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Audi TT RS, Lotus Evora and Porsche Cayman S in the test comparison

Rossen Gargolov
Audi TT RS, Porsche Cayman S versus Lotus Evora
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Former England striker Gary Lineker once put it in a nutshell:' Football is a simple game - 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and in the end the Germans always win. ' Does this kicker wisdom also apply to the sports car world? The British fight with mostly beautiful cars against the not always so elegant, but technically very sophisticated sports cars from Germany. Now the national classic is entering a new round: The Audi TT RS is allied with its corporate colleague Porsche Cayman S and wants the new high-flyer Lotus E vora to teach fear.

Audi faster than factory specifications

The fiery red Bayern player from Audi is the first to dribble onto the pitch. With its bassy, ​​rumbling tubes, the transversely mounted 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 340 hp immediately wins the unofficial sound rating. At the push of a button, the sports button not only changes the gas pedal characteristic and ensures a more aggressive response behavior of the turbo unit with 1.2 bar maximum boost pressure, but also significantly sharpens the RS pitch. A flap is hidden in the left tailpipe of the sports exhaust system (surcharge € 1,000), which opens either automatically at higher engine speeds or manually on command of a button, allowing exhaust gases and sound to escape even more freely.

The Audi TT RS emulates the legendary five-cylinder icon Audi Sport quattro S1 in other ways too. Even if this time it is not about the Pikes Peak crown, the 1,480 kilogram coupé with explosive power delivery shoots forward as if whipped by Walter Röhrl. With a maximum torque of 450 Newton meters, the sprint to 100 km /h in 4.4 seconds is history. The Audi TT RS shines with a high level of traction thanks to all-wheel drive with electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. So he undercuts the factory specification and that already in the super test (here you come to Supertest Audi TT RS ) measured vehicle by two tenths of a second. The 200 km /h mark fell after 16.5 seconds - like Usain Bolt, the RS was crowned the sprinter king before the others had even jumped off the starting blocks.

Effective lightweight construction at Lotus

Nimble wing racers instead of muscular center strikers is the motto at Lotus. At 1,390 kilograms, the Lotus Evora floats as Lightweight of the three musketeers. The lightweight construction philosophy with aluminum chassis and laminated plastic body was also in the specifications for the latest Lotus creation from the British Hethel. For those for whom the ascetic hardcore racing rolls with a Spartan cockpit and luggage compartment the size of a toiletry bag were previously too monotematic, the British reanimated the 2 + 2 idea first introduced by Lotus founder Colin Chapman in the sixties. Like the Elan +2 presented in 1967, the Evora also has a row of jump seats. Not for grown-up giants à la basketball hero Dirk Nowitzki, but ideal for a family of four with young children.

Lotus with suction engine from Toyota

Behind the tight, slim waist, but in front of the rear axle, rattles the Evora heart with elegant British reserve. The motto for the seating arrangement and the engine concept is plus two. Away from the optionally screeching four-cylinder in-line with compressor forced ventilation in Elise and Co., towards a six-cylinder V-engine with a 60-degree cylinder angle. Up to 4,000 tours, the 280-hp vacuum cleaner from Toyota keeps acoustically and power development covered before it takes on the excessive temperament of Prince Harry. The maximum torque of 350 Nm is only available at 4,700 rpm.

With 5.5 seconds, the Evora misses the factory specification by 0.4 seconds when sprinting to 100 km /h. The six-speed gearbox with its short gearshift travel likes ultra-fast gear changes, but is reluctant to do so because of the somewhat awkward lane layout.

In addition to the Audi TT RS, the Porsche Cayman S also offers a significantly creamier, flowing, yet crisp six-speed gearbox. When shifting quickly, the Porsche transmission works better than its Lotus counterpart. Because of the higher performance, the Swabian sports car overtakes the Evora with a more powerful acceleration. The Porsche Cayman S, with a total weight of 1,406 kg, is almost on par with Lotus.

Evora with the shortest braking distance

Lightweight construction is also a trump card in Weissach. The front luggage compartment lid is made of aluminum, for example. With its 3.4-liter six-cylinder direct injection engine and 320 hp, the Stuttgart mid-engine coupé dashes from zero to country road speed in 4.8 seconds. The difference of 20 hp and 80 Newton meters between Audi and Porsche can be felt in the power delivery.

