European customers will soon be able to purchase two new versions of the Audi TT: the TT RS Plus and a factory-built race car. Both are expected to be available in early 2012.
According to L’Automobile Magazine -- no relation to Automobile Magazine --the TT RS Plus is an update to the existing TT RS that brings 375 hp, drops the rear seats, and in the process shaves about 132 pounds. However, Audi U.S. spokesman Mark Dahncke explains that the power upgrade is simply to bring the European TT RS in line with the car sold in the States.
Our TT RS launched after the hot coupe debuted in Europe, so it already benefited from some engine tweaks. The car is currently rated at 360 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque in our market, but only 335 hp and 332 lb-ft in Europe. The TT RS Plus essentially brings Europe’s car up to par with what is sold in the U.S. by blessing it with some mild engine updates.
Dahncke said he was unaware of any plans to drop the rear seat from the TT RS. However, L’Automobile Magazine may have been referring to the forthcoming Audi TT RS race car. Developed by Quattro GmbH, it will be a fully prepared race car for use on European circuits -- similar to the R8 LMS car. It will have a stripped interior with a roll cage and should be lighter than the road-going TT RS.
Dahncke said there is no demand for such a racer in the U.S., and that it wouldn’t be well-suited to American race series like Grand-Am.
The race car is front-wheel-drive and, like the TT RS Plus, offers 375 hp. Power is transmitted via a six-speed sequential transmission with paddle shifters. Adjustable race suspension and a unique body designed for more aerodynamic downforce also are standard. The ready-to-race car starts at €180,000 -- about $250,000.
Even though we won’t be getting an upgraded “Plus” version of the TT RS here, we’re not concerned: the existing, 360-hp coupe is still a blast.
Sources: L’Automobile Magazine, Audi