I have been a long time reader of the forums, but never really a contirbutor so to say. There are some incredible information out from everyone and knowledge that some of you have provided me over the years on vehicles has been extremely helpful. At the end of the day we should all buy what we want and not what someone else suggests. I currently own a 2010 E90 M3 that is a DINAN car except exhaust AA right now, but hopefully switching over to something new soon (and yes i have the badge, but its also because I have the engine to match and dont care about the 10 point badge thing) and hopefully supercharging it soon...we will see.
On to my story of Audi and the TT RS.
Which is why i bring up this statement as some of you are probably thinking why the Audi??? I asked mysefl them same thing when I was ready to write a check for this car back in January as I have had awful experience with my previous Audis (2006 Audi S4 25th anniversary quattro and a 2008 RS4). I loved these two cars until I started having serious issues...driveshaft melted from the exhaust on the S4 and the RS4 needed the entire engine replaced (luckily still under warranty, but had to bring it to 4 dealerships until the right one diagnosed it--InSkip they are fantastic). There is no denying the fact that german's build some of the best all around vehicles in the world. When it comes to performance, comfort, design and all the creature comforts anyone could want in their vehicle...they give it to you in exceptionally different flavours and options.
So on to the Audi TT RS. I bought this car because in November of 2011 I was really starting to think I need daily driver that gives me better gas mileage and that can perform in great weather of Boston all year round. My initial instict was just to buy something modest, but as I am sure many of you can relate...how and where do I draw the line of modest and practical. We all have a passion for cars that I would consider the same passion a drug addict has for....well no need for detail. I was going to suck it up and get an SUV....i drove an X5M, Cayenne GTS 6spd, and the new SRT8 Cherokee...they are all fast and great cars, but i have gone the SUV route and I was thinking to myself....I dont have kids (yet), i barely have anything big enough to lug around in an SUV (the dog would like it better), gas mileage would be the same if not worse than the M3 and the automatic transmission (except the GTS) would lull me to sleep, but would be great for all the traffic i sit in 85% of the time.
I saw the TT Rs and then for some reasaon i felt compelled to see it. I went a dealership in Brookline, which had one in the showroom, but they would not let me start the car or even put the key in the ignition...bizarre and considering I just drove up in a heavily modified M3 and a fine tailored italian suite, i guess it wasnt enough for me to look serious at the car.
On to the next dealership in Burlington. I went up one day on a Friday to take a look and the color I just fell in love with. Its Monza Silver and some of you will say why silver??? One its rare pickings for color and I just dont like white on the car. Daytona grey was the other option, but my 2010 E90 M3 is JZB and its already hard to keep one black car clean on a daily basis. The monza silver for anyone that is familiar with Audi, used to be Avus Silver on the RS4 and the S4 25quattro. It really is a beautiful color and changes shades during different times in the day. Again this dealer would not let me start the car. How are you going to buy a house if you have never seen it or been in it!!??
I mean what the hell. I finally was about to walk out again and say this is why I will never buy an Audi again. They just dont get it. But the Sales Manager came down allowed me to start it on, but could not drive it because its so "rare". Come on guys its a 70K that has limited allocation. I could go tot he ferrari dealership 30 miles away and go take almost anyone of those cars for a test drive. Lets be serious
So that following week (minus all the horriblness i had to go through to get the car) I went that weekend and bought it. I couldnt believe I just bought an Audi for one again, this car is about as impractile as it gets except all wheel drive/navigaton/bluetooth. What did i just do!??! The day I went to go pick it up in January 2012 it snowed about 8 inches that night and into the morning and the car had its high performance summers on it....great this not a good start
(and it comes with the new toyo T1S sport, but thats a whole other thread).
I asked them about break in and all the other details just to get my own entertainment that morning (audi dealers are clueless when it comes to high performance cars from my experience and my salesman came from Lamborghini...scary). Off I was driving the car for the first time.
Now here is what you really want to read if you havent been lulled to sleep yet and why I have a new respect for Audi:
during my negtiotation with Audi i got them to throw in a ski rack and roof rack to support the ski rack. When they had the boxes there and they were big, i was think how the hell am I going to get this home? they Fit in the car so easily by just putting the rear seats down...perfect this car is already changing my mind about not being practical.
break in time was 1200 miles form what i read so going easy on the car for a while, but with how many miles i average a week (500) this would be quick.
When i turned the car on i was expecting to be disappointed and immediately wanting to find an aftermarket replacement, but i got the sports exhaust witht he black tips (goes very well with the color and complete bottom rear diffuser is now carbon fiber as well OSIR). the sounds was quite pleasant and raw. the sports exhaust comes with a sport button like the M button in our cars. this is supposed to tighten up throttle, suspension, and open the other exhaust pipe (reminds me of the DINAN exhaust on a cold day, what a horrible look) to open the sound when increasing through the RPM range.
the steering was numb in the parking lot and very loose and I thought what the hell is this??? but when you gradually increase your speed the steering tightens right up to where it should be. I actually like it loose like that in a parking lot and makes it easier to navigate (though there is not much car to navigate as it looks small in size).
Very firm ride from the beginning...much firmer than the M and this has the megthorical (spelling sorry) suspension, which goes from firm to more firm...personally I like the firm ride so this isnt an issue. the roads here are horrible so makes it a little tough at times.
Never been a fan of wings, but the wing on this car looks fantastic with the body and lines and curves fo the car. In addition, total visibility out of the rear and does not block view at all (its now replaced with carbon fiber from OSIR--yes modding begun quickly and i love being able to see the carbon shine in the sun when driving).
drive positioning for vitals on the car are in great view (car even comes with an internal boost meter in inside, but reads from min to max). the feel of that flat bottomed steering wheel in your hands is something of pure bliss. It feels fantastic in your hands with the perfect amount of grip and thickness. The shifter feels the same way in your hand with the meatiness to it that the M3 just lacks and never feels quite right...almost delicate at times.
