Audi TT RS has been the epitome of aggressive style and performance, which should be complemented by the best tires for Audi TT RS currently available.
Compared to its older brother, the Audi TT, the TT RS shells out an additional 164 horsepower (394hp in total) and needs adequate treads to handle its increased power on the road. Otherwise, it will go through mediocre tires like painters through cheap brushes — being particularly frustrated when the strand detached and sticks to the paint.
So, we're here to share the knowledge: the best tires for Audi TT RS are Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring and Michelin Premier A/S if you're more laid back while driving, or Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ if you like to push your car to its absolute limits.
With that said, there's more to picking out a new set of tires than simply going to the store and buying the first set. To grant your machine the capability to provide its maximum performance, you have to make an informed decision. Admittedly, different tires suit different driving styles, so we focused on the products that are all-around performers that offer optimum performance across all conceivable metrics — except for products suitable for extreme winter conditions.
Car experts agree that the performance of the vehicle's tires must mirror the performance of the vehicle itself, and using random tires of a more affordable price and questionable quality can result in severe damage to your vehicle and even pose a safety issue to both the car, and the passengers. Luckily, we cross-referenced information found on several web locations to help find the best tires for Audi TT RS possible.
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ ZP
This tire is available at these retailers:
Audi TT RS Wheels and Tires Specs
Audi first introduced Audi TT in 1998 as a 2-door sports car, which slowly transitioned to a 2+2 coupe for its third generation. However, in 2009, Audi released its first-ever compact sports car, the Audi TT RS — RS standing for "racing sports" — available in Coupe and Roadster variants. The main notable difference between the TT and TT RS was in TT RS's all-new 2.5-liter Inline-5 turbocharged petrol engine.
Of course, the new engine inspired a series of other changes to the vehicle's transmission system, specifically designed to cope with the now increased torque. However, those weren't the only changes Audi made with its RS model. Not only did they facelift the vehicle's design, but they also increased the size of its wheels.
The original Audi TT launched with 17-inch rims that supported the following tires: 225/15 R17, 245/45 R17, 245/40 R18, 245/35 R19, and 255/30 R20. Some variants even shipped out with 16-inch stock rim diameters. However, the RS model, and all its variants, released with an 18-inch stock rim diameter, accepting section widths between 245 and 255 and aspect ratios between 30 and 40.
This pretty much remained the trend until 2016, when Audi decided to increase their stock rim size from 18-inch to 19-inch across all RS variants of Audi TT RS, with the entire 2016-2021 generation of vehicles accepting three distinctive types of tires: 245/35 R19, 225/40 R19, and 255/30 R20, suggesting the introduction of 20-inch rims.
So, basically, the tire specification you're looking for is actually based on the year and model variant of your Audi TT RS. In the following section of this guide, we'll list some of the best tires for Audi TT RS, along with a short buyer's guide that will help you make an informed decision when you're out buying tires.
Best Tires for Audi TT RS
According to tire experts, tires should improve vehicle performance and be able to handle the power that the vehicle is capable of delivering. Using low-cost, low-quality tires can be detrimental to your Audi TT RS and represent a safety risk to you, your passengers, and your vehicle.
If you are unsure about the tires you wish to install, it is preferable to consult the vehicle's manufacturer or a reputable tire expert and dealer. Here are some of the best tires for the Audi TT RS that would suit the incredible performance of your car:
Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring
Until recently, premium tires came at a premium price. With firms like Cooper entering the market, many luxury tire features are now more affordable to consumers. One of the better examples is the Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring. The tire is significantly less expensive than luxury brands, but it performs well, especially on quick and powerful cars like the Audi TT RS.
This tire may not be suitable for drivers who wish to push their Audi TT RS to its maximum, though, since it's a touring tire, meaning that comfort and tread life trump performance. This tire is a good choice if you drive your TT RS regularly, love highway cruising, and occasionally want to feel your car's full capabilities.
