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2020 Audi TT RS

Starting at $68,595

8.5/10 C/D RATING
2020 audi tt rs front
8.5/10 C/D RATING

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  • Highs Fiery turbo five-cylinder engine, cool digital gauge cluster, brutally fast acceleration.
  • Lows Lacking in luxury, driving dynamics aren't as charming as rivals, stiff ride with Dynamic Plus package.
  • Verdict Audi's little thrill ride packs big power and deft handling in an aggressively styled package, but it lacks the charisma of its key competitors.
By Drew Dorian


With 394 horsepower under the hood, the TT RS is the most raucous of the TT lineup. The ponies are produced by a unique turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that revs happily and sounds so good it gives us goosebumps. Handling is sharp and competent, but we've found rivals such as the Porsche 718 Cayman S and the Chevrolet Corvette more charming. The TT RS is easy to drive fast, though, and it makes the driver feel like a hero with its all-wheel-drive grip and predictable steering. The cabin is decked out with Audi's latest connectivity tech, including an all-digital gauge display that serves also as the car's infotainment screen; the hatchback body offers plenty of room for cargo, but don't expect to put adults in the TT RS's tiny rear seats.

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 TT RS can be ordered with red brake calipers as a standalone option and a new color joins the palette: Pulse Orange. Otherwise, it's as mighty as it was last year and looks just as cool.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

There's not a lot of choosing when spec'ing out a TT RS: It comes only as a coupe and with only a handful of options. We'd choose the Black Optic package which adds 20-inch wheels, summer tires, and gloss-black exterior trim; also tempting is the Technology package, which includes navigation, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, blind-spot monitoring, and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The TT RS's 394-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine is unusual and alluring, and it makes a happy triumvirate with the standard Quattro all-wheel drive and snappy seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Passing power is astonishing: The seven-speed is more than willing to downshift as soon as you demand extra power, and the TT RS surges forward with such immediacy and force that you may think you've been sucked into a wormhole. Careful modulation of the throttle pedal transforms this athlete into a comfortable cruiser. When equipped with its standard adaptive dampers, the TT RS feels stable and planted on the road—even when that road turns wickedly twisty—so even relatively inexperienced drivers can feel confident tossing it through corners at supralegal speeds. The version we tested felt rock solid all the way up to its limit, but that limit is significantly lower than those of the Corvette or Cayman. While an edgier suspension—sans adaptive dampers— is available, the setup makes it noticeably more difficult to feel when the TT RS is about to reach its cornering limits. Unless you plan on spending lots of time on a racetrack, we suggest passing on the Dynamic Plus package.

2020 Audi TT RS rear

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Don't let the uncompromising performance fool you; the TT RS's turbo five-cylinder is quite efficient. Our test car hit 31 mpg on the highway during our real-world testing, beating its EPA highway rating of 29 mpg.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Inside, leather seats with diamond stitching are standard, as is the eye-catching, well-integrated aluminum trim of the cabin's design. However, absent from the car's hefty price tag are ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and a memory function for the driver and front-passenger seats. In our experience, the TT's rear seats are all but unusable—except as a place to throw gym bags or a briefcase. With the back row folded (as it should always rightly be—no kind person would subject a friend to the RS's back seat), we stuffed nine carry-on suitcases behind the front seats, making the TT RS by far the most useful vehicle in this class. As with many cars of this sort, unwieldy cargo will find no quarter—the cargo compartment is relatively large but not very tall, and the liftback rear opening is long but narrow.

2020 Audi TT RS interior

Infotainment and Connectivity

Working with limited space, the TT RS's infotainment screen is not in the center of the dashboard but in the space traditionally occupied by the gauge cluster. This arrangement is attractive and easy to use, and, as in other Audis, is controlled by a rotary knob mounted on the center console. MMI functionality can be expanded with the optional navigation, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The TT RS hasn't been crash-tested by either U.S. ratings agency—not an unusual omission for cars in this class. There's not much in the way of available driver-assistance tech for the TT RS, either. Still, this is a car that emphasizes driving, not mindless cruising. The omissions don't bother us, but some shoppers may disagree. Key safety features include:

  • Standard front and rear parking sensors
  • Available blind-spot monitoring

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Audi's warranty coverage is roughly in line with most competitors.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance


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