Sports Cars

2019 Audi TT RS sharpens up ahead of Geneva Motor Show

Fashion-forward sports car's range-topping trim gets more aggressive looks to go with its serious performance.

Audi

Audi's original TT may have started out being as much of a fashion play as it was a performance one, but that changed long ago. Today, they're serious athletes, particularly the range-topping TT RS model, which has evolved into a high-performance machine with supercar-humbling acceleration. Frankly, the 2019 Audi TT RS didn't need many tweaks to stay on our radar, but that hasn't stopped the German automaker from making a round of subtle changes to the model all the same. 

Set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the TT RS won't see drivetrain hardware updates, and that's just fine by us. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder still delivers 394 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels through a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. 

The big changes — if you can call them those — center on cosmetics. For the new model year, the TT RS receives a freshened front fascia, with larger air intakes that move their secondary vertical vanes inboard to follow the lines of the hexagonal grille. In addition, there's new gloss-black side sills. Out back, there's a redesigned RS-specific diffuser and a fresh rear wing which features more distinct endplates finished in a contrasting color. 

The new look, appended to both coupe and roadster body styles, won't do anything to discourage those "Baby R8" comments, and that's likely by design. The mid-engined R8 supercar itself receives a somewhat similar visual sharpening for 2019, as well.

This looks like a rather nice way to spend the afternoon.

Audi

A new RS-specific color, Kyalami green, will be available, and Pulse Orange and Turbo blue are new hues for the TT range, too.

Inside, interior changes seem to be limited to a new red dead-ahead stripe on the steering wheel rim at the 12 o'clock position. No matter, the rest of the TT's cabin's materials are still bang up to date, especially its wonderful quilted leather seats. No word on any updates to the TT's MMI infotainment system, which does not feature the twin-screen Touch Response interface of newer models like the A6 and Q8

The TT RS' driver-focused interior is essentially unchanged.

Audi

The new model will continue to launch to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and generate serious lateral grip in the corners.

Despite being a critically acclaimed automobile, today's TT — range-topping RS model included — isn't a big seller, even by sports car standards. According to industry sales tracking website GoodCarBadCar, Audi managed to sell just 1,289 units in the US last year.

Audi's 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo has both a distinctive sound and power to spare.

Audi

No word yet on pricing for the updated 2019 Audi TT RS. Audi is currently declining to release information on when the car will be available in the US, or what it'll cost, but it's safe to be that pricing should be very similar to the 2018 model's $64,900 (plus $975 destination fee) base MSRP.