THERE are two ways of regarding the Audi TT RS.
It can be quite correctly viewed as the Top Gun version of the ubiquitous TT, which would be quite appropriate.
After all, it sports a mega 2.5litre five cylinder power unit putting out no less than 395bhp, has quattro four-wheel-drive as standard and all the bells and whistles you could wish for, including superb ‘virtual cockpit' behind the snazzy race-car like leather steering wheel.
Alternatively, the bullet-shaped 2+2 can easily be seen as a cut-price, pocket supercar. In fact its performance credentials are the match of some exotica with price tags more than double that of the £60,000 TT RS.
The stats speak volumes - 0 to 62mph in 3.7seconds and 354lb ft of torque available at just 1,700rpm. Of course, max is restricted to the usual 155mph but on request you can have this raised to 174mph if you so wish!
So it's fast, really fast. As quick as a McLaren, faster than a Porsche Cayman S. Coupled to a super-quick changing seven speed double clutch auto gearbox, progress is stunningly rapid. And it's accompanied by an appropriate howl from the five-pot engine plus the inevitable crackles and pops that make grown men turn their heads.
Of course, like most Audis including the mid-engined R8, it's easy to trundle around at a tortoise pace and without the extrovert background noise, for those who prefer a bit of anonymity.
With four-wheel-drive and ultra-low profile tyres on 20-inch rims, it's no surprise that cornering is leach-like. On public roads you are unlikely to reach adhesion breaking point such is the tenacious grip. Good in some ways, but it remains less involving for the driver than say a Porsche or a McLaren, partly due to rather inert steering.
For many, including myself, the ride is on the hard side of firm - even when ‘comfort' setting is selected. Choose ‘sport' and you can almost feel your tooth fillings rattle, such is the stiffness of the ride.
The cabin is a pleasant place to be with high quality plastic mouldings, figure hugging seats, RS-embossed seat belts and trim made from carbon fibre. The 12.3inch virtual cockpit in front of the steering wheel gives you all the info you need and more.
While you may never use the small rear seats for passengers, it proves so useful to have a space behind the driver and front seat passenger where you can sling a coat or briefcase. The rear seatbacks can be flicked down to increase the size of the flat luggage platform, making the TT RS a surprisingly practical, all purpose coupe.
With so much punch, you're braced for some serious petrol thirst. But our average of 26mpg came as a pleasant surprise. A very light right foot proved that 30mpg is within reach.