Audi might be the hottest brand among luxury carmakers—more styling-oriented and more sporty than others, but still something of an insider's tip. What the brand doesn't have is a history as rich as that of Mercedes-Benz, or even BMW. Audi can be traced back to a number of companies originating as early as 1899, but the brand, as we know it today, did not surface until the 1960s—with some rather bland cars.
It took Ferdinand Piëch, now head of Volkswagen's supervisory board, to turn Audi into a high-tech, premium carmaker. As Audi's chief engineer, he pushed for projects such as the charismatic five-cylinder engine, Quattro all-wheel drive, turbocharged engines, and, ultimately, Audi's advance into the luxury segment with the all-aluminum A8.
Almost 30 years after the launch of the original Quattro, Audi is unveiling the TT RS. We have tried this car, which is unapologetically playing the theme of that legendary, Audi 4000–based coupe named Quattro that dominated the international rally scene for years.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 3-door hatchback
ESTIMATED BASE PRICE: $57,000
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 20-valve inline-5, iron block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 151 cu in, 2480cc
Power (SAE net): 340 bhp @ 5400 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 332 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 97.2 in Length: 165.3 in Width: 72.8 in Height: 52.8 in
Curb weight (C/D est): 3200 lb
C/D PERFORMANCE (C/D est):
Zero to 60 mph: 4.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.2 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 174 mph
FUEL ECONOMY (C/D est):
EPA city/highway driving: 18/26 mpg
Keep Reading: 2010 Audi TT RS Coupe - First Drive Review