By on July 16, 2012

Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that the Audi TT is based on the VW Golf, which can be had for under $18,000. And it can seem silly when people buy an econobox then pour multiples of the purchase price into mods. When Audi does the same to create the $57,725 TT RS, how can we take the end result seriously?

Audiphiles will notice the subtle changes Audi has made to distinguish the RS from other TTs, and approve. The rest of us will see an Audi TT with a tasteful, non-retractable wing spoiler and gorgeous five-spoke alloy wheels. We might notice the enlarged intakes beneath the headlamps. There’s nothing to proclaim to those not in the know that they’re in the presence of a 360-horsepower bullet. Aside the big grille that started them all, outrageous styling details just aren’t the Audi way. The TT itself remains as iconic and beautiful as the day it sent car designers around the world racing back to their sketch pads. The car’s shape authentically communicates its front-engine, all-wheel-drive layout.

Little of the extra money over the $39,175 base TT went into the RS’s interior. The nappa seats (with faux suede center panels and contrasting stitching) and door panel inserts pass muster, but much of the rest looks and feels suited to a car half the TT RS’s price. Such is the danger with any special performance model where over $16,000 goes towards upgraded hardware. This said, little seems cheap, just purposeful (though the clicky buttons on the base audio system wouldn’t make the cut at Hyundai). Amenities are limited; a universal garage door opener, rain-sensing wipers, and heated power front seats are standard, but keyless ignition and driver seat memory aren’t even available. One owner commented that a sunroof would have been nice to let some light into the dark interior. Also, Audi’s latest infotech hasn’t yet made it to the TT. A note for all auto makers: metal has no place on top of a manual shift knob. You’ll want driving gloves on hot, sunny days.

The front seats are very supportive and moderately comfortable (as is often the case with my particular back, no position of the four-way lumbar felt quite right). The back seat is headroom-limited to preteens and height-challenged adults, and these only if the people up front are willing and able to shunt forward a few inches (we had two kids in back for one short trip, not something we’d want to do daily). But there is at least a back seat for those who sometimes need one, and it folds in two sections to nearly double the 13 cubic foot cargo area. The TT’s windows aren’t large, but they all start low enough and the pillars are thin enough that you can easily see all around the car from the driver’s seat, in sharp contrast to a 370Z (the predecessor of which lifted more than a little styling inspiration from the TT). The forward position of the windshield header can obstruct traffic signals, but this lesser crime doesn’t crimp confidence once underway.

Make that rapidly underway. Volkswagen’s rarely praised long-stroke 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine has been boosted and heavily modified to yield 360 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 343 pound-feet of torque (at 1,650), a healthy 95-horsepower bump over the already quick four-cylinder TTS. Ford’s EcoBoost V6 produces similar numbers at a higher torque peak—with an extra liter of displacement. I’ve driven plenty of highly pressurized engines that feel much less torquey at low rpm than their specs suggest they ought to. A torque peak south of 2,000 rpm often doesn’t mean much in practice. This isn’t such a case. The TT RS mill explodes out of even the tightest corners. Wind it out, and the shove only grows more forceful, with a throaty burr from the exhaust once over 3,500. The sound isn’t that of sophisticated machinery, but it’s also far from agricultural and clearly not that of an inline four. Hit the Sport button to open up the dual mode exhaust sooner (it still doesn’t drone when cruising). The information center suggests that boost builds gradually, but there’s never a sensation of lag, only a tsunami-class surge.

In other TTs a clutch is no longer available. In the TT RS, it’s mandatory. Clutch and shifter efforts are fairly high, but their action is so fluid and precise that this meatiness energizes rather than tires. The slop-free electro-mechanical steering has a similar character, with a more direct feel and more nuanced feedback than I’ve experienced in any other recent Audi. Pushing the car hard through turns, your fingertips and the seat of your pants know exactly which direction the front tires are pointing and how much they’re slipping. At highway speeds, the steering becomes very firm and virtually locked on center (with sport mode bumping it up another notch). Oddly, the one car I’ve driven in the past year with similar steering was a Cadillac, albeit the much-praised CTS-V.