Cooper has invested considerably in engineering and technology for its SC5 Touring tire. Starting with the M+S grade as a base, this tire meets the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) standards for a Mud and Snow tire, and its fantastic performance in such conditions — indicated by the 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snowflake).
The CS5 Ultra Touring uses Cooper's proprietary Stabil Edge technology, which gives this premium tire its stability at high speeds, on twisting roadways, and when during sharp turns by interlocking the thread shoulder blocks. This ensures maximum traction and grip across a variety of different surfaces.
Additionally, the tread compound is ergonomically engineered to allow for even treadwear, increasing the tire's longevity, while the threads use micro-gauge sipes, which aid traction on light snow and slippery surfaces. On top of everything, threads also feature several maintenance indicators which signal the tire's remaining lifespan.
Cooper's proprietary WearSquare technology comprises small inserts built-in and hidden within the threads, which become visible as the tire wears, indicating that the replacement is necessary. Driving a vehicle as powerful as Audi TT RS with these square visible is a very bad idea, even if you're on your way to purchase replacements.
Ultimately, the Cooper CS5 Touring premium tires offer good thread life for its price point, as the manufacturer offers a 70,000 miles warranty on V- and H-rated tires, which is essentially a safety net. Durability shouldn't really pose an issue if you rotate CS5s every 10,000 miles. With the design and features out of the way, it's time to discuss performance.
Touring tires aren't meant for speed, but Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring feels surprisingly responsive and handles superbly on dry tarmac, maintaining stability during high-speed driving and cornering. The tire's superb road grip and high-speed cornering performance feel almost natural to the tire, as it maintains traction and fantastic levels of control during emergency braking.
With this kind of stability, short-distance braking, and overall performance, the CS5 Ultra Touring almost feels like a high-performance track tire — despite having its specs designed for street and highway use. And nearly the same levels of performance can be expected on wet tarmac — the innovative thread compound and its design provide outstanding performance in wet conditions, as the grooves eliminate water from the tire to preserve traction in wet, slippery weather.
The tire's excellent hydroplaning resistance allows you to accelerate and brake smoothly, even when driving and cornering in heavy rain. In fact, the Cooper SC5 Ultra Touring can be used throughout the entire year if you live somewhere with little to no snow. Despite the aforementioned 3PMSF designation, it still lacks the proper traction of a snow tire and may cause your TT RS to skid.
- Very responsive
- Excellent grip and great performance
- Short braking distances in dry and wet conditions
- Excellent tread life, backed by a good warranty
- Snow traction isn't as good as advertised
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
Pirelli is one of the most well-known touring tires manufactures, and its Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus is one of the company's best. The enhanced contact patch on this tire provides outstanding wet and dry grip.
The Cinturato P7 was created to provide a nice and relaxing ride. It's an excellent choice for your Audi TT RS if you drive it every day or like to go for long weekend drives since it provides excellent grip in wet weather and performs admirably in light snow.
High silica levels in the tread composition assist the tire in maintaining its pliability and performance across a wide temperature range. When running in slippery or snowy situations, the enhanced compound also helps with traction. It's also sculpted into an asymmetric tread pattern that provides excellent traction on paved surfaces of all types.
To provide minimal noise and optimal steering response, the tread has multiple block sizes towards the center and a continuous shoulder on the outside which provides grip, traction, and great cornering capabilities. The thread features four wide and deep circumferential grooves that evacuate water for optimal hydroplaning resistance and traction when rolling over wet terrain.
Pirelli claims that Cinturato P7 is safe to use until the tread depth reaches 2/32 inches, the legal minimum tread depth for wet roads, like many other all-season tires. Traditional tread wear indicators are included on the tire to assist you in keeping track of how it's wearing down. With that said, the Cinturato P7 has outstanding tread life and a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is one of the finest in the industry.
Performance-wise, Pirelli tires are well-known for their razor-sharp steering response and performance. On the Cinturato P7, however, it appears like the company prioritized comfort and ride quality over handling and reactivity. The responsiveness isn't horrible, but it does take some getting used to. The P7 becomes one of the best at responding to steering inputs as you get used to its unique responsiveness.
