Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept driving report

Rossen Gargolov
Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept in the driving report
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E s was clear. Even in advance, when it came down to when, how and why, of all places, in the middle of the city, we were already talking about the subject, joking how high the deposit would be if they caught us. And whether anyone would pay them. And we discussed what we would say when the time comes, to finally ask ourselves whether escape might not even be the best solution.

Five-cylinder roars everyone together

It happens shortly before eleven. The Mondeo dies into the roundabout at walking pace. Silver gray, of course, station wagon, of course, hubcaps - so inconspicuous that it is noticeable again. After two laps of honor, the noble piece is choked up the curb, doors pop open: “N’Abend everybody!” Friendly. In civilian clothes.

And then you stand there. In front of you the race management, behind you the skyline of Frankfurt and the megastar from the Wörthersee - with a giant counter, side pipe and a permit that can only have been issued according to the old Bavarian mia-san-mia principle. Anyway: It smelled like anger.

A short time before it still smelled like gas. The Audi TT Clubsport Turbo arrives in a single room. Unloading takes place behind a warehouse. “Private property. Illegally parked… “Trespassing? The lesser of two evils.

Normally, driving reports begin when you get in, but this time it crackles before you get in. The concept car is fluffed out of its pajamas while still in the trailer. Slip into the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept. Doors and cockpit architecture come from mass production, only the start button was moved to the steering wheel. Ignition - the five-cylinder roars everyone present first of all. He bawls, burps, taunts with flames, shoots, bangs, almost snorts the GoPro from his colleague's hand while shooting the sound clip and roars in such a way that they evacuate the main tower a few kilometers away. Definitely.

Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept with LED saber teeth

A hidden button electrically lifts the front section of the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept so that it does not touch the carbon fiber nose on the ramp scrapes up, then carefully crawls down. One or two puffs of gas grumble from the side sill, then it stands there and works. And finally it works well. LED saber teeth in the apron; bowl-shaped 20-inch models, which come from the RS 6 shelf;and these wonderful wide jaws - made of CFRP at the front, integrated into the aluminum of the side part at the back, which not only give the gigantic grill the right proportions, but also mischievously reminiscent of the racing history. With your own as well as with the competition.

Take a close look at his butt. No, don't be embarrassed, he likes that: With the wheel arches removed, the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo is like a garage itself. Concept outside, inside is the production car. A bit like back then with the IMSA Racer 90 GTO, says Audi. We think: More like the Porsche 935, which in the course of its long career rocked its way up to ever more ludicrous stages of development, but was always recognizable as a 911 at its core.

And this is exactly how the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept is based knitted. Stylistically, but especially in principle: because normally concept cars are rather windy huts, poorly glued together to look good. The only requirement that you place on their drive is their presence. To print performance data on glass pillars or to roll around the square with journalists. Please not faster than 18 km /h, you know, one-off and so on.

Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept with 600 PS

This one is different, it's a real car, a TT, not a perfectly normal one, but a TT. Means: The engine is not a minor matter that should only carry the optics, it is the main part - and much more extreme than the whole thing around it. Physically, he gives the well-known five-cylinder: 2,480 cubic, long-stroke. Exactly, the one who fueled the TT RS and will fuel it again in the future. Currently he is only involved in the Audi RS 3. It delivers 367 hp and 465 Nm there - more than ever. And yet almost pathetic, if you consider what's in it: 600 PS, 650 Nm, exclamation mark!

But it doesn't simply shake such wild performance data out of the pistons. I mean: you turned it right inside out. Connecting rods, crankshafts, pistons, injection valves, exhaust camshafts - everything comes from racing as well as the huge Garrett turbocharger, whose 60 millimeter turbine generates a maximum of 1.8 bar boost pressure. Problem: Due to the massive charging and the rather small displacement - we are talking about a specific output of 240 hp per liter - there would be a yawning turbo lag between gas and acceptance. Subjunctive because Audi stuffs it.

At least almost. With the help of an e-compressor. This sits directly behind the charge air cooler in a bypass, is accelerated to 72,000 rpm by an electric motor within 200 milliseconds and takes over charging until the exhaust gas turbo has picked up momentum. That lights up, doesn't it?