Unlike with the CTS-V, fuel economy surprises in a positive direction. The trip computer reported an average of 8.5 miles per gallon for a few hot laps around my favorite handling loop, but I’ve observed as low as five in some other cars.The EPA rates the TT RS at 18 city, 25 highway. The car’s trip computer routinely reported much better numbers: low-to-mid 20s in the suburbs, and high 20s to low 30s on the highway. Doubting its veracity, I asked a man who owns one. He measured low 20s in aggressive mountain road driving. A MazdaSpeed3, with nearly 100 fewer horses and front-wheel drive, has the same EPA ratings.

All-wheel drive ensures a drama-free transfer of the turbo-five’s prodigious power to the road, even when exiting sharp curves with your foot planted. Others report reaching sixty in a little over four seconds. On the other hand, all-wheel drive combined with the very nose-heavy 60/40 distribution of the car’s 3,300 pounds (only 153 more than a base 211-horsepower TT) means that the TT RS isn’t going to handle like a conventional sports car. But until you approach the tires’ high (but not quite Boxster S-high) limits, the Audi doesn’t understeer substantially (a change from the less graceful first-gen TT). Instead, it feels like a solid chunk of machinery that simply goes where it’s pointed with little if any untoward drama. With a smooth hand on the wheel and a steady foot on the throttle, the rear tires initially slip about the same time as the fronts, defying physics. Extreme measures withstanding, oversteer isn’t happening, even with the stability control disabled. I tried to provoke some in a large, empty parking lot, and failed. Nail the brake with the steering wheel turned, and you just scrub the hell out of the outside front tire. The tight chassis nevertheless engages, even titillates. The weight distribution extracts the largest penalty from braking. Hit the pedal hard at speed and the front tires are much more easily overloaded than in a more balanced car. A 2013 Boxster (no new Cayman until next year) should prove more playful on a road twisty enough to exercise it and open enough to wind out its peaky flat six. But I’ve never driven a four-second-to-sixty car that is remotely as easy to flog around my off-track “track” as the TT RS. Yet it’s also a blast, literally and figuratively. In the cut-and-thrust of suburban driving the Porsche does its best to mimic the livability of a Toyota while the Audi continues to entertain. Not for a moment in the latter car will you forget what you’re driving.

And the Audi’s livability? Not bad, actually. The ride is firm, but unless you engage sport mode it’s rarely harsh. The lightning-quick adaptive dampers earn their keep. Restrict their range with sport mode, and the car jostles more on imperfect roads and rhythmically bounces down a concrete highway much like a late model STI or Z. The difference with the TT RS is that this bouncing is avoidable. A Jetta GLI reacts more sharply to broken pavement and generally seems less refined. (At less than half the price, it better.) An Evo is considerably more brutal, and a non-NISMO 370Z rides much like the Audi does in sport mode, while a 2013 Boxster (when fitted with its own trick shocks) is modestly easier on the teeth. Noise levels inside the TT RS are moderately high on concrete highways—if you need quiet, get a bigger Audi—but a Z or Corvette is much harder on the ears. One nit: if you lower the windows at highway speeds, there’s buffeting. But if you’ve lived with any other high-performance sports car on a daily basis, you can easily live with this one.

The tested TT RS included a $2,700 bundle of “titanium” (i.e. metallic gray) wheels, “titanium” grille, and sport exhaust (which allegedly deepens the tone a bit). For rear obstacle detection, steering-linked headlights, nav, and a Bose upgrade from the marginal base audio you need the $3,500 Tech Package. Or not. Neither package seems a good value unless you absolutely must have their contents.