You won't be disappointed if you enjoy driving your Audi TT RS on winding mountain roads. However, unlike UHP tires, it cannot be expected to provide razor-sharp handling. When it comes to high-speed cornering, the Cinturato P7 takes the lead with the greatest tires in the touring category. When a tire is pushed to its limits, it stays calm and steady and occasionally even requests more punishment.
When it comes to braking, the Cinturato P7 has incredible braking performance and short braking distances. It simply adds to the Audi TT RS's capabilities and instills confidence in the person behind the wheel. It also performs exceptionally well on wet surfaces.
One of the characteristics that distinguish the Cinturato P7 is its superior cornering grip on wet surfaces. Another noteworthy aspect is the tire's short braking distance, which is among the finest in the class. It has adequate traction, but in wet conditions, it can lose a beat when steering aggressively. These glitches, on the other hand, are barely detectable and only become apparent when compared with another tire in the same or similar category.
With everything said, it's really dependable and safe on wet surfaces, with outstanding traction during accelerating, braking, and cornering. It won't let you down if you use it for everyday driving in rainy weather, as well as highway cruises during downpours. In fact, the innovative tread compound maintains its pliability and grip, even in cold conditions.
- Top-notch ride quality
- Exceptionally silent
- Good grip and overall performance
- Excellent tread life
- Good on light snow
- Responsiveness takes some getting used to
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
All-season Ultra-High-Performance tires are becoming more and more popular among coupe and performance sedan owners who like to push their vehicles to their limits. They provide high-speed stability as well as improved cornering grip and traction. As an added bonus, many of these tires perform well in cold weather and even on light snow, which cannot be said for summer UHP.
Over the years, Michelin became a household name when it comes to performance tires. After all, who wouldn't want F1 or aerospace technology derivatives on their car tires? No matter how technologically impressive and beautiful that sounds to an average consumer, the bottom line is that a good tire must provide functional performance and dependability, which are crucial aspects of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+.
The all-season UHP market is flooded with tires in a variety of categories. However, Michelin is attempting to compete with premium brands like Goodyear, Bridgestone, and Continental. Admittedly, these companies provide a number of novel features and technological advancements on their tires, and the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ performs brilliantly in contrast to the aforementioned companies' products.
According to Michelin's marketing team, the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ has excellent dry and wet traction as well as exceptional winter reliability. To back up this claim, the company begins with a specially formulated tread compound, which incorporates the proprietary Helio+ technology, employing a high silica content and sunflower oil inside the compound to provide great traction in a wide range of temperatures and on wet terrain.
The tread pattern of Pilot Sport A/S 3+ is asymmetric and appears to be quite aggressive. It has wide shoulder blocks that provide excellent grip and cornering capabilities with four deep circumferential grooves towards the center of the tread that make the tire especially resistant to hydroplaning.
Michelin has added Contact Patch 3.0 technology in the tire's construction, which ensures that forces are dispersed uniformly over the tread. This technology is derived from endurance racing tires and significantly enhances tire stability even during the most aggressive styles of driving.
Treadwear indicators on this tire are conceptualized as narrow rubber bars hidden within the circumferential grooves and become visible only when the tire is completely worn down. Unfortunately, they give no indication of how much tread life the tire still has, so it's best to seek immediate replacements.
Once the tread depth reaches 2/32 inches, the bars become visible and level with the tread surface; thus, the tire must be replaced at this point since it's no longer safe to drive on wet or snowy surfaces. But we're getting ahead of ourselves — let's discuss the performance on dry terrain first.
The Pilot Sport A/S 3+ features superb steering responsiveness, and it actively responds to driver inputs, demonstrating its high-performance handling qualities. Furthermore, the tire successfully communicates with the driver; if pushed beyond its rated limits, it will begin to lose traction, which will be felt in the steering wheel.
