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Audi TT RS Plus confirmed for Oz

Blink and you miss it: Audi’s TT RS Plus can hit 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds.

Hot-shoe RS Plus to signal swansong for current-gen Audi TT sportscar in Australia

26 Jul 2012

AUDI is preparing to unleash its blistering TT RS Plus in Australia in what might be a last hurrah for the German luxury brand’s current-generation compact sports car until the third-generation car arrives in the next year or two.

As well, GoAuto understands Audi Australia has given itself the option of offering a new engine variant in the flagship A8 sedan - a twin-turbo 309kW 4.0-litre petrol V8 with cylinder deactivation, potentially as a replacement for the existing 273kW naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre unit.

Audi Australia corporate communications executive Shaun Cleary confirmed the TT RS Plus will be launched in Australia late this year or early next but said it was too early to reveal exact specification and pricing.

The flagship of the TT line-up, the RS Plus punches out 265kW of power and 465Nm of torque from its enhanced 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine, making it 15kW and 15Nm more potent than the already rapid standard TT RS.

The RS Plus can blast from zero to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds, not only making it two tenths quicker than the RS but also three-tenths faster than the V8 version of the recently facelifted Audi R8 with the dual-clutch S tronic transmission.

Audi has also unshackled the TT RS Plus from the standard car’s electronically-limited 250km/h top whack, enabling it to hit 280km/h, just 20km/h shy of the aforementioned R8 supercar.

7 center imageFrom top: Audi TT RS Plus Audi A8.Unlike the thirsty R8, the turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine of the TT RS Plus retains the standard car’s relatively frugal combined fuel consumption of 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

The TT RS Plus will be set apart from the standard RS by its black-painted, 19-inch alloy wheels in five-spoke Rotor design with contrasting red paint on the spoke tips and outer rim.

It also gets carbon-fibre mirror housings and a polished anthracite radiator grille with matte-aluminium frame, while the interior gets a gearshifter dressed with TT RS Plus badging and aluminium-look trim.

Like the TT RS S-Tronic Limited Edition introduced to Australia since the Melbourne motor show in July to herald the arrival of an automatic version of the car, the RS Plus also gets black oval exhaust tips linked to an active exhaust system that enhances the distinctive five-cylinder engine note.

Documents viewed by GoAuto show the RS Plus is likely to be offered with alloy wheel sizes ranging from 18 inches to 20 inches, while a six-speed manual transmission might also be available.

European TT RS Plus buyers are charged a premium of €6000 ($A7065) over the standard TT RS list price, which could translate to a sticker price approaching $150,000 for Australian buyers once local taxes and import duties are taken into account.

Buyers who cannot stretch to six-figure sums will be able to order the Competition package on more modest TT variants in the first half of next year, getting RS-style cosmetic enhancements inside and out.

So far this year, Audi TT sales are down 25.1 per cent, with only 179 units sold in the first half.

By comparison, Audi’s A5 has accumulated 575 sales, making it the second biggest seller in the over $80,000 sports car segment behind rival Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class Coupe and Convertible.

The next-generation TT is expected to make a motor show debut some time in 2013, based on Volkswagen Group’s new MQB underpinnings that promise to reduce weight and simplify production while improving functionality.

Audi’s A3 compact hatch was the first production vehicle to emerge on the platform, featuring developments such as a special ‘phone box’ that enhances connectivity and boosts the signal of mobile telephones and a mobile wi-fi hotspot that enables up to eight devices to access the internet from inside the car.

Driver assistance systems usually associated with Audi’s larger models will also become available, including adaptive cruise control, fatigue detection, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring, road sign recognition, self-parking and collision mitigation.

In the meantime, Audi’s new twin-turbo 4.0-litre variant of its all-aluminium flagship sedan, the A8, remains a possibility for the future, perhaps to sit below the super-hot 382kW/650Nm S8 range topper that is due to launch here within weeks.

However Mr Cleary told GoAuto that while Audi Australia sometimes homologates variants available to other markets, this does not necessarily mean they are coming here.

“At present there are no plans to bring that engine here,” he said.

The engine develops 309kW, the same output as the unit used in the S6 and S7 that will launch alongside the S8, and 36kW more than the only petrol V8 in the current line-up, the 273kW naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre.

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