By: IOL Motoring Staff

Beijing Motor Show - Purists can breathe a hearty, off-beat sigh of relief that the all-new TT RS has missed the engine downsizing memo that's going viral in the auto industry.

Not only does it retain its five-cylinder turbocharged heart but the new TT RS also packs a far bigger punch, with maximum power up from 250kW to 294kW and torque rising from 450Nm to a heady 480Nm.

Audi has made enough changes to this motor to justify describing it as "newly developed" and it's also somewhat lighter with a glut of measures, including an aluminium crank case, helping shave off 26kg. What all this translates to on the road is a zero to 100km/h time of just 3.7 seconds in the case of the Coupé, with the Roadster taking 3.9 seconds according to Audi.

As for the soundtrack, drivers can control the exhaust volume through a 'sound button' on the centre console and this exhaust flap-adjusting feature is built into both the standard exhaust and the optional RS sport exhaust system.

LOWER, MORE AGILE

Power goes to all four wheels through a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox with flappy paddles and the quattro system has been designed to send more power to the rear wheels, and at an earlier stage, when the Drive Select system's dynamic mode is dialled in.

In keeping with its sporty status, the TTRS gets a stiffer sports suspension system that puts it 10mm lower to the ground and buyers can opt for Audi’s Sports Suspension Plus with adjustable damping.

The car sits on five-arm 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/35 rubber, and 20-inch alloys with a seven-spoke rotor design are optional. Other stand-apart items include a honeycomb grille and lower air intakes and a fixed rear wing, although an extending spoiler is available as an alternative.

LED headlights come as standard and customers can opt for Audi's snazzy Matrix LED headlights with intelligent high-beam control and Matrix OLED (organic light-emitting diode) '3D design' taillights are now available for the first time in a series-production Audi.

RS-ification in the cabin extends to RS sports seats with integrated headrests and upholstered in diamond-patterned Alcantara, as well as an RS-specific steering wheel and virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster with race-car-inspired displays.

So when’s it coming? According to Audi SA, the new TT RS is destined to reach our shores around the second quarter of 2017.