Not twins, a.k.a. under the influence

At the TT RS’s price there are plenty of other contenders. Among sports cars without drop tops, the Nissan 370Z NISMO is over $16,000 less before adjusting for feature differences and about $11,000 less afterwards (based on TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool), but it’s much harder to see out of, much trickier to handle, and generally much harder to live with. A Chevrolet Corvette 3LT with adaptive shocks costs about the same as the Audi. The more brutal Corvette weighs less, but feels larger, partly because it is ten inches longer but also because GM has yet to get the car’s steering quite right (we’re all hopeful for the C7). If you can’t instantly choose between these two cars, you don’t know what you’re looking for. Do without any options, and the recently superseded 2012 Porsche Cayman S listed for “only” $5,000 more than a TT RS. But check enough boxes to equip the Porsche roughly the same, and it flew another $12,000 out of the ballpark. Of course, if you happen to need either a limited-utility rear seat or all-wheel-drive, then the TT RS becomes your only option in the bunch.

Beyond the back seat and all-wheel drive, the TT is simply a different animal than the others. As much as I’ve sung the praises of rear-wheel-drive dynamics, I find myself drawn to this highly charismatic, chuckable chunk of an Audi. Perhaps this is because I’ve also long had a thing for hot hatches. I own a Protege5, greatly enjoy the MazdaSpeed3, and am very much looking forward to the Ford Focus ST. Take that class of car, with its inherently safer handling yet often more lively “point and shoot” disposition at legal speeds, dial the engine and chassis up to 11 while lowering the driving position, tune these bits and pieces to form an unusually coherent firm-but-not-stiff whole, and you essentially have the Audi TT RS. Yes, there’s a Golf under there somewhere, but for anyone who has loved a hot hatch this could well prove a deal maker rather than a deal killer.

Audi provided the TT RS with insurance and a tank of gas.

Scott Vollink of Suburban Porsche in Farmington Hills, MI, provided a 2013 Boxster S so I could compare the two cars. His dealership also sells Audis. Scott can be reached at 248-741-7980.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online source of car reliability and pricing information.

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52 Comments on “Review: 2012 Audi TT RS...”


  • avatar
    carnick

    How on Earth did you get a Peugeot RCZ into this country (if that photo of the pair in front of the driveway is in the U.S.)?

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Whoa, where’d that Peugeot RCZ come from? We can’t buy that here!

  • avatar
    Hank

    I love the TT, always have, but the two of the biggest problems with the TT are:

    1. You’ll note the first two comments were about the Peugeot.

    2. Unless you are a die-hard Audi fan, you probably thought they quit producing them nearly a decade ago.

    • 0 avatar
      fabriced28

      That’s because the Peugeot is so much nicer, with a style that makes it look mid-engined!
      The first TT was a design statement, the second is an attempt to “evolve” this design: this never works.

      I guess the RCZ is on MFR plates and Michael is in NJ…

      • 0 avatar
        racingmaniac

        That Peugeot is in MI somewhere….its been showing up at local Cars & Coffee this year. Probably some supplier doing some testing on it. Its got a NJ manufacturer plate….RCZ I believe shares the designer with TT, and much like the original it was more show than go. Audi decided to make the TT a bit more serious now though….

        Somehow I doubt Peugeot will do the same.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    The most frustrating part of this review is that this is a limited production car. So the good news, like on the BMW 1 Series M, is that it is a really good car. The bad news is that you will have a difficult to impossible time getting your hand on one. And if you do happen to find a deal with one, be prepared to bend over and crack a smile.

    Otherwise, it is nice to see manufacturers begin to put a little heat on Porsche. The Cayman/Boxster has needed some real competition for years!

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Some tell me the world hasn’t gone mad, and yet Audi will probably actually sell some of these to people who don’t work for VAG, don’t get a corporate perk of a compensated vehicle (although what executive at a pay grade high enough to warrant that would pick this vehicle, anyways?), and who pay for it with their own money.

    Look, I don’t care if they tuned this thing to put out 450 brake hp and similarly high gobs of torque, and wrapped it up in the best suspension and brakes available.

