AUDI’S 2016 TT RS will go head-to-head with the Porsche 718 Boxster S and Cayman S, with 395bhp, four-wheel-drive and a £50k+ price tag.
Not content with going up against each other in many other categories, most notably and competitively in the World Endurance Championship, Audi will also directly take on fellow VW group family member Porsche in the small sports car segment as well.
The 2016 Audi TT RS, available in both coupe and convertible flavours, packs 395bhp and 354lb ft torque from a 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a seven-speed S Tronic paddle-shift gearbox; putting it directly in the sights of Porsche’s latest 718 Boxster S and Cayman S, which boast 345bhp and 310lb ft from a 2.5-litre four-cylinder.
This extra power, combined with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel-drive system, means the Audi outpaces the Porsches’ 4.6-second 0-62mph dash by nearly a second; recording 3.7 seconds for the coupe and 3.9 for the Roadster.
This additional performance comes at an additional cost however; approximately £3000. The Cayman S starts at £48,834 compared to the TT RS Coupe at £51,800, meanwhile the Boxster S comes in at £50,695 versus the TT RS Roadster at £53,550.
Of course, there are those who will argue the handling benefits of the Porsches’ mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, not to mention its lower weight, balances against the Audis’ greater power. This is despite Audi’s best efforts to shave as much weight from the new TT RS as possible, including using a new Aluminium engine block.
Options and gadgets include the choice of 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels, nine different exterior colours including the RS-exclusive Nardo grey and Catalunya red, sports seats, Alcantara steering wheel, Bang and Olufsen sound system and a wide screen entertainment and information screen with optional Audi Connect which features sat nav with Google maps and street view and Twitter access and web browsing via the in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.
The 2016 Audi TT RS goes on sale in the UK later this month.