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Audi TT RS Coupe vs. BMW Z4 sDrive35is

Audi TT

Audi TT RS Coupe

- £46,140

I have a soft spot for the Audi TT. I used to have the bubble shaped 1.8T model prior to this latest one being released, and I thought it was a brilliant machine, until the day I got thoroughly beaten by a Renault Mégane 225 on a country road. Since then I've always held the belief that unless you can afford the fastest model of TT in the range you are best leaving them alone. After all a hot hatch is a more practical proposition and they are just as fast in the real world too.

If you can afford the fastest TT in the range, though, go for it.

The Audi TT RS Coupe is a gorgeous looking machine that's very much pitched as a baby supercar. With a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine that produces 335 horsepower and 343 lb /ft of torque it'll give anything on the road a run for its money and with 4 wheel drive from the brilliant Quattro system, it's easy to put the power down too.

The best model of TT RS is the one with the 6-speed manual gearbox. The semi automatics are fine for showing off and making progress in a relaxed manner, but enthusiasts will appreciate the crispness of the change the 6-speed offers and the refined motorway cruising it allows.

The Quattro system in the RS splits torque 50/50 between the front and rear tyres in normal conditions and adapts to the terrain it is on. Whilst this is no rear wheel drive manic like its BMW Z4 competitor, it's plenty fast and the 4 wheel drive system is reassuring when planting the throttle in the rain.

Inside the TT RS Audi have made special effort to deliver an amazing driving position. The seats and steering wheel are perfectly positioned and the seats themselves are some of the best Audi have ever produced. They're comfortable and hugging when they need to be with RS insignia on them to reassure passengers they are travelling in the real deal. Elsewhere inside things are an extremely high quality, with stainless steel pedals and other sporty touches, including obligatory RS badges.

With all of its speed and sportiness the latest TT RS is fairly practical too. It's got a big boot - 290 litres to be exact - thanks to its coupe roofline, and it even has rear seats.

Is the Audi TT RS Coupe a real drivers car? Yes, I think it is. BMW Z4 owners can argue otherwise but the truth is no model in the Z4 range can match the RS's impressive speed with a 4 wheel drive safety net.


BMW Z4 sDrive35is

- £45,575

I don't know about you, but I like my cars to be both fast and involving.

The TT RS is a puppy compared to the BMW Z4 I've been driving. With 335bhp and 332 lb /ft of torque from its twin-turbo straight six engine, the Z4 sDrive35is is my pick of the range.

Okay, on paper it's got the same power output as the TT RS and slightly less torque, but you'll have more fun putting the power down every time in the Z4 thanks to rear-wheel drive.

Drive Dynamic Control and Adaptive M Sport suspension come as standard in the 35is. That means you get three damper setups: Normal, Sport and Sport+. Hit the Sport+ button and a lot of things change; the back end gets glued to the road, the suspension tightens, and throttle response is improved. This makes for an incredibly involving car to drive and unlike in the TT RS, there is no 4 wheel drive to save your neck if you misjudge a corner.

That's the appeal of the Z4 for me. It's got a big engine at the front and rear wheel drive at the back. It's not a watered down sports car, it IS a sports car.

Out on the road the BMW Z4 sDrive35is is fast. Very fast. It eats tarmac up at a very respectable rate and the 3.0-litre engine snarls and rasps as the dual-clutch gearbox feeds power to the back wheels. You get the sense though that whilst the TT RS has been developed specifically for hardcore hairdressers and those who like tracks, the Z4 is a little bit out of its depth with the chassis it has.

You see, rear wheel drive and lots of power is fun, but this Z4 actually struggles to make good use of the combination. You have to really fight the steering wheel and throttle to keep the car in check and on a rainy day with your kid in the passenger seat, that's not ideal. Then there's the ride comfort; it's shocking. The Normal damper setting is just too soft and Sport and Sport+ are just too hard.

This BMW Z4 is my pick of the range. But only if you treat it like a superbike and leave it in the garage on rainy days. For every other day, the TT RS is a better car. As long as you cut hair.

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  • Dang THang

    Dang THang wrote:

    They are both beautiful cars. But as a man I'd prefer the BMW Z4.

    14/05/2014 09:25

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