    For those who are on a narrowly tailored mission to beat some sort of performance benchmark, and have to have a car that doesn’t have to have EXACTLY this car’s footprint or seating arrangement, there are better choices for less, and much better choices for slightly more (Michael was too narrow-ranging in mentioning notable contenders, on a performance basis, to this vehicle, IMO).

    Some tell me that the world hasn’t gone mad, and then I read this paragraph of Michael’s again:

    “Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that the Audi TT is based on the VW Golf, which can be had for under $18,000. And it can seem silly when people buy an econobox then pour multiples of the purchase price into mods. When Audi does the same to create the $57,725 TT RS, how can we take the end result seriously?”

    It would be a neat project, if one had the time and money (and was motivated enough to demonstrate the irrationality of it all to the sheep), to buy a hard-bargain new Golf for around $17,000, and then some nice exterior mods, interior mods, additional equipment, mature body kit, aftermarket shocks/struts and high performance brakes to it, get to anything between 240 hp for about $24k-$26k, or up the amperage to 340 to 360 hp, for under $35k, and then run the car against this $57,000 Golf that Audi is selling.

    I could see similar possibilities with a Subaru WRX or a variety of other cars.

    If AWD wasn’t absolutely mandatory, get a stripper Mustang V6 and supercharge that bitch, adding a seriously upgraded suspension/brake package. You’re starting with 300 horsepower out of the gate from which you heap on the power upgrades.

    In other words, Audi is charging a $20,000 badge premium, easily for this car, and probably more than that.

    Hell, f you’re going to spend 58k on a 350 hp Golf, you’re probably better off just spending another $10k at such a point, and getting a more beautiful, more capable vehicle that doesn’t find its origins in a humble commuter car.

    • 0 avatar
      PlentyofCars

      I fully understand but never quite get the “based on” moniker meaning it is just like the other car. If that is true then..

      A W124 Mercedes E Class built to the standards, parts, materials and build of a Mitsubishi Gallant is just as good as the Mercedes.

      A Mitsubishi Gallant built to the standards, parts, materials and build of a W124 E Class is no better than the Mitsubishi version.

      Some would say the late 1990s early 2000 Mercedes was a glorified Chrysler because of build quality, not design.

      People in the USA who bought the VW Phaeton were not paying for prestige. They saw the quality.

      If the design is good, then use it. I’ll pay for quality too.

      • 0 avatar
        Darkhorse

        No. The people who bought the VW Phaeton discovered there was no quality. Flat bed city instead.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Strictly speaking, there was plenty of build quality in the Phaeton: it was immaculately crafted. However, durability and reliability was found to be rather less … unlike most other German cars, this was one that demanded an extended warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @DW, I think you misunderstand Michael’s point if you harp only on that single paragraph. He uses it to set up the review, but if you read beyond that, you’ll find better quotes in his closing paragraph:

      “Beyond the back seat and all-wheel drive, the TT is simply a different animal than the others. As much as I’ve sung the praises of rear-wheel-drive dynamics, I find myself drawn to this highly charismatic, chuckable chunk of an Audi. (…) Yes, there’s a Golf under there somewhere, but for anyone who has loved a hot hatch this could well prove a deal maker rather than a deal killer.”

      And, yes, you can take a less expensive car (such as a GTI) as a starting point, and mod it to have beyond TT-RS performance for much less money. But believe me when I say that a heavily modded car is never as well sorted for real-life use as a factory design. For a race track, yes, but as a daily driver, not so much. Not to mention that a $25K car with $25K of mods will have a resale value of roughly $25K …

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      And this is exactly what my brother did: He needed real, useable back seats (4 year old twins) and thus got a Golf R. Its a stage 1 tune (intake, chip, fuel pump, exhaust) away from this Audi for way less cash. The Golf R will not be as quick but for the money its close enough for most folks.

