Although we never planned to build a TT RS replica from our 2008 Audi TT 2.0T FWD, fate seemed to take us down that path. The body kit we got from Audi Genuine Accessories (EC 9/12) has an RS-esque rear wing, and the RS four-piston front brakes we fitted (EC 6/13) required the RS wheels. So since we'd gone in that direction, we wondered whether the TT RS front bumper would fit without modification.
Having sourced one through our friendly local Audi dealer using the VIN number from a car in the parking lot, we did a trial run and held our breath. As it turns out, the RS bumper fits the regular TT perfectly. No modifications were required, and all we had to do was disguise some wires and frame members behind the intakes with black paint.
Fitting couldn't be easier and is certainly a DIY procedure. Ideally you'd use a lift to get at some bolts under the car, but axle stands will probably suffice. You'll also need Torx bits for some screws.
The bumper itself is OE-standard plastic and very durable, but you'll need to get it painted to OE specification to avoid the paint peeling. Along with the supplied headlight washer covers, it's the only piece to paint if you buy the gloss-black RS grilles and trim.
The bumper also has a two-piece splitter, which we painted body color. On some occasions it has been painted satin silver but we opted against this.
The fit of each part is very good. Even though our car probably suffered some light frontal damage in its previous life, we were able to get it to fit without major problems. Just spend time aligning everything before all the bolts are tightened.
We made one miscalculation: when painting the bumper in our OE Sahara Silver, we should have painted the central bar black. This is the area behind the grille. It can be seen through the mesh when there's no front plate fitted. We remedied the problem with a matte black spray can.
If you want to save money, you could paint the stock trim pieces that fit between the grille and headlights. This way you'd re-use your original pieces rather than buy them in gloss black.
Another option would be to retain the original grille. The problem is that ours had matte black slats, where the RS uses gloss-black honeycomb mesh. We felt the slats might look odd with the honeycomb side vents, so bought the new grille at some expense. But you could always paint the OE grille gloss black and live with the difference. It depends on your budget and desire.
The TT RS bumper doesn't include foglight housings, so you might save some weight with the conversion. However, you'll need to ask your dealer to reset the onboard computer to extinguish the warning light on the dash because it thinks the foglight bulbs have blown.
Note that the silver surround on the RS grille has a brushed aluminum finish, rather than the chrome on the 2.0T. And if you need to run a front license plate, you'll have to order the plate holder as well.
To begin, open the hood and snap-out the trim pieces between the headlights and grille. They're only clipped in. Then remove the headlights by undoing the three T30 Torx bolts around the top of each lamp - the center one comes out but the other two are loosened to allow removal once the wiring is unplugged. You can now reach down and disconnect the foglight wiring as well.
Now undo four T30 bolts around the top of the grille, as well as two 10mm nuts on either side of the bumper. These are under where the headlights sat and you'll need a deep socket.
Finally, there are three T25 screws inside each wheel housing that secures the back edge of the bumper. With these gone, remove five T25 bolts from the splashguard under the car and the bumper can be gently pulled away from the car.
To assemble the TT RS bumper, you must first fit the headlight washer covers. Since our car didn't have washers fitted, they were simply plastic-welded into place using a soldering iron.
Now snap the main grille into place from the front. The clips at the top may require extra force, but once in position, secure with the supplied T25 screws from behind.
You can now fit the bumper to the car. Carefully align to avoid paint scratches. You'll need to seat the four bolts into the holes under the headlights, and align the tabs by the wheel housings.
First fit the four 10mm bolts under the lamps before fitting the six T25 screws into the fenders. We spent a few minutes pushing and pulling the bumper into position to get the panel gaps right before tightening everything down.
Screw the splashguard back under the car and drill holes into the bumper for the side pieces. The undertray is different on the RS than our 2.0T but it required a simple modification to screw them into place.
The main part of the front splitter clips into place. Start at one side and push the tabs home until it's secure. Then press the center splitter into place as well. This takes a few seconds.
The side grilles also clip in place, but be careful with the tiny tabs. Before fitting, we noticed the wires and subframe behind them would be visible, so applied matte black paint to disguise everything.
Replace the four T30 bolts around the top of the main grille and re-fit the headlights, reconnect them beforehand. The side trim then snaps back into place between the grille and lamps.
The final step is to fit the RS badge. It's straightforward but we won't tell you the secret to avoid telling people how to steal them!
Fitting the TT RS front bumper shouldn't take more than a couple of hours and has a huge impact on the appearance of the car. We were in two minds about fitting the RS badge since it's only a 2.0T, and we may remove it later to avoid the inevitable confusion that will ensue. However, we're again delighted with the quality of the parts, the ease of installation and the dramatic improvement to the aesthetics. Although not the cheapest front bumper/spoiler on the market, you know its OE quality and will last the life of the car.
TT RS Front Bumper Parts List
|grille (with badge)
|cooling grille (left)
|cooling grille (right)
|grille trim (left)
|grille trim (right)
||Genuine Audi Accessories body kit, 19" wheels
||H&R coilovers, sway bars
||TT RS front brakes, 19" wheels
||TT RS front bumper, grille