2019 Audi TT RS Receives Mild Refresh, Hazy Future

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2019 audi tt rs receives mild refresh hazy future

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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  • 06M3S54B32 06M3S54B32 on Feb 07, 2019

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

  • AnalogMan AnalogMan on Feb 07, 2019

    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.

  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged
  • Albert Also owned a 1959 Continental Mark IV coupe for 20 years and loved every minute!