Its high traction and grip are unmistakable, as it is one of the best-in-class UHP tires. Several users have equated its performance to that of summer performance tires in this area. Similarly, high-speed stability, turning abilities, and overall tire performance are nothing short of exceptional. So, if you like to push your Audi TT RS to its absolute limits on racetracks, the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ is an excellent choice to complement its exceptional qualities.
When it comes to slippery terrain and wet surfaces, this is one of the best tires in its class since its exceptionally high hydroplaning resistance makes it very responsive and capable of providing exceptional wet traction. You'll barely notice any under or oversteer because it provides the driver with a sense of confidence and control behind the steering wheel. Especially when it comes to braking performance on wet pavement — the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ delivers one of the shortest braking distances.
Lastly, the snowy driving conditions. The Pilot Sport A/S 3+ will have no issue driving in mild winter weather with no snow or slush. According to Michelin, the tire is far better suited for light snow traction than its predecessor, as it turns effortlessly and maintains excellent traction. Given that we're discussing an all-season tire and not a fully-fledged winter tire, the braking performance is also borderline excellent.
Besides being available on Tire Rack, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ is also available on Discount Tire Direct, ranging from $175 to $355 each, depending on the specs.
- Very responsive
- Great traction, grip, and braking across dry and wet terrain
- Good performance on light snow
- Superb tread life
- Noisy and pricey
Michelin Premier A/S
It's pretty safe to assume that if cruise ships had wheels, Michelin, the company credited with the invention of radial tire, would manufacture those too. And you can really expect nothing but the best from a company of such measure, especially when it comes to touring tires for fast cars, such as Audi TT RS.
So, we introduce yet another Michelin product, the Michelin Premier A/S, as one of the best touring tires on the current market. It delivers exceptional performance, paired with unparalleled levels of safety and long tread life. However, it's worth noting right from the start that Michelin's engineers specifically accentuated wet performance for this tire since most accidents occur in wet and slippery conditions.
To make this tire competitive with other top-notch products, including Bridgestone TuranzaQuietTrack or the Continental PureContact LS, Michelin implemented a variety of different new technologies in Premier A/S's build, which makes it a very competitive tire. Of course, none of these technologies come cheap, and the end cost is borne by the end-user. Nonetheless, despite the exorbitant price, these technologies are unrivaled, making this particular tire one of the priciest on the market.
The Premier A/Michelin S's Total Performance technology ensures all-season safety, great comfort, and long tread life. The company claims to have incorporated some of the most advanced and up-to-date features and materials available into the tire's design. The tread compound is a finely engineered blend of sunflower oil and silica, which increases wet traction, and allows the tire to maintain pliability in cold weather conditions.
The "footprint" of the tread is asymmetrical, with a core rib surrounded by intermediate ribs that lead to huge shoulder blocks on either side — a design that provides outstanding grip and steering response on dry pavements. Paired with Michelin's groundbreaking EverGrip proprietary technology, the tire's rain grooves expand as the tire wears down, resulting in better wet traction whilst revealing additional grooves as per design.
Low rolling resistance is ergonomically designed into the tire compound, resulting in better fuel economy and lower emissions, making the product eco-friendlier. Traditional tread wear indicators are featured on the tire to help the driver keep track of how much tread life is left on the tire, and according to the manufacturer, the minimum thread depth for this particular model is 2/23 inches.
When pushed to its limit, the boundaries between touring and ultra-high-performance tires blur and nearly disappear, with the tire retaining its responsiveness, translating it to Audi TT RS steering. Thanks to the fantastic combination of the functional design of its treads, and the exceptionally high-quality composition of its compound, the Michelin Premier A/S provides excellent performance in all weather conditions.
The braking performance is also quite good, and your Audi TT RS will stop more quickly with these tires installed. The provided traction is also especially good during acceleration since the tire's design easily handles TT RS's power, regardless of the setting — be it the city streets or the highway. Overall, this tire improves the Audi TT RS driving experience by delivering a higher sense of control and confidence.
With everything said, however, Michelin Premier A/S has severe competition in terms of dry performance, but not when it comes to wet surfaces, on which it greatly exceeds its competitors. This is particularly evident while braking on wet surfaces, with Premier A/S boasting the shortest stopping distance in its class.
