The initial bark on start-up has an almost junior Lamborghini flamboyance to it, which is probably appropriate, given the engine is precisely half of the 4960cc V10 that powered the original Gallardo, right down to identical bore and stroke.
Throttle tip-in and low-speed refinement of the revised, lighter seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is exceptionally well mannered; not quite as seamless as a torque- converter auto, but not far short. Launch control is there if you feel inclined, and is integral to the claimed 3.7sec 0-100km/h time.
Think Audi five-pot and your mind probably flicks straight back the Ur-Quattro coupe, either in road-going homologation form in 1980, or maybe the snarling, flame-spitting Group B rally monster of the early ’80s, being flung through parting waves of mental fans by Walter Rohrl, Hannu Mikkola or Stig Blomqvist.
But let’s not forget the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO of the late ’80s, bristling with pumped arches and slamming around 530kW to all four corners. Or the RS2 of ’94, with its Porsche co-development collaboration.
It helps to buy into the five-pot history at least a little, because the TT RS really is defined by this new-gen engine. It retains the architecture and capacity of the previous-gen, but is lighter, spins more freely, and improves both outputs and efficiency. The weight cut comes with the use of aluminium for the block (replacing cast iron) and additions such as the magnesium sump, which collectively shave 26kg. Its peak power looks pretty damn generous at a Cayman S-clobbering 294kW, but perhaps more impressive is the plateau it manages to sustain, from 5850rpm, and hanging on all the way to 7000rpm. Real-world upshot is that this is a turbo engine that digs in early – peak torque of 480Nm is there from 1700rpm – but still has an ultra-eager top-end, rather than a slightly anti-climactic six-grand breathlessness.