There is only one Audi TT RS in the entire United States right now. And here we are, hurling the black coupe down the front straight at Willow Springs Raceway at 132 mph. We've been invited out to the sunny California desert on a pristine day to flog the hottest-ever Audi TT back-to-back against its TTS sibling, along with a few stints in the all-new S4 and R8 V10 for good measure.
The TT RS isn't simply another upgraded model in the automaker's diversified lineup. The TTS (and the other standard performance models) come from the Audi AG Sport division, while the TT RS was incubated and hatched by Quattro GmbH - the team who brought us the nefarious R8, RS4 and RS6. And while we've seen the TT on our shores with four- and six-cylinder powerplants, the new five-cylinder engine marks a significant departure for the front-engine coupe and convertible (even as it pays homage to the original 1980s-era Audi Sport Quattro).
So what makes the TT RS special and how does it fit into the current TT lineup? More importantly, how does the enthusiast-tuned package work under demanding track conditions? We intend to find out while answering a very important question for Audi: Should it bring the TT RS to the States?