Print from morning until everything is closedlate

Even more: it works. As soon as the metal clutch threshes the five-cylinder into all-wheel drive, the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept rioted forward in the driving report. The slight rubber band effect in the power delivery is not blown away. Nevertheless: The torque grows earlier, steeper up and proliferates longer and bushier along the speed bands. And of course the Audi employees have calculated some great things to illustrate: For example, that thanks to hybrid charging, the TT covers six meters more in the first 2.5 seconds after starting than with the conventional turbo concept.

Or between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm are always over 92 percent of the maximum torque. In other words, the thing goes from top to bottom like the plague. He's under pressure and he's electrified. Tangible and audible. In the gas approach, you can hear a faint squeaking sound when the high-voltage network starts the additional compressor, then the exhaust thunder and the five-cylinder march mix. Brand folklore featuring music of the future, if you will.

How much TT RS is there in club sport?

Whereby: This future is not that far. Because the electric turbo goes into series production. Next year, in the Audi SQ7, together with a new V8 TDI. But pssst, you don't have it from me! And the role of the five-cylinder is likely to become more important in the future. Not just in terms of its relationship with the e-compressor, but in general. They already worked closely with Quattro GmbH during the development of the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept.

So the show car is not developed entirely into the blue. And that allows for two conclusions. First: There is already a tiny bit of TT RS in a single piece. Wide body? Charging principle? Quite in the realm of possibility, it will probably not be just 600 hp in the end.

Conclusion number two is a bit more speculative. So let me go back briefly: It has been officially known for some time that Audi is retiring its veteran naturally aspirated V8. The result: The new R8 is currently without a base engine. From a purely emotional point of view, this may be bearable. The only problem is that a small-volume alternative to the ten-cylinder is needed for the Chinese market, since everything from four liters displacement is absurdly punished there. So the V8 biturbo from S6 and RS 6 come into question - or that five-in-line. It would have to bring 450, maybe 480 hp for that. He can do it easily - even in series trim, says Hackenberg, Chief Technology Officer. Take a look, says the Kaiser.

Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept is playful

But the engine is only the denominator, what counts is the weight - even here, where you don't notice every gram immediately given the muscle mass. The Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept weighs 1,396 kilos - similar to a standard TTS, whose lighter four-cylinder engine has been saved for the time beingwants to be: A cage made of titanium replaces the rear seats, instead of armrests on the doors there are only drawstrings, the air conditioning was blown out, racing shells replace the zig-way seats, plus the various body parts made of carbon fiber: sills, bumpers, fenders, hood. The latter brings about 15 kilos. In short: lightweight construction is Sisyphean work.

But it pays off in driving pleasure: Just how the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept turns in the driving report, tears around corners. Playful, humorless, but not by chance: dust-dry coilover suspension, 275 tires all around, even the top-heaviness can be levered out. Roll? Zero. Understeer? None, also because the wheel-selective torque distribution supports it with clever torque impulses. Much more important than the actual dynamics, however: Although as a concept actually aloof, it allows you to get close. This synthetic veil that usually covers the driving experience at Audi is gone. Everything looks real, real, can be touched and therefore touches all the more. Maybe also because there are still edges at a few corners. When fully turned, the wheels rasp on the wheel arch trim, the ESP occasionally picks up.

Stub in rubber sleeve

Becomes intimate the liaison but above all through the manual transmission. Yet again. It is a small kaleidoscope in the TT trilogy: housing from the TT two, rubber sleeve from the original model, extra sturdy innards and the shortest gear stick in Audi history. Narrow streets, ultra-precise locking, firm feeling. Unanimous opinion: great fun. Write that it's awesome, say the Audians, then something like that might come. Let's do it, now it's your turn!

Really, you run the risk of getting into a rage. So the plan: the pictures first. But then there were the cops. Escape? Retires, flashes are everywhere on the car, the photographer is pegged into the interior. How did we want to talk our way out again? Too late, you are already talking: What are we doing here? TT, study, sport auto ; so and so, aha, aha. Whether you can sit in there. If it has to be. Hoax. Clear. The situation relaxes. Selfies are taken, PS conversations are held, then Frankfurt has more serious problems. Later, when we are rolling down an orphaned industrial area street ... - I mean, of course - we meet the Mondeo again: side window open, arm outstretched. Trowel? Smartphone!


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