The new Audi TT RS packs R8-baiting performance into a tiny shell

It's one angry little fella

Pah, the Audi TT is a bit wimpy, isn't it?

You could argue that the standard TT doesn't quite pack the same performance punch as its Porsche Boxster rival but this TT RS is one slavering, enraged beast of a car. The reworked 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet develops 395bhp and 480Nm of torque. That’s more than enough to rearrange internal organs.

Ok, I'm listening now. Just how fast is it?

The Audi chaps claim that the slightly heavier Roadster version, which can drop its top in 10 seconds, rockets from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, while the sleek Coupe can tackle the same sprint in 3.7-seconds. That's just 0.2 seconds slower than the formidable R8 supercar.

Ouch. Looks like it's prowling around the Porsche Cayman's patch...

Indeed. And one criticism of the recently announced 718 Cayman is that it has ditched the glorious howl of the previous flat-six cylinder engine and replaced it with a four-cylinder version. We tried it in the Porsche Boxster and it just sounds a bit, erm, wrong.

How does the Audi compare?

We haven't heard it in full song but even at start-up and idle, the 2.5-litre engine features a characterful rasp and pop that could prove very addictive on the open road, especially when the roof is lowered for maximum poser points.

Is there any cool tech I need to know about?

Audi's very cool Virtual Cockpit takes pride of place in the centre console, meaning all of the traditional binnacles and dials have been binned for a pin-sharp, 12.3-inch TFT display. Customers can specify awesome Matrix LED headlights, while slinky lightweight numbers replace the standard seats.

Hmmm, it still looks like a TT though, doesn't it?

That's true, but Audi has attempted to beef things up by lowering the suspension by 10mm, adding a huge rear diffuser, a hexagonal front grille and a rear wing. Plus, there's RS stitching in the leather seats and the awesome flat-bottomed steering wheel from the R8.