It costs almost £90k, but the new Audi TT RS Iconic Edition has exclusivity on its side with just 11 examples coming to the UK
4.0 out of 5
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It’d be easy to be snarky about a near-90 grand list price for a TT, but the fact is that Audi has sold them all anyway, so that’s irrelevant. What you’re left with is the same, hugely capable – if not the most engaging – sports coupe that we know so well. For the money, we’d take a Porsche Cayman GT4, though, and you can still buy one of those.
Audi has revealed a new special version of its TT RS. It’s called the Iconic Edition, and the big change is that it sports a dramatic aerodynamic package to set it apart from the lesser TT RS variants.
These changes start right at the front with a deep front splitter. Further around, the front bumper gets a pair of side flicks at either edge, while the gaping side intakes each feature extra blades within to help channel air more effectively. Around the back, there’s a deep splitter and a very large fixed carbon fibre rear wing – something you’re reminded of every time you look in the rear view mirror. Audi says that all of these extras help to increase downforce relative to other TT RS trims.
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All Iconic models are painted in Nardo Grey, while there’s a contrasting black finish for the 20-inch wheels, brake calipers, front grille, side sills and badging. Subtle ‘Iconic Edition’ lettering is applied to the smoked rear side windows.
Inside, the TT continues to have one of the best designed cabins on the market. Not only does it look fabulous, but it's achieved through clever touches, like integrating the climate controls into dials within the air vents. Even the door vents house the controls for the heated seats.
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To single out the Iconic Edition, the Audi-exclusive range has been raided to give some unique finishes for almost every surface. The cabin is a mix of grey Nappa leather and black Alcantara, while highlights like the stitching and the badging on the seat backs are picked out in yellow. The gear selector is capped off with the build number for each model.
Mechanically, the Iconic Edition is unchanged from the rest of the TT RS experience range. That means power comes from a 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 394bhp and 480Nm which, sent through all four wheels and a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, results in a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds. Top speed is 174mph.
It’s an engine with bags of character, very much feeling like a miniature version of the R8’s unit. Switch the dual auto gearbox into manual mode and you might find yourself butting into the rev limiter a few times; not just because acceleration is so fierce, but the power delivery is so muscular and consistent that it doesn’t feel like it’ll ever tail off. It’s an engine which feels like it could take more revs. Under hard acceleration, flaps open in the exhaust system to make the soundtrack even more dramatic.
Realistically, nobody driving the Iconic Edition on the road will be able to notice an increase in downforce. However, the chassis is still one that’s capable of incredible point-to-point pace. Traction is so strong out of corners that, even on our wet test route, it takes some brutal effort to try and begin to break traction. There’s loads of grip once the car is loaded up through the corners, and the slightly nose-heavy balance means that you’re constantly reassured that there will be no nasty surprises if you take too many liberties.
While this adds up to an effective tool, it doesn’t make for an engaging one. The steering is precise but doesn’t offer up much feel, and the balance isn’t particularly adjustable. An Alpine A110S and particularly a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 are much more exciting and engaging.
And you might be wondering why we’d be comparing the £81,700 GT4 to a TT, but the comparison is valid in this instance. That’s because this TT RS Iconic Edition costs an eye-opening £87,650 – six grand more than the Porsche, and almost £30,000 more than the starting point of the TT RS. Remember, this car doesn’t have any mechanical upgrades over the base model.
So it might seem ludicrously overpriced, then, but the fact is that all 11 of the UK’s allocation of the limited run of 100 worldwide units are already sold. It seems Audi knows its target market very well.
|Model:||Audi TT RS Coupe Iconic Edition|
|Engine:||2.5 5cyl petrol turbo|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed auto, four-wheel drive|
|Top speed:||174 mph|
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