      While my wife has sworn off VWs, yet she loves the look of the TT.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      From Motortrend test:
      0-60 MPH 4.2 sec
      QUARTER MILE 12.8 sec @ 107.6 mph
      BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 107 ft
      LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.96 g (avg)

      Too bad it’s “limited” by the PQ35 platform. . .

      • 0 avatar
        racingmaniac

        Not to mention the DSG version(7 speed, not available in US) does it in 3.6 sec 0-60….launch control assisted…

        The TT while fundamentally is based on the same Golf platform, has quite a lot of bits that might be interchangeable to Golf…a lot more aluminum and an engine that I am not sure aside from the # of cylinder and displacement is related to the 2.5 in the base VWs….Considering also it is virtually the same weight as the Golf R(AWD, same “platform”..etc), but has 100 more horsepower and almost 2 sec faster to 60….

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        So what.

        A Mustang GT is just as fast, handles as well, and is 23k cheaper window sticker (and about 28k cheaper in the real world), and it has a back seat that won’t require anyone with a lower half to get an amputation to fit back there, unlike the Golf/TT.

      • 0 avatar
        joek81

        @DeadWeight, yeah, that live rear axle is cutting edge – the Mustang must be the best handling car ever!

        The Golf has usable back seats – it is available as a 4-door. The TT only has rear seats for insurance purposes…

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      But how many pretty chicks can your 350hp Golf attract, as compared to the TT RS?

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      @DW: Why all the haterade from you spewed in the general direction of Audi/VW?

      Just wonderin’…..

  • avatar
    dts187

    I think the current TT is a very handsome car. In my many trips between WV and PA I see quite a few. Not too long ago I saw a TT RS driving around Washington, PA with the monroney still in the window. Drool.

  • avatar

    Those wheels are the RS5 wheels and they look terrible on the R8 (V8 R8).

    Audi sucks for wheels

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    I’ve always hated the TT for some reason. Probably a combination of every owner I’ve ever met turns out to be a dick, even if not right away, and that VAG has to be pretty cynical about their customer base to market the car the way they do. Mostly the former though. And that wing looks silly.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      There is a no-cost option to delete the wing and take the standard TT rear spoiler instead.

      I know a few TT owners and I have a little bit different opinion of them so we’ll just have to disagree on that question …

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I loved the Bauhaus look of the 1st gen. I’ve gone fast, heavily modified GM 350; carved twisties, Miata. This a personal car, highly impracticable. It goes fast and handles well. I’d look good in a TT convertible, thank you.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    While the TT is ostensibly based on the Golf, there are such substantial differences between the two cars that about the only thing “common” about them is the engine mounting points and HVAC system. Next to the A8 the Gen 2 TT makes substantial use of aluminum and is altogether a different animal from the Golf or even the Golf R.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t doubt that they share very little. The key point, though, is that the basic architecture remains the same, that this makes the TT RS a much different car than a Cayman, Z4, Z, etc., and that this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage.

      • 0 avatar
        crocket

        The base TT is not actually “ostensibly” based on the Golf. TT’s have bespoke suspension, different track, and obviously most other functional parts. Lots of people like the author of this article make the mistake of thinking that “platform” means they just put the body on a frame, which they don’t, as it is obviously not a “frame” design. Platform designations could be wiring harnesses to driveline components. The TT-RS, is not based on a Golf in this respect. Here is a good vid of the TT production, you can see more clearly how cars are built and help you see your misunderstanding about the car: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGRNhmtMAQw

        I know the comments are old, but it is aggravating when someone thinks the TT, TTS and RS are Golf’s with different bodies.

  • avatar
    joek81

    I own a mk6 Golf GTI with a stage 1 tune and a stock TT RS. There is no comparison between the two…

    • 0 avatar

      Somehow not feeling a need to mod the TT RS?

      • 0 avatar
        joek81

        As soon as APR make their ECU flash tooling available to their dealers I’ll be getting a stage 1 tune at the minimum.

