Project TT RS: Why this car?

Project TT RS: Why this car?

So.. why an Audi TT RS?

Simply put, value. Among the small, nimble, sports coupes I was looking at, the TT RS provides unbelievable performance for the price point.

The TT RS provides unbelievable performance for the price point

By the time I was looking at the TT RS, I have owned and enjoyed a number of Audi cars. From the moment I picked up a B6-type A4 in the winter of 2001, I knew I was a convert to Audi. I had only driven Volvos before then and I still have a soft spot for a Volvo 244 that was my first car. But that first A4 — the moment I took that drive through the unplowed, snow-covered streets of Connecticut late one night I knew I was hooked. Including that first car, I’ve consecutively driven the B6, B7, and B8 variants of the A4. While the engines grew in power over the three variants from a 170 hp inline 4-cylinder 1.8T engine to a 211 hp 4-cylinder 2.0T engine, I’ve always had eyes for the S4 or RS4 with their potent V8 power plant. When the RS5 was introduced, it shot to the top of my list for consideration until I started figuring out how much it would be priced for — way beyond what I could afford to spend.

Right around that time, Audi had started a Facebook campaign to gauge interest in bringing the TT RS to the US. The TT RS is Audi’s first compact coupe to be given the RS badging and the turbocharged 5-cylinder 20v engine was clearly a nod to the legendary Ur-Quattro models and Sport Quattro program of years past. I had never seriously considered the TT RS because it was not bound to be sold in the US. At that point I was reading up on the other small, light, powerful sports cars — Boxster Spyder, Cayman R, and the unobtainable-for-a-reasonable-price BMW 1M. With the TT RS now thrown into the mix it was clear front runner – provided the overall price was reasonable in comparison.

While they are all extremely capable cars, with their own amazing characteristics — the stripped down Cayman R had a particular appeal for me — the TT RS just won me over in pretty much every category during my comparison shopping research. The 1M would have been a clear front runner, but there was just no way to get it even close to the amazingly low sticker price. Thankfully, Audi managed to prevent the same from happening with the TT RS, despite also having a limited production run.

When the time was finally right for me, I placed my order for a 2012 Daytona Gray TT RS in January 2012. Just four months later, in May, I got the call that my car was ready to be picked up.

360 hp @ 5,500 rpm and 343 ft-lb @ 1,650 rpm

Below are some stock performance and trim details for the TT RS before embarking on this project build.

  • 360 hp @ 5,500 rpm and 343 ft-lb @ 1,650 rpm
  • About 3,492 lbs with driver (power-to-weight ratio of 9.7 lb/hp)
  • Weight distribution (F/R) 60%/40%
  • Magneride magnetic adaptive dampening suspension
  • 19×9 wheels with 255/35R19 Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tires 96Y XL 240 treadwear
  • 370mm cross-drilled brake rotors, 4 piston calipers (front)
  • 310mm brake rotors, 2 piston calipers (rear)


Previous posts in this series:
Project TT RS Introduction