Once in a while, a truly special package comes along and is seemingly gone in the blink of an eye. The TT RS was that package for Audi, marrying the fantastic 8J chassis with the outrageous 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-5 and a 6-speed manual. With 360 horsepower on tap driving all wheels and a sticker price below $60,000, it was Audi’s answer to the BMW 1M, and it was a good one. Though the driving experience perhaps wasn’t as “pure” as the Munich monster, the TT RS was a potent alternative that was on par with the competition, if not better. It was a Porsche killer at a fraction of the price.
But it was short lived, only being available for the 2012 and 2013 model years. On its way out, around 30 of the RSs were handed over to Audi Exclusive. Painted special Nimbus Grey Pearl Effect and optioned with the bi-color leather interior, they were also heavily optioned with the Titanium Exhaust package treatment which came with the titanium exhaust, black optics grill and titanium “Rotor” wheels. A special “RS” shift knob was also present, and the total package (which included the Tech Package, as well) upped the sticker price to over $70,000. Today you can have a basically new one for a seeming steal at some $20,000 less:
There aren’t too many cars that I look at today and think that down the road they’ll be viable used cars. I can look back at the previous tech-heavy generation cars for the trends of what will occur – take the BMW E31 for example. Sure, it’s a really neat looking car, and the lure of the V12 is made even more appealing since you could get a manual transmission. But then there are the horror stories of the 15 or more computers that it takes to run all of the electronic systems, and I wonder how people will keep them running in the future. That’s even more compounded when you look at newer models. For example, about a month ago I took a trip out to Coventry Motorcar and drove their modified CL65 AMG. It was when new, and still is today, an amazing car with every sort of electronic gizmo possible, from heated, cooled and massaging seats to the twin-turbo V12 under the hood. It’s as if Mercedes-Benz took a Brookstone catalog and attached it to a Saturn V rocket. But can you imagine maintaining that car as it creeps towards 120,000 miles? I certainly can’t, and it’s a feeling I have about nearly all new luxury German cars.
There are a few exceptions, even in my favorite brand of Audi. While I’m not a fan of most of the models they’ve come out with recently in general, there are a few special ones that I’d consider owning down the road. It’s not that I don’t like or admire the cars; the performance of the new generation motors is stunning and the interiors and exteriors are, I think, the best in the business. It’s that I just can’t contemplate how you’d keep a new S8 running down the road. Having owned cutting edge, tech heavy Audis in the past, it’s a recipe that I would be concerned with in the future. I might make an exception, though, for a car like the this: