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Audi TT RS Prototype Spied Testing

Turbo five-cylinder should pack more than 400 hp.

This black Audi TT caught driving around Europe may look like a garden-variety, 292-hp TTS, but a few key details suggest that this is actually a mule for the hotted-up TT RS that’s yet to make its debut. Like the previous generation of the TT RS, this new performance variant will sit at the top of the Audi TT lineup and was previewed by last year’s Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept.

The clues on this prototype that give it away as a TT RS include cross-drilled brake rotors and more aggressive front- and rear fascias compared to the standard TT and TTS models. The production version should further amp up its sporty appearance with additions like a rear diffuser, oval exhaust tips, upgraded wheels and tires, and a rear spoiler.

The new Audi TT RS is expected to continue the basic formula of its predecessor, with a high-powered turbocharged five-cylinder engine putting its power through a Quattro all-wheel drive system. Everything will be on a higher level with this new model, though, with power estimates ranging over 400 hp, a big step up from the last TT RS’ 360 hp.

Among other changes, the manual transmission will likely disappear for the new Audi TT RS, with a dual-clutch automatic being the only transmission choice. Don’t think that Audi is being a total killjoy, though, because the TT RS should also feature a significant rear bias for its all-wheel drive system, making for tail-out, rally-style antics.

The new Audi TT RS will likely make its debut at the Frankfurt auto show later this year, likely in both coupe and convertible forms like its predecessor. With the 2016 Audi TT and TTS not going on sale in the U.S. until later this year, we’ll probably have to wait a while before we see the Audi TT RS on our shores.

Stay tuned to hear more information about the hottest version of the Audi TT over the next few months.