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Audi TT

The real TT sports car finally shows up.

We’ve been waiting for the wicked TT RS for years, and it’s finally here. Audi seems to have its timing backward — the RS should have been the first TT to show up, positioned as a performance halo car. Instead, the regular TT came here first, and it developed a bit of a chick-car image. Yes, the TT might look cute, but it’s actually quite sporting. Audi tried to remedy its cutesy image with the TT S model, which is quick, sharp, and a blast to drive, but it is unfortunately not available with a manual transmission. Consequently, the TT RS had its work cut out for it in the image department. Once we finally drove one, however, we found it to be a brilliant sports car. In addition to a menacing turbocharged-five soundtrack, the RS scares off its prey with a magnetorheological suspension that continually adjusts its firmness for crisp handling without a punishing ride. The nineteen-inch wheels can only partly obscure the TT RS’s enormous brakes: 14.6-inch cross-drilled rotors with four-piston RS-badged calipers in front and 12.2-inch vented rotors in back. With the help of a forged crankshaft, the turbo five makes mincemeat of the TT RS’s relatively light weight (about 3300 pounds) and catapults it to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Chick car? Not a chance.

COMPETITORS

BMW Z4

Mercedes-Benz SLK

Porsche Boxster

Porsche Cayman

new for 2013

New this year is the S line Competition Package, which adds an S line interior, nineteen-inch rotor wheels wrapped in summer performance tires, a rear spoiler, a front splitter, and black exhaust tips and rear diffuser, among other items.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and active front headrests are standard. Adaptive HID headlights are optional.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 18–23

HWY 25–31

PRO

Cute and well built

Quick (TT), fast (TTS), blistering (TT RS)

CON

Seriously expensive

Automatic only, except TT RS

Useless back seats

Base Price Range: $39,545–$58,095

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: TT Premium Plus, TT Prestige, TTS Premium Plus, TTS Prestige, TT RS

BODY STYLES: Coupe, convertible, 2- or 2+2-passenger

ENGINES: 2.0L turbo I-4 211/265 hp, 258 lb-ft

2.5L turbo I-5, 360 hp, 343 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: (coupe) 73.9 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: (coupe, seats up/down) 13.1/24.7 cu ft; (convertible) 8.8 cu ft

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