The Audi TT RS – one of Automobile Magazine’s 2012 All-Stars

January, 2012 issue / By: David Zenlea, Eric Tingwall, Ezra Dyer, Jamie Kitman, Jason Cammisa, Jean Jennings, Phil Floraday, Preston Lerner, Rusty Blackwell / Photos by Matt Tierney, Roy Ritchie

What’s the best car? Everybody wants to know. It’s a difficult question, really. There is no single best car. But when you drive as many different new vehicles as we do, people expect you to have an answer, and we do. The best new car introduced in the past year is our Automobile of the Year. For 2012, the winner is the Audi A7.

As for our All-Stars, any car on sale in America in the current model year — whether an existing or all-new model — is eligible to be selected to our prestigious list of ten winners. When we choose our All-Stars, we look for greatness wherever it might be: sports cars, small cars, family cars, luxury cars, utility vehicles. Whatever their category, the All-Stars stand above the crowd, which isn’t easy to do in these times of keen competition. The 2012 Automobile of the Year and All-Stars are our answers to the question: What’s the best car? Read on to learn why.

All Grown Up

The sporty TT coupe has been on our list of delightful cars since the day we drove it through the Italian countryside and sharp-eyed grandmothers walking along the roadside yelled, “Che bella macchina!” as we passed. Beautiful it most definitely was, a stunner from the fertile pen of Freeman Thomas (now in charge of Ford’s dream-car studio), who had just delivered the Volkswagen Concept 1. But the luscious TT lacked the sizzle promised by its charismatic shape.

O, precious day! It seems that Audi can do it all now. Today’s TT RS — freshened with a more sinister face — lives and breathes R8 from every pore. It is Audi’s very own Porsche Cayman — close, personal, fiery, rewarding, and cosseting all at once. The soul-stirring sound of its turbocharged five-cylinder engine (magnified by an optional sport exhaust) is so stunning as it roars to its 7000-rpm redline that you want to jump out and make someone else drive it past you, just to hear that killer soundtrack from the great outdoors.

Along with twice as much horsepower as the original 2000 TT produced comes virtually twice as much torque — a massive 343 lb-ft — fully delivered by 1650 rpm and managed with a six-speed manual transmission that is a quintessential component of this TT’s perfection. The TT RS is a brilliant road car with none of the petulance of its hot-dog, bully-boy track competitors. Its superior Quattro traction had us spoiling for a rainstorm. Or a wide, gravel rally road. Nirvana!

The TT RS doesn’t cost twice as much as the original TT, but it is very close to twice as much car — not just a beautiful machine inside and out but a soul-stirring one, the epitome of everything that Audi means to us. It’s a perfect tool for driving perfectionists, worthy of a choice parking spot in your dream garage.

– Jean Jennings

Come see the Audi TT RS today at Audi Mission Viejo or call us at 855.722.2834

Audi Mission Viejo has been family owned and operated since June 15th, 2004. Nestled in the heart of Southern Orange County, Audi Mission Viejo has a commanding inventory of new and Audi Certified Pre-Owned vehicles and is a multiple winner of Audi’s Magna Society recognition – an award reserved for dealerships with exceptional service. Audi Mission Viejo is Orange County’s exclusive Audi-only dealership and is an authorized Audi A8 and Audi R8 dealer, earning the right to sell, lease and service these rare Audi models – currently the only such dealer in Orange County.

See the other 2012 Automomobile Magazine All-Stars here.