The tire is designed to evacuate water effectively and is extremely resistant to hydroplaning. This technology enables it to continue driving over enormous puddles or in harsh weather without compromising performance. So, if you're looking for the absolute best when it comes to wet performance, the Michelin Premier A/S is the obvious victor.
The tread is composed of big blocks with several sipes which serve as biting edges, allowing the blocks to provide good traction in light snow and slush. If you drive your Audi TT RS in areas with little snow and generally mild winters, you'll be pleased with the tire's performance. You can find these tires on Discount Tire Direct for $127 - $243 per piece.
- Best in class on wet surfaces
- Unparalleled hydroplaning resistance
- Exceptionally responsive
- Quiet, stable, comfortable, and long-lasting
- 60,000 miles warranty
Buyer's Guide for Best Tires for Audi TT RS
Every Audi TT RS owner eventually must deal with certain fitment issues when replacing their car's original wheels or rims. This section aims to assist in identifying standard and custom offset ranges, wheel width criteria, and the wheel's bolt pattern — all of which are absolutely necessary for appropriate installation. So, without further ado, let's dive into the matter.
Audi TT RS pitch circle diameter (PCD) refers to the diameter of the imaginary circle made by the centers of the wheel's lugs and the number of the lug holes in the rim. These can be modified by using various bolt pattern adapters.
Stock Wheel Offset
Stock wheel offset is a distance between the hub mounting surface and the TT RS's wheel center. Generally speaking, only approx. half of the stock wheels are adequately fitted to certain cars, so pay attention — mismatching can cause severe damage to your vehicle. If you want to check your Audi TT RS offset, you can look at the back of the wheels, the mounting plate, or the back of a rim spoke.
If you find an inscription that finishes in "ET," you've come to the correct location. Mounting a wheel with the wrong offset can rub and cause problems with your suspension, brakes, and even body parts, like fenders.
The center bore is the hole in the center of a rim that exactly matches the hub diameter (hub bore). It is located at the back of the wheel and guarantees that the wheel is properly centered by the car's hub entering this hole. Mounting rims with a larger center bore are done with hub-centric rings.
Thread size, or lug nut size, refers to thread diameter, thread pitch, and the thread length. The first digit of the diameter, at least in the metric system, is specified in millimeters.
Rim Size Range
Provides an idea of the maximum and minimum allowed limitations for the diameter and width of the wheels that are compatible with the specific vehicle. As with most previously listed points in this section, this greatly depends on the model and the production year of your vehicle, as well as the size of its wheels. Mismatching can cause severe damage to the vehicle, so pay attention to your range.
Custom Rim Sizes Range
In contrast to the manufacturer's specifications, the custom rim size range shows the vehicle's lower and upper rim restrictions. Choosing the correct aftermarket wheels and, by extension, tires is a difficult task, and you have to strike a perfect balance between wheel size, rim width, backspacing, offsets, and suspension height while also maintaining an appealing appearance.
The reason why this section talks more about wheels and rims is because the tires scale from the minimum to the maximum available options of the wheel dimensions that fit your Audi TT RS. However, there are certain advantages and drawbacks of getting bigger or smaller wheels.
Bigger wheels significantly improve handling and enhance the car's stability and braking capabilities. However, they increase fuel consumption, slow down acceleration, and tend to wear faster. Smaller wheels offer a generally smoother ride at a more affordable price point but have poor handling capabilities and weaker performance.
In the end, using the wheel dimensions and bolt patterns provided by the manufacturer is always among the highest recommendations.
Ultimately, there aren't any clear-cut winners when it comes to the best tires for Audi TT RS, as the tires' performance should match your driving style. Simply put, aggressive race drivers are less to value our advice than everyday drivers who enjoy smooth rides and vice versa, depending on the situation.
The Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring and Michelin Premier A/S sound like excellent choices for laid-back drivers, while Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ fares better for those who like to push their Audi TT RS to the limits of its capabilities.
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding