Audi TT RS and RS3 Have The Same Engine, But Which Is Better?


Turbocharged front-mounted inline-five with 400 horsepower going to all four wheels. Is it possible to go wrong either way?

Audi is quite proud of its most recent achievement in engine technology: making an exotic turbocharged inline-five engine available to the masses. Furthermore, this unit is engineered for performance rather than city travel (though it can do both) and makes a total of 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque using only 2.5-liters of engine real estate. That gets mounted up front and power is sent to all four-wheels after passing through a seven-speed dual clutch automatic.

If that engine sounds right up your alley, the only real question to ask becomes: which flavor would you like it in? TT RS or RS3? Without a smidgen of surprise, there are stark differences between either despite the fact the two cars share an engine. In terms of dynamics, the TT RS is built to swing blows at the Porsche 718 twins.

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A 3,200-pound curb weight and Audi’s signature quattro AWD system makes the TT RS fun in the corners, and while it can do just about everything better than the RS3 on the track, daily drivability is where the RS3 makes its appeal. It has a trunk, rear doors with seats that a grown adult can fit into, has longer wheelbase, and the same Audi quattro AWD system. On top of that, it has what it takes to bring the het to the BMW M2 and whatever high-powered four-door version of it that's slated to follow. Good thing, in that case, that there’s a race track and nearby road where the RS3 and TT RS can be compared. We couldn’t blame any sports car lover for choosing either one.