The Audi TT Rs is such an undemanding car to launch off the line that an obedient spaniel could be trained to set sub-four-second 0-100km/h times in the space of an afternoon. Select Dynamic mode, switch off the stability control and leave the transmission in auto to engage launch control, then watch in awe as the RS pings itself to the single-carriageway national speed limit of 112km/h in 3.4seconds.
Has so little effort ever been expended while running two-tenths shy of a McLaren F1? On a dry but chilly surface the TT RS’s four-wheel- drive system finds so much traction that not a single hp goes to waste.
Also equipped with a twin-clutch transmission and launch control, but driving two wheels only, the BMW M2 is more than a second slower to 100km/h. Still, 4.5 seconds is fairly rapid, but with a useful mid-engined traction advantage the Porsche 718 Cayman S goes a tenth quicker, despite the limitations of its manual gearbox. By 160km/h the Audi leads both rivals by more than two seconds.
The TT RS is the quickest off the line, then, and it has more roll-on performance, too, sprinting from 80 to 160km/h in fourth gear in 7.3 seconds compared with 8.4 seconds for the M2 and 8.1 seconds for the Cayman.
The TT’s drift mode
The new TT RS has a drift mode. Audi doesn’t mention such a thing in any of its literature and you won’t see a button anywhere in the cabin marked ‘DRIFT’, but trust me, it’s there. Turn into a slippery corner on circuit, wait for the front axle to stick, then stand on the throttle.
The car’s four-wheel-drive system can send 100 per cent of the torque to either axle, and in this scenario it’ll overload the rear wheels so dramatically that the car will swing out into a wide, sweeping four-wheel drift. You barely need to dial in any corrective lock because the car will soon catch the slide itself by diver ting drive forwards. It feels exactly like the much-debated drift mode on the Ford Focus RS, in fact.
The Audi won’t pull of the same trick on a dry circuit – not willingly, anyway – and disappointingly there’s never any sense of on-throttle adjustability on the road. But this is the first TT to exhibit any sort of playful behaviour whatsoever, and that’s as significant a development as any other that Audi might care to shout about.