Timeless through time: the TT has been Audi’s design icon for almost a quarter of a century. Now the Audi TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 is continuing the trend into the future – a fast sports car with new innovations whilst retaining the typical TT RS properties: design and dynamics.
“The name of the Audi TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 says it all,” says Sebastian Grams, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “The edition model is reminiscent of the iconic TT design language, which at the same time stands for courage and elegance in uncompromising form. Thanks to the exclusive exterior and interior highlights, the much-loved performance of our ultimate sports coupé, with its multiple award-winning five-cylinder engine, is not only palpable, but also visible to fans.”
Inspired by the Bauhaus: the TT Coupé
With a vision of ‘a car for enthusiasts’, Audi presented the Audi TT Coupé as a sports car study at the IAA in Frankfurt in the fall of 1995. Almost symmetrical, the Audi TT consistently followed a design principle based on geometric, circular shapes. The design didn’t compromise, but rather prioritized – and this immediately impressed the audience.
Three years later, the coupé went into production almost unchanged. One year after the TT Coupé, Audi launched the TT Roadster. In its second model generation, the Coupé was enhanced with an S and RS variant.
“The TT was inspired by the Bauhaus and its universal design philosophy of ‘less is more,’” says Head of Audi Design Marc Lichte. “The maximum reduction – the omission of everything unnecessary and insignificant – was so radical and so courageous that the TT, in its simplicity, quickly achieved the highest attribute of good design: to be timeless. Once you’ve achieved that, you’re beyond trends and yet you’re never out of fashion – simply because good style doesn’t wear out.”
This is why – three TT generations and a quarter of a century later – the typical lines of the 1998 coupé can still be found in the current TT RS Coupé iconic edition1. The edition model also remains true to the idea of reduction to the essentials; the minimalist design extends from the clear exterior to the interior, which is still clearly and simply focused on the driver to this day.
The typical tube and cylinder shapes, which blend into the interior of the instrument design, can also be found in the current Audi TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 – such as the standard fuel tank cap, round ventilation outlets, shift gate edging, and the striking gear knob. The enthusiasm that was declared back in 1995 continues to inspire the TT Coupé to this day.
Setting the Right Tone: Dark Elegance on the Exterior
The special edition Audi TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 confidently meets the high expectations set by its aesthetics. The RS-specific Nardo Grey finish sets the right tone for the exclusive and athletic demands of the special model.
This elegant shade of gray was named after the legendary Italian race track, Pista di Nardó, where Audi RS models also rack up their first test kilometers. As one of the most popular individual finishes with customers, it ensures an optimal first impression.
The stylish feel is further enhanced by the glossy black grille with a matte black single-frame, which clearly emphasizes the Quattro lettering in a matte titanium look. The RS model also confidently wears the inlay in the side skirt in glossy black, whilst the Audi rings, the TT RS model designation on the front and rear, as well as the casings of the exterior mirrors apply this materiality consistently.
The sophisticated, edition-specific 20-inch glossy black alloy wheels with a 7-arm design and matching black brake calipers continue the design language down to the last detail. Partially frosted rear triangular windows with the exclusive “iconic edition” lettering complete the striking dark look of the coupé right down to the rear.
Motorsports Genes: Aerokit Enhances Sporty Character
The Audi TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 also gains dynamic strength from the Aerokit, developed in a wind tunnel. Inspired by motorsports, the front apron features side flics, a front splitter, and blades in the side front air intakes.
At the rear, the fixed carbon rear wing, with its side winglets, ensures a sporty finish and, as part of the aerodynamic concept, supports both performance and efficiency.
There are vertical design elements on both sides above the RS-specific diffuser. The two striking, oval-shaped exhaust tailpipes form a striking end. In keeping with the color philosophy of the special edition, the front splitters, flics, side sill attachments, and a section of the rear diffuser look impressive in glossy black.
The relationship between drag and lift was explicitly taken into account during the development of the Aerokit in the wind tunnel and is thus optimally balanced – improving both aerodynamics and driving performance. The increased contact pressure of the rear wing and rear diffuser places the sports car much more firmly on the road and significantly improves handling in fast corners – ideal conditions for great driving enjoyment in all situations.
X of 100: Highly Exclusive Interior Design Accents
The interior of the TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 is characterized by exclusivity and attention to detail. Here, too, the dark color scheme of the exterior remains the central motif, which is further accentuated by the deliberate use of accents from Audi-exclusive components. The RS sports seats are two-tone with fine Nappa side panels in jet gray and center panels in black Alcantara, along with honeycomb stitching in calendula yellow.
Exclusive “iconic edition” embroidery is embedded in the black Alcantara at shoulder height. The black floor mats are finished with RS embroidery in calendula yellow, whilst the door armrest and center console are also in jet gray and decorated with contrast stitching in calendula yellow – just like the black cowl of the Audi virtual cockpit.
Customers are reaching for black Alcantara on the door panels and the RS sports leather steering wheel with calendula yellow marking at 12 o’clock. It’s all about individuality on the selector lever: the numbered badge makes each of the 100 vehicles in this special edition unique.
While the moody ambient light creates an atmosphere in the interior, the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with 3D sound, enables a rich sound audible experience.
Form Needs Function: Legendary Five-Cylinder Engine Brings Unparalleled Sound
The TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 relies on Audi Sport’s proven 2.5 TFSI engine with 294 kW (400 hp) and maximum torque of 480 Nm. Numerous successes in motorsports make it one of Audi’s most compelling powertrains. Countless motorsports victories and strong day-to-day performance have earned the five-cylinder engine the “International Engine of the Year Award”, nine consecutive times since 2010.
As is typical of the TT RS, its power goes via a seven-speed S tronic to the permanent all-wheel quattro drive. An electro-hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch, which debuted in 1998 as part of the Audi TT, distributes all-wheel power freely between the front and rear axles. The Audi drive select driving dynamics system allows the driver to control the quattro drive system and other components, such as steering, seven-speed S tronic, exhaust flaps, and engine characteristics.
The Audi TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 reaches a top speed of 280 km/h (173.9 mph). This compact sports car sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds. The engine provides a highly emotional driving experience, with its typical 1-2-4-5-3 firing order and the accompanying throaty sound. Because of the firing order, adjacent and non-adjacent cylinders fire alternately, producing a very specific rhythm and character.
The odd number of cylinders creates harmonic frequencies that accompany the undertone and the engine control unit also contributes to the unmistakable sound. With a heavier load, the flaps in the exhaust gas tract open up for an even fuller sound.
In addition to the usual low weight (1,475 kilograms (3,252 lbs.) TT RS Coupé), the RS sport suspension plus adaptive dampers in the Audi magnetic ride technology, ensure excellent handling and stability. Steering also goes through the Audi drive select driving dynamics system.
Edition Model Available from Q1 2023
The edition model can be ordered starting from the beginning of October 2022. In Germany, the Audi TT RS Coupé iconic edition1 is available for 113.050 euros, with delivery beginning in the first quarter of 2023.
Limited to 100 units, the special model is a highly exclusive offer for TT and RS fans. Thanks to the Audi exclusive program, customers can also tailor their Audi Sport model to their own preferences even beyond the edition – from individual exterior colors to the color of the leather to the choice of contrasting stitching.