        Re the “basic architecture” being the same between the Golf and TT; they are completely different cars to drive – don’t forget the fact that the Golf is VW’s volume seller.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve never been as crazy about the Golf or GTI as others are. (We’ll see about the R, I have one in August.) I loved driving the TT RS, and not just because of the power. So I’m pretty well aware that they drive differently. Yet the TT RS drives more like a GTI than it does a Boxster. Or even an S5.

        • 0 avatar
          crocket

          That can’t be true, because it drives nothing like a GTI. Why would it drive anything like a mid engine car like the Boxster and why would you even mention the S5? How do you write articles about cars?

      • 0 avatar
        joek81

        Of course – it’s no surprise that an AWD TT RS with a transverse front-engine layout doesn’t drive like a RWD Boxster/Caymen with a rear mid-engine layout. I wasn’t implying that a TT RS drives like a Cayman or a S5 – that wasn’t my point. My point was that a TT RS will always feel more “special” than a Golf GTI or Golf R…

  • avatar
    fabriced28

    Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that the LATEST Audi TT is NOT based on the VW Golf.

    Second generation is a completely new chassis, mostly unrelated to the Golf. It’s based on ASF (Audi Space Frame), with only less aluminium than an A8.
    See page 5 of this document: http://www.volkspage.net/technik/ssp/ssp/SSP_383.pdf

    • 0 avatar

      Fascinating stuff. I’m aware that Audi has modified the car to such an extent that the two share little if anything. But the basic layout remains through all the changes. Otherwise they might as well have chucked the front transverse powertrain entirely.

      It reminds me of the early 1990s Camaro. GM intended to carry over the old platform. But they ended up changing so much that in the end virtually nothing was carried over–except various limitations imposed by starting with the old platform.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    There is a subtext to this review that bears highlighting. There are a lot of “fast” cars that can rip around a race course, but aren’t that much fun to drive slow, as in the speeds usually for driving on public streets and highways. Reviews rarely focus on this.

    The reason is understandable. Most reviewers try to wrap themselves in psuedo objectivity behind stats (0-60, etc). But the pleasure one gets in a car, particularly a sports car away from the track, is subjective. TTAC, to its credit, does not back away from the inherently subjective nature of car reviews.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Another point is that the TT RS may compete with a car like the Cayman S or base 911 in terms of performance, it is priced to go head to head with the base Cayman, and not even a particularly well equipped base Cayman at that!

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Good review, Michael. Quick question: has Audi solved its reliability problems with the newest TT? I almost bought a used one, but hesitated after reading all the flak on various blogs and consumer sites.

    • 0 avatar

      Hard to say. We only have over 25 responses for the 2008, and it’s a little worse than average. Based on a small sample size the 2009 looks much better, but then it’s a small sample size. Also, they’re still fairly young. Recent Audis are often good for the first 3-4 years, after which things might once again turn ugly.

  • avatar
    ccd2

    Upon re-reading this review, there another point or rather question being asked: what should a modern sports car be??? Let’s dispense with the charade that we all regularly track our sports cars and actually spent most (if not all our time) on public roads. Should a modern sports car constantly remind us that we are driving a sports car, no matter what speed you are going, as the TT RS does with relatively high road noise, an engine a tad too noisy or clutch effort a little higher than normal?

    Or should it be more like Porsche which tries to let you “have it your way.” A relatively sedate ride which could be a lot of cars at public road speeds until pushed or some buttons are pressed (provided you paid the Porsche tariff for things like Porsche Sports Exhaust, PASM, etc) that will make your car imitate a more raw machine? And if you take the latter approach (particularly with the latest iterations of the 911, Boxster and soon to be Cayman) are you cars anymore than essentially luxury vehicles that are fast and handle well at the limits?

    What kind of “fun” should a modern sports car provide in an age where a car’s performance at 9/10ths is increasingly irrelevant?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This is a good question. I think one of the biggest problems with sports cars these days is manufacturers picking the wrong compromises.