Transmission and gearing is absolutely perfect. Please keep in mind that I have a 4.10 diff in my car now and that was one of the most modifications i could have ever spent money on and the TT RS feels very similiar to the 4.10, except its 3.55 i believe. Pure audi greatness in that regard for 6spd and something i really hope BMW fixes down the road if they cntinue to make manuals for us pursits (even though the germans say we dont know how to drive stick). the car is always in the power band adn there is constantly low amounts of torque. there is definitely some very brief and initial turbo lag (this is my first turbo car so bare with me on my knowledge and vocabulary), but it turns very quickly into throwing into your seat. this was all being used through 1000-3800RPM for the first 1200 miles.
when you sit in the drivers seat you have a great position in the car and feel a very low center of gravity, which i like. Definitely blinds spots in the rear pillars and the rearview mirror is a little small, but great visibility everywhere else. Very similiar to the M3, but i feel you are just slightly higher up in the M3. There is cut outs for extra headroom for people greater than 6'2. My dad is 6'5 and fits with no problem....well it does take him some time to get in and out!
The doors are incredibly heavy and it seems like every time you open them to get out they just fly back at you..which is always a pleasant experience.
In addition, there is plenty of boot space and i can fit two set of golf clubs back there no problem (seats folded down of course), where i have a real tough time getting my clubs in the back on the M3 without having to take at least the driver out of the back (not folding seats down).
there is also very little storage space in the car except a few stash bins until the seats (fits my saturday night special...hah) and some bins in the doors. Other than that nothing...
the interior is pretty simple, but ideal for what i was looking for. Great Bose sound system from the factory (B&O not available which would be amazing), the recaro seats are good, but the M3 just is in another league (wish we could get euro spec seats here) when it comes to seat comfort and holding you in your place. Stiching is beautiful and it looks like the 1M took some design ques from the TT RS. The MMI interface in this car is out of the R8, but man is the idrive a far more superior piece of technology. this thing is so slow and outdated its scary. I feel like I am back in the RS4/S4 from 2008...I mean seriously could they not put a better piece of technology in the car??
Car also came with heated seats (option), which is definitely a must here in Boston. Especially for someone like me that doesn carry a whole ton of junk in the trunk. the dash is disappointing and looks like it came out of an A3 and is plastic. Back seats are totally useless and i acutally got stuck back there for about 15 minutes one day.
this car handles truly exceptional. I definitely had my doubts with the AWD, but the balance and steering in the car is just fantastic. It is so quick and agile (even with SottoZeros in the winter) and keep its wieght going in the right direction all the time. There is little to none in understeer in hard fast turns, but you sometimes will get it as you just feel like you can drive and push this car with confidence that can sometimes make you pull back on the throttle and hit the brakes in the M3 (AWD is a beautiful thing for a man's driving confidence). I always have loved the dimensions and weight balance that they created the current M3 platform off of and the TT RS is no slouch in that department with the wieght balance. It would be nice if we could throw some meatty rubber in the rear, but 255 is all she will ever see for a contact patch
on this car, but Audi has made it work
the sound that comes from the 5 cylinder engine is almost as acusitcally entertaining as when i first bought the M3. It has a vicious rasp at start up adn idle and when you hit the sport button and open the valve it brings it to life even more. I have to admit though, there is not much of a different in sound with the sport button on when under load and I truly think it came down to $1900 option for gloss black oval tips and a rubber house that opens and closes the valve. the true sweet spot for this car is between 3800RPM and 5500RPM. Everything just blends perfectly during this range.
Now when the suprt button is engaged, the stiff, firm and very active suspension gets a little more tightened up and you could feel driving over an ant. This is a required taste and feeling for a DD driver, but it is something that some days is better than others.
Once the initial turbo lag has subsided, the car has brutal excelaration for a car that comes with 360BHP and 343FT TQ out of the box. It is very quick (getting a first so called "kill" a few weeks ago to the new 991 C4S...yes you read that right...it was by about 2-3 car lengths and the distance was about 3 stop lights in distance....so maybe not a legit kill, but i was shocked and so was the porsche salesman and the man test driving the car...). this car is very quick, but with almost 5K on the odometer i am getting ready for upgrades and seeing the full potential of this vehicle. I promised myself i would not touch the car, but we all know how that goes.
I am getting a little exhausted and my brain is not working to well so i will leave it at this. Having the fortunate and lucky opportunity to drive to very different, but equally engaging vehicles. I have alto more to experience in this car, but the botttom line is that this car has become a perfect DD. Its comfortable for the most part, has all the technology that I need, engaging to drive, a sleeper for the most part (not too many people around here know what a TT RS is or an M3 at times), I can do 100 and still get 17-20mpg, but get a steady 25mpg throughout the week and only have to fill the tank up 1-2 times a week as opposed to 3 or more in the M at times depending on how much driving,
if anyone is in the Boston area I would love to meet up and if you are curious about the car that I too hated for the last several years, I am telling you that this car will sway your opinion. Its more of a DD than I could ever imagine.
only problem is now i get horrible looks on people's faces when i tell them that a little coupe is my DD and the sedan is the weekend warrior. The E9X is truly a special car and car that I want to keep for as long as I can no matter what.
thanks for reading all and i hope it wasnt too boring...my mind went dead but said to myself I must finish. not a masterpiece but a start.