latest automotive news, best new and used cars, find a new car 878b2_Medium-2455-2018AudiTTRSCoupe-610x407 2018 Audi TT RS: Germany’s Little Coupe Bulks Up Audi

Math was never this writer’s strong suit, but it’s easy to work out what the looming Audi TT RS means for its occupants: 100 horsepower per passenger. (Does anyone ever venture to that abbreviated backseat?)

That’s right, Audi’s smallest offering will gain an impressive amount of brawn when the new-for-2018 RS variant bows at the New York International Auto Show. It also grows an extra cylinder.

Five-cylinder engines, once rare, are now a threatened oddity, but Audi’s new 2.5-liter TFSI unit sounds like a peach. With 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque on tap, it should satisfy those buyers who forked over a pile of extra cash to get themselves out of an MX-5.

Audi claims the TT RS should make the 0-60 mph run in 3.6 seconds. That’s a full second faster than the model’s closest cousin, the 292 hp TTS, and far and away faster than the entry-level 220 hp TT. In calling its horsepower and acceleration “class leading,” Audi references the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S, 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C and 2017 BMW M2 as competitors.

latest automotive news, best new and used cars, find a new car 878b2_Small-2454-2018AudiTTRSCoupe-610x406 2018 Audi TT RS: Germany’s Little Coupe Bulks Up Audi

The automaker’s newest five-banger features an aluminum block, a lighter crankshaft and a magnesium oil pan, shedding 57 pounds over its predecessor. Finessed for low-friction operation, the unit’s peak torque is accessible at engine speeds as low as 1,700 rpm. Couple that with an all-wheel-drive system that can send 100 percent of available power to the rear wheels, and you’ll have angry anonymous letters filling your mailbox in no time.

All that newfound power flows through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, mated to a launch control program.

Top speed grows to 155 mph, or 174 with the available Dynamic plus package. To keep the TT RS between the lines — or on the runway — Audi has bestowed its RS magnetic ride system on all TT RS models. A sport suspension option exists for those worried the vehicle might be too soft.

When the fun’s over, eight-piston monoblock brake calipers clamp down on 370 mm ventilated and cross-drilled discs. Should that sound inadequate, carbon-ceramic discs are just a checkbox away.

Audi has topped off the package with enlarged air intakes, a fixed rear wing spoiler and larger exhaust ports. Naturally, moving up from a four to a five-cylinder won’t come cheap. The 2018 TT RS stickers for $68,875 after delivery. Compare that to the $44,475 needed to enter the TT line, or the $53,475 demanded for a TTS.

Audi TT RS models should be available this spring, ready to tempt deep-pocketed members of the TT fan club and (it hopes) bring new eyes to the lineup. The automaker’s little 2+2 isn’t as hot a seller as it was at launch, though last year’s sales tally — 3,044 — was its best U.S. showing since 2008.

[Images: Audi of America]

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