined mpg 30.7 (Roadster 29.7mpg)
* RS 4-style Sport button boosts throttle response and further enriches exhaust note
* New six-speed manual transmission, enhanced quattro system capable of diverting almost all torque output rearwards, TT RS-specific sports chassis lowered by 10mm (Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping available at extra cost)

The successor to the five-cylinder, 200PS-plus (about 197bhp-plus for the more obsessive-compulsive readers) turbocharged petrol engine that delivered premier league power with a famously charismatic engine note in the rally-bred quattro road cars of the Eighties blends that same unmistakeable acoustic character with performance and economy that epitomises the modern day Audi RS.

Ultra compact, and weighing in at a low 183kg, the new 2.5-litre TFSI engine is a perfect accompaniment to the lightweight aluminium and steel hybrid TT bodyshell, helping to keep the kerb weight of the RS Coupe down to 1,450kg, and contributing to an exceptional power-to-weight ratio of 234PS (again, about 230.8bhp) per ton.

This weight consciousness is reflected in a 4.6-second 0-100km/h sprint time and, more unexpectedly for an overtly performance focussed sports car, in a combined fuel economy figure of 30.7 mpg. In common with many high performance Audi models, the TT RS is electronically limited at the factory to a top speed of 248km/h, but for the fortunate few enjoying regular access to derestricted tarmac, the limit can be raised at extra cost to 278km/h.

RS 4-style Sport button
The prodigious power is accessed by way of a new rapid-shifting six-speed close ratio manual gearbox, and the exhilarating surge triggered by each successive gear shift is enlivened by a sonorous soundtrack that is a much loved trademark of five-cylinder engines. This addictive accompaniment can be further amplified by pressing a Sport button on the transmission tunnel which not only alters throttle response but also opens a flap in the left exhaust tailpipe to further intensify the exhaust sound.

To ensure that the high levels of torque involved are employed as gainfully as possible the latest incarnation of the hydraulic multi-plate-clutch-based quattro system designed specifically for transverse engine installations oversees measured transmission to the four driven wheels. The hydraulic clutch is capable of directing the majority of torque from front to rear if sensors deem this necessary.

The equilibrium made possible by quattro drive and by the counterbalancing effect of positioning the hybrid body's 31 per cent steel content (Roadster 42 per cent) towards the rear contributes to a feeling of exceptional neutrality on challenging roads. The sophisticated, aluminium-intensive McPherson strut front and four-link rear suspension with RS-specific settings backs this up with incredible agility and composure.

At extra cost the standard sports chassis can also be equipped with the Audi magnetic ride (AMR) adaptive damping system incorporating sophisticated dampers filled with a magnetorheological fluid containing minute magnetic particles that can be influenced by an electromagnetic field. By applying a voltage to the system's electromagnets, the viscosity of the fluid is altered by the affected magnetic particles, increasing resistance to damper movement to iron out pitch and roll when necessary, and reducing resistance when ride comfort takes precedence.

ESP with Sport mode
The reassurance to drive the TT with the conviction that befits an RS model is provided by sizeable ventilated disc brakes with black four-piston aluminium callipers and diameters of 370mm at the front and 310mm at the rear. The Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) adds to that reassurance without excessively numbing performance or dulling feedback and adjustability thanks to its Sport mode, which prevents the system from retarding engine output to monitor traction and delays braking intervention for as long as possible. ESP can also be fully switched off.

From their sizeable, air-gulping front intakes, through extended side sills and stunning 18-inch 5 twin-spoke alloy wheels to the downforce-maximising fixed rear spoiler and enlarged oval tailpipes, the latest TTs signal intent but with a degree of restraint that is in keeping with Audi RS tradition. Customers wanting to keep the lowest possible profile can even opt to replace the fixed rear spoiler with a more discreet version which raises and retracts automatically.

Inside, the highly favoured TT sports interior is finished exclusively in black, with brushed aluminium inlays and aluminium footrests and pedals providing contrast and RS logos adorning the heated Silk Nappa leather sports seats, the thickly-rimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel, the rev counter and the door sill trims. True to Audi RS form, the standard Driver's Information System has additional displays for boost pressure and oil temperature, and also includes a lap timer for circuit use.

Customers looking for maximum differentiation can add 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, bucket seats with folding backrests and even Ibis White or Phantom black painted interior inlays at extra cost, in addition to the latest navigation and multimedia options.

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