      I mean you look at the Z, the platform is just inherently compromised. You can’t see out of it, you can’t put stuff in the trunk, the ride is boomy, the performance is blunted by its incredible mass. Meanwhile, Toyobaru did the right thing and made a dedicated platform.

      Then you look at the compromises made to get performance you can’t even tap into. You look at the F10 M5 vs the E28 M5 for example… yes the E28 will have a hard time leaving a Camry V6, but the experience is memorable. You can hear the engine. You can steer the car with the throttle- the ACTUAL throttle, not what the computer calculates as the most heroic angle. You can see out of all 4 sides of the greenhouse. You can place it etc. All that seems more worth it to me than being able to press a couple of buttons and hit 60 in 3.7 +/- 0.2125 seconds, or having horsepower etc. They are compromising the driving experience and engagement for performance.

      So from that angle, sports cars should be engaging, sports cars can be compromised, but not so much that they are only good on paper, and sports cars should be accessible (at least mostly). Sports cars have to have GREAT suspension tuning- there is no reason a sports car should ride rough. And if it has multiple modes (rolleyes) they shouldn’t all be crap. It really seems like in the effort to make a sports car as marketable as possible manufacturers are losing the plot. I mean there are very good reasons out of all the sports cars of Japan, the Miata has endured the longest.

  • avatar

    This raises a significant point for me…why is VW/Audi not better utilizing the 2.5?

    As far as I can tell, its the ONE VW engine that has actually proven to be near bulletproof since its introduction (at least in the land of gas engines). The 2.0T has had lots of issues, including as I recall in earlier models the proclivity to burn oil, and the 3.0 that Audi uses in everything also seems to have issues (water pumps?). So, since the 2.5 in naturally aspirated form is not well loved, except for being reliable, and doesn’t get great fuel efficiency for its class, why not use it exclusively in this role? It sounds like a great engine, and given the economy numbers, it also sound like its finally found a role its suited to.

    I guess I’m just sad to see the end of one of VWs decently reliable engines.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      @echid -

      The first generation TSI 2.0 did have a good share of issues. The second generation, chain-driven TFSI unit introduced in 2008.5 has been several orders of magnitude better. No more PCV, HPFP, cam follower, premature belt wear or massive oil consumption issues.

      The third generation TFSI units being introduced now (in both 1.8 and 2.0 guise) introduce indirect injection into the mix which should correct the carbon buildup issue which isn’t unique to VAG direct injection units. It’s a matter of nothing washing over the valves to clear the carbon deposits combined with a better tuned PCV system to help minimize deposit buildup.

      The issue with the 3.0TFSI was back in the 2010 model year where a batch of water pumps had the tendency to grenade. Those were recalled and problem solved. The 3.0TFSI, otherwise, has been pretty darned rock solid.

      Part of the 2.5′s appeal is its simplicity. The TFSI engines are more efficient, but to get that efficiency requires a lot more complexity.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, its good to hear that they are making improvements. I guess my major issue at this point is that we should really have ICE down. There should be absolutely no reliability issues for 350,000 km. We’ve had years to perfect them, and if you can’t reliably add new bits of technology to the basics then engineer/design something better and try again, don’t just send it to the consumer and then say “oh shucks, guess we know what to fix now.” Honda, Toyota, Nissan, GM, even Chrysler (and many more) have got this down, and VW is one of few that repeatedly has issues with this.

        I can take other little reliability issues, but I can’t take a bad engine. Its just so basic an ingredient to a car.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Went by the Audi dealership. Nice versatile package. Agree that option packages not worth the money, but try finding one without them. Other problem is limited production so while they can be found (the good news), most are selling at list and used prices are high. Rumors are that a new TT is coming out later this year. Maybe that will improve prices.

    But a nice package that deserves better press and more units in the states.


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  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States