While the Swabian character snout with the curved fenders only loses half a second when sprinting to 200 km /h, the different engine concept is used when measuring elasticityevident. In the intermediate sprint from 80 to 180, the Porsche vacuum cleaner is more than three seconds behind the turbo from Ingolstadt. Due to its performance, the Evora swims behind its German rivals in terms of longitudinal dynamics.

Before the driving dynamics test, however, it blinks confidently with its trapezoidal bi-xenon headlights. 'Lady's first - what can you do for us with less than 300 hp?', The two German coupés joke apparently arrogantly in the pit lane of Hockenheim about the Lotus. 'Well, wait, Krauts,' snorts the British 2 + 2-seater and runs motivated on the small course.

The Lotus Nordkurve, cross bar and co. loops through its wide cooling air throat with an unbelievable neutrality. The few spectators at the pit wall rub their eyes in amazement while the Evora attaches one transverse dynamics medal after the other to the lapel of the developers of the ideally tuned chassis with Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs. The TRW rack and pinion steering with hydraulic servo assistance, modified by Lotus, is followed by the British rear-wheel drive with astonishing precision. The four-piston brake system from AP Racing with internally ventilated discs (350 and 332 millimeters) decelerates with perfect response and a constant pressure point. During the subsequent warm braking from 100 km /h, the Evora achieved the shortest braking distance of all test subjects at 32.9 meters.

Lotus Evora and Audi TT RS on the same level

The Evora, armed only with a traction control, is largely immune to bitchy load change reactions. Away from the racetrack, for example when wagging around bends in the morning in the Black Forest, the following still applies: Who in Lotus Evora should occasionally check the speedometer. Thanks to the safe driving behavior, the Lotus handlebars tend to be too fast. Keyword fast: After a Hockenheim lap, the British 2 + 2 athlete slammed the German group duo with a razor-sharp lap time of 1:14.3 minutes.

Then the Audi TT RS hisses on the 2.6 kilometer long reference course. With its front-heavy axle load distribution of 59.8 to 40.2 percent, it slides easily over the front axle, especially in tight bends when turning into a bend. Thanks to the wide front wheels and the variable all-wheel drive, the TT top model unscrews itself under load but with a perfect level of grip. The all-wheel drive reacts to load change provocations as frightened as a police horse to a cannon strike.

The driving stability is impressive and almost a bit boring because of the absolutely safe behavior on the slopes. There are slight deductions for the steering, which is more indifferent around the middle position compared to the Lotus and Porsche, as well as the RS braking system with four-piston fixed calipers andinternally ventilated brake discs. After the Hockenheim visit, it is noticeable unpleasantly because of the noise. Nevertheless, the TT RS also pounds around the small course in 1:14.3 minutes.

Porsche shows where the hammer hangs in Hockenheim

The Cayman S scratches nervously with the Bridgestone rubbers at this time. Its hydraulically assisted rack and pinion steering with a well-coordinated, variable steering ratio is a poem. It reacts to steering commands with the utmost precision and maneuvers the S-Coupé to the curbs with millimeter precision with jagged steering behavior. Understeer is a foreign word for the mid-engine reptile with the adaptive and ten millimeters lower sports suspension (surcharge 1,547 euros) - whether at the entrance to the curve or under load when accelerating out. The Cayman S with mechanical rear differential lock (1,130 euros) holds the line neutrally and safely - if it is not distracted by load changes. Then the Stuttgart Rössle bucks with its chic buttocks, but can be curbed again quickly with nimble steering corrections. The Cayman is undoubtedly panting around the track with the best brakes. The system, which costs around 8,000 euros and has perforated and internally ventilated ceramic composite brake discs, decelerates with an almost constant coefficient of friction even after numerous kilometers of circuit racing. So the Porsche grabs the laurel wreath with a lap time of 1:14 minutes.

And the moral of the story? The initial soccer wisdom, according to which the Germans always win in the end, can still be transferred to this sports car trio. This time the Lotus is just behind. But the Cayman S and TT RS will soon have to dress really warm. At the end of 2010, the Evora will be launched with a compressor unit and 25 percent more power.

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