Audi’s TTRS combines the appeal of a 2 door sports coupe, with the engine performance of its 2.5L 5cyl turbo engine to deliver an impressive performance car.
I had purchased this car to replace a BMW e90 M3, and was very surprised at the performance on offer. I had also test driven a Mercedes C63 AMG, but the performance of the Audi really surprised with the low down torque of the 5cyl and the grip from the quattro all wheel drive.
On the road, the car would be one of the best performance cars I have owned, having previously driven a Lancer Evolution X, a Ford XR6 Turbo, a Mazda 3 MPS, a few modified Japanese cars and of course my BMW M3. The traction from the Quattro all wheel drive is outstanding in the dry or the wet, having sampled the car across many of QLD’s popular driving roads. The surety of traction in any weather conditions made it easier to drive than even and M3 through the twisties, and the grunt from the 5cyl Turbo engine easily eclipsed the performance from my previous Evolution X. The 6 Speed manual is a joy to use, with rations perfectly matched to the power and torque of the engine. It can be a bit notchy however and doesn’t like to be rushed through the gates. The engine is a revelation, and provides so much torque down low that it can climb a hill or incline in 4th or 5th gear where most cars would need 3rd.
My car is a white TTRS (Suzuka Grey is the official colour) with black Rotor Arm Wheels, and a black carbon fibre fixed rear wing. On the inside it has the race bucket seats (manual adjust only but look much better than the standard seats and grip you better during spirited driving) in black leather. I have a preference for white cars with black so my TTRS ticks the boxes for looks also. The S button also liberates the exhaust and changes the throttle mapping for better response for a more sporty experience, but it is best left to the track or spirited driving, as the car uses substantially more fuel and becomes very touchy to drive.
Fuel usage has been very good averaging 8.5l per 100km over a mix of highway and urban driving when driving normally. However during spirited driving it can average as much as 18l per 100km. Expect to achieve around the 10l per 100km for mixed driving use, which is a good result for a performance car.
The car has been very reliable and hasn’t missed a beat. I have had to have the Air Conditioning replaced under warranty, and the clip holding the rear parcel shelf broke, which was replaced at my cost and was a $800 repair job.
The car however has had some frustrations during my ownership. I had purchased the car as a second hand car and have travelled over 21K kms in over a year of driving.
Firstly the cost of parts for the car has been on the expensive side, though overall not too bad for a car that was $140K to buy brand new. I had bought my car as a 4 year old car with 45K kms for nearly half that price. The major issue is that the TTRS is a niche model and I have found very little aftermarket support in Australia for it.I had to replace the brake paids and rotors for the front brakes, and was quoted around $2500 plus labour from Audi. I ended up finding factory rotors and aftermarket pads at a cost of about $1600. I would expect this to last about 2 years given a good mix of normal and spirited driving. I have also had to replace the clutch, which was more expensive. The clutch comes with a dual mass flywheel and there are no aftermarket solutions I was able to find in Australia. The clutch kit alone costs about the $1500 mark, with the dual mass flywheel coming in at about the $2200 mark. In addition Audi quote labour at 12 hours to replace the clutch. I would expect the clutch to last another 50K kms depending on driving, but when buying a used car, it would be wise to budget for this when making your purchase choice. I have also replaced the rear subframe bushes, for under $1000 also. Tyres are also a little difficult to source as the car requires 255/35/19 tyres which are not made by all manufacturers. It pays to spend money buying the best tyre as I ended up replacing the Pirellli road tyres that came with the car with some better Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres that dramatically improved the handling and traction of the car. Tyres can cost around $500-$600 per corner for good performance rubber.
Servicing is every 12 months or 15K kms, with Audi, however I service the car more regularly than that. Oil changes are not that expensive when using my local mechanic at around the $280 per oil change. Make sure that you replace the gearbox oil and the diff oil regularly also to ensure that these components last. I would change them once a year which will add another $500 and $300 respectively for the gearbox and diff, but is worth it for peace of mind.
My only modifications to the car fix the two biggest issues I have had after a year of ownership. The first was the understeer that the car experiences during harder driving. This won’t be seen on the roads, but if you decide to take your car to the track for some spirited driving, the understeer is a major problem. I replaced my springs with an MSS kit located in Europe and, along with better tyres, fixes the understeer issue.
My second issue is the woeful Bluetooth and connectivity issues with the standard car. I spend a lot of time on the phone, but when using the factory Audi Bluetooth, I found many people complained that they couldn’t hear me clearly. The factory Audi head unit also doesn’t come with Bluetooth audio streaming, so you can’t stream music through the audio system. I fixed this by replacing the factory head unit with an aftermarket Pioneer GPS system that fixed both issues.
Overally the Audi has been one of the best cars I have owned, from a performance point of view. On the road, it’s mixture of power and grip delivers a fantastic experience. For those looking to take their cars beyond the road, the modifications to suspension and tyres iron out the understeer issues from factory to provide the experience that you would be expecting from the TTRS.