By on February 6, 2019

Having already spruced up the standard TT over the summer, Audi is now ready to unveil lightly refreshed versions of the TT RS and TT RS Roadster. The brand basically needs to tide its customers over until the model undergoes a more comprehensive update or is replaced by something else.

That’s not all bad. While a bit expensive, the standard TT is an excellent driver’s car that’s also practical enough to live with as an everyday runabout if you’re flexible enough. That’s doubly true for the RS version, but its 400-hp 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine ought to button up any complaints one might associate with owning something approaching supercar levels of performance.

In fact, the powertrain is a big part of why Audi’s very mild refresh of the TT RS is so easy to cope with. It was already good and will remain so. But the lack of meaningful mechanical upgrades don’t have us feeling terribly optimistic about the model seeing another generation.

Before we get into discussing the potential end of the TT, let’s talk about those updates. All TT models now look like the R8’s stout cousin, with the RS variants having been last on the list to get the revised front and rear bumper. That was also true before the refresh, but the changes do a bit more to help bring the two coupes together. The R8 is still more aggressive in every way imaginable, especially since its own refresh, while the new TT models also present themselves as approachable bruisers.

The only other exterior upgrade of note is the new fixed wing. There are other changes, like a wider diffuser, new front splitter, and some revised exhaust finishers, but nothing worth writing home about.

As previously mentioned, both the RS coupe and roadster retain the sweet-sounding 2.5-liter five-cylinder motor installed in last year’s cars. The same is true for the seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive.

New options are limited to the RS Design package, which adds bold color highlights to the stitching, center console, air vents, seat belts, and floor mats. However, you should be able to select the old leather upgrade package and RS floor mats à la carte. The dynamic plus package remains available for those wish to remove the electronic governor (taking the coupe’s top speed from 155 mph to 174 mph) and add ceramic brakes (front only), a fixed suspension, tire-pressure monitoring, and a carbon fiber engine cover.

Getting back around to the car’s future, Audi originally planned to completely redo the TT for 2022. However, that may no longer be the case.

Rumors exist that state the manufacturer is considering killing off the line. Still other rumors claim Audi intends to evolve the model into a more-profitable “four-door coupe” based on the TT Sportback concept that debuted at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

According to Wards Auto, the company’s new chairman, Bram Schot, has already outlined a potential plot to replace the TT with “a new liftback model that will form part of the fourth-generation A3 lineup.” Audi wants to free up money, and expanding the A3’s influence over the rest of its fleet is a good way to funnel more capital into proven money makers like crossovers, as well as cash-pit EVs.

Get em’ while you can, we suppose. The 2019 Audi TT RS and its roadster variant reach North American shores later this year. Meanwhile, Europeans can begin filling out order forms on February 7th.

[Images: Audi]

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7 Comments on “2019 Audi TT RS Receives Mild Refresh, Hazy Future...”

  • avatar

    I remember around 19 years ago when this car really started Audi’s change in designs, both inside and out. Killing it would be like offing a member of the family. The baseball stitching, real metal trim, and minimalist design really set everything apart.
    What’s killing it isn’t necessarily the move to CUVs. Price one of these suckers. By the time you configure a TT RS to what you’d consider luxury sports car levels, you’re DEEP in Porsche territory. And for most buyers, the Porsche wins every time. I just don’t see many new TTs in my neck of the woods.
    I’ve loved the TT since the first minute I saw the designs over 20 years ago, and if the budget allowed it, there’d be a new TT RS parked outside. I don’t care about the Golf-bones that underpin the TT – the high-tech interior, usable space, and the sweet sound of that 5-cylinder make this beast special.
    Maybe keep the TT RS and rename it the R4?

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Need TTRS RWD (like they did with the R8). Now this model will likely take a back seat to the z4pra twins as well 718s

    • 0 avatar

      It would require a total redesign; the engine is sideways in front of the front axle.

      Now, if they took the front powertrain and stuck it where the dubiously useful rear seats are, a la Renault Clio… *that* would be a worthy R4 and a viable Porsche contender.

  • avatar

    True story: While cross-shopping a BMW M235, M2, e46 M3, a 340i Manual, Jaguar XKR and a Caddy ATS-V manual, my brain got way ahead of me and picked an 2012 Audi MK II TT-RS -to my surprise… and I love it.

    6MT, Manual, 0-60 on 3.4 secs. with minimal digital crap. I’d rather have this than the MK III TT-RS. It is more creature, less machine. Somehow it felt way better than the M2 and the ATS-V and more comfortable than the XKR (suspension-wise, although the XKR was riding on 20″s) Who needs an R8?

    The ONLY mod I’ve done is a stage 1 ECU upgrade to 404HP and this thing rocks and sparks all sorts of Joy. Since the latest TTRS is set at 400HP, it was a true bargain to pay half of the new one’s $68K MSRP for a 2012 with 72K miles and in great condition.

  • avatar

    The fixed wing needs to go. These are great little cars but the wing looks like an aftermarket add on. A small spoiler that deploys at speed is all this car needs. It will be a sad day when this car is no longer available. My wife basically cried when her test drive with one was over because she knew it was too pricy and due to previous VeeDub experiences must stay away… but everything else about it is darn near perfect. My brother runs TT-RS brakes on his Golf R and they provide incredible stopping with no fade on the track lap after lap.

  • avatar

    Stunningly beautiful car as is the TTS, but my God they are criminally overpriced.

  • avatar

    I would love to buy a TT-RS – but only if it came with a manual transmission.

    I like the greater comfort and AWD usability of the TT-RS vs the usual Porsche or BMW options. But I don’t care how many hundredths of a second faster a DCT can shift than I can. I buy sports cars for the sheer fun of driving on the street, not for some theoretical lap time on a track. I’m admittedly old-school, but for me, there is just no substitute for the feeling of having a car hard-wired directly into my central nervous system that only a manual transmission can provide. A manual is simply so much more fun. It was offered on the 2012-2013 TT-RS, it’s a shame it hasn’t been since then.

    No manual transmission = absolutely no chance I would consider buying one.

    I wonder if anyone else feels this way.

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