There’s the history of the Audi TT, and the history of the brand’s halo RS performance division to consider here, because to understand both is to understand how their mixture creates a car that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The Audi TT sports car, a dinky two-seater, was shown in concept form in 1995, and went on sale in 1998, with the convertible version, the roadster, arriving a year later. The idea behind it was a sports car “with high suitability for everyday use”. Audi introduced its dual-clutch transmission, the S tronic, on the first TT, and power went up to 250 horsepower.
In 2006 the second wave arrived, with the addition to the line-up of an S version and later, as Audi called it, “a true athlete”, the Audi TT RS, with power at 340 horsepower.
Audi’s RS badge is relatively new: it started life 25 years ago, in 1994, on the RS2 Avant. It was the baby of Audi’s Quattro GmbH performance division, and the two letters stand for RennSport – Racing Sport. In a stroke of genius, the first few models to bear the RS badge were all estates, thus successfully marketing a thoroughbred, petrolhead ideal to the family- and lifestyle-focused consumer masses. In 2009, however, looking towards Porsche and the Cayman, Audi whacked those letters, and an heathy dose of power, on its TT sports car. Et voila.