Audi TT S and TT RS: Awesome or What?

I recently read the WR review of the TT RS: http://www.windingroad.com/articles/reviews/driven-2012-audi-ttrs/ I smiled with amusement at the typical internet comment meltdown in which the TT RS is accused of being a girl car (I like girls so that seems like a good thing, but I guess not?), unable to hang with a Corvette (Corvettes are pretty fast, so that isn't too shabby?) and a bad value (though I am unable to name the AWD sports cars with less than 10 lb/hp for less money). I have my views on these things, particularly that whether the TT RS, not being a race car, is faster or slower than some other car is really mostly irrelevant to actual drivers (as opposed to internet trolls). Still, in the area of being hoist with your own petard, I found this summary from an article in Sport-Auto (Germany) about testing the TT S at Hockenheim provided further amusement: "The test in the morning suggests the black gold [cheap ol' Dunlop Direzzas] will cut 2 seconds from the lap time. This would produce a 1:13.2 lap time [for the TT S], almost disrespectful to some of the greats. A Porsche 911 Carrera S with PDK and Michelin Cup tires needs 1:13.7 for this circuit. The Mercedes CLK 63 Black Series takes 1:13.8, a BMW M3 with sticky tires even 1:14.3 for one lap of the 2.6 kilometer circuit. Does a 4-cylinder coupe stand a chance against an Armada of overpowering 6 cylinders and V8s? It not only stands a chance, it crushes them, the TTS has become high performance car and fun car combined in one tiny package." Now this is a modified TT S with an ECU upgrade and properly installed KW Clubsports. But it has less power by quite a bit than the TT RS. With weight reduced (mainly seats), the TT S in this test does a 1:12.0. "A Porsche 911 Turbo can't do it faster; a Ferrari F430 F1 is decidedly slower." So this is a lightly modded car, but within the realm of the TT RS base spec. To me it shows a few things. First, the assumptions people make about what different cars can and cannot do in terms of speed are often understandable but almost as often wrong. For acceleration, the shape of the torque curve and the gearing setup are most commonly overlooked. For lap times, the effect of tires, weight and (for amateurs) balance are hard to predict on paper. Second, it shows that assumptions about the meaning of a car's origins are borderline foolish. In this case, everyone knows the TT RS is based on the Golf. Except that it isn't. And with that premise, everyone knows that the TT S and RS can't hang with the big boys. Except that they can.
by dieselhead on Nov. 28, 2012 - 8:34 p.m.