Audi TT RS (2016) to be available with a manual gearbox?

Published: 17 February 2016

► New spy photos reveal TT RS prototype in detail
► TTS body but drilled brake discs, other telltales
► Expected later in 2016, power nudging 400bhp

Development of Audi's hotter TT RS continues at pace and fresh shots from Sweden have allowed us a peek inside a winter test mule. Intriguingly, this particular car’s fitted with a manual gearbox, suggesting the production RS won’t necessarily be a DSG-only affair.

Are you sure that’s the new TT RS? Looks more like a TTS to me…

The yellow bodywork and badging’s no different from a TTS like CAR’s long-termer, but there are some telltale giveaways – not least the much larger, oval exhaust outlets (an Audi RS model hallmark), housed within an RS3-style diffuser section.

The brakes are bigger too, with drilled, wave-profiled discs and partially painted-over RS logos on the calipers. And the rollcage and racing seats suggest this test car’s leading a fairly hard life…

The gallery also features earlier spy photographs of an RS mule testing near the Nurburgring, with a few key differences from the TTS: a new front spoiler treatment, identical-looking wave-patterned and drilled brake discs (currently unavailable on the S), RS brake calipers and twin oval exhaust pipes.

Our spies have already caught prototypes benchmarking against the S - and observed RS-spec dampers under the mostly aluminium bodywork.

The end product will doubtless feature a more aggressive front spoiler and intake treatment in line with previous Audi RS models. We won’t have to wait long to find out – the car’s official reveal is expected to be at the 2016 Geneva motor show in March.

Audi TT RS: the spec

CAR magazine's information is that the new RS will be positioned above its predecessor, seen in our earlier spy photos benchmarking against the new car.

How much more focused will it become? We understand it'll pack the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged up to 380-400bhp and 406lb ft of torque, making for one very rapid TT. One rivalling the Porsche 911 Carrera S, more than the boggo Carrera, for 40% less cash. Another school of thought suggests the fastest TT could use the 2.0-litre turbo from the forthcoming Golf R400.

Whichever engine powers it, expect a styling and aero package to differentiate the TT RS further from the bread-and-butter models coupes and roadsters. The last fast TT (reviewed here) sported a fixed rear wing, regular RS twin oval exhausts and some pretty scintillating performance figures: it could sprint to 62mph in just 4.1sec and we'd anticipate the new one being faster by a margin.

The new 2016 Audi TT RS: muscling into Porsche territory

By CAR's road test team

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