Audi TT RS Practically a Go for America Suggests Official AoA Petition + Our Own Intel with Projected Price
by, 08-12-2010 at 04:04 PM (7805 Views)
Audi has launched a petition for American consumers to gauge reaction and measure demand for the 350 hp Audi TT RS. We've known Audi of America is VERY serious about adding this car to its lineup and has been considering it for a while and this new social media blast to try to gain a measure for the number of hand raisers is a very good sign. Even better is their next step in producing a few video shorts via the Audi of America YouTube channel.
So What's Our Take
Most already know Audi of America's product planning team had a black German market TT RS in country since last April. That car has done laps in SoCal with auto journalists and stood duty as outreach in many other ways including our own display of the car at both Carlisle in May and Waterfest in July. More importantly, we're guessing it was here to win over the hearts of executives who help make the decision of its confirmation.
So what's the status? We've heard everything from 'officially official' to 'jury still out until interest is measured'. What we know for sure is this. First, Germany has green-lighted the car for America and that is a big deal. Without that approval the car would not have had a chance. Approval in hand it is now up to Audi's American planners to make the final commitment.
Over many conversations of ours about the car with various executives we've learned the following specifics. If it comes the car will likely be coupe only and manual transmission only. Numbers would be very limited and while we've seen small production runs of niche cars like the RS 4 Cabriolet in the 300s, we believe TT RS will need to sell at least 600 units to be deemed successful. More than likely if the promotion has begun via social media the decision has already been made and we'd bet it has.
Since the TT RS is already in production and the TT range has already had its product improvement, Audi could bring the car over very quickly unlike the RS 5 which waits for its mid life cycle update before it comes over. This is actually smart timing as Audi needs an RS car for the American market to bridge that gap and the TT RS would likely start arriving next summer a year ahead of RS 5.
Even better, we're pretty certain on a price. One very senior Audi of America official threw a number at us of $58,500. Since no official price has been announced this is subject to change but we believe it to be quite accurate.
Where Do We Go from Here?
Clearly Audi's challenge will be selling buyers on a car not yet here. Bringing a few over for sampling makes the most sense though and we hear this may be a consideration. We've logged many miles on the lone German example that's been with Audi of America (due to go back to Germany ASAP though it was at Audi's Herndon, VA headquarters two weeks ago when we were there). We'll be running a driving impression soon but in the mean time can say first hand that we think the car is spectacular. The TT RS has an edge about it that even the TTS can not compare with, it's pace most impressive and the overall experience more like a mini supercar that is more livable. We couldn't recommend it more.
So if you're interested in seeing the TT RS come to America, click below for a link to the Audi of America petition. Further below we've also attached the two YouTube videos of the car. Enjoy.
Audi of America TT RS Petition