MSS Kits Review: Audi TT-RS Street Edition
After getting my TTRS in January, one of the first orders of business was getting it lowered – the stock ride height was just too damn high, although I loved the ride quality with the OEM magnetic dampers. After my friend Craig had such glowing feedback on the MSS Kits “Sport” kit on his car, I contacted the good folks at MSS Kits and their exclusive US distribution partner Excelerate Performance to order a kit for my car. The beauty of this kit is that it allows you to retain the Magneride dampers, so you have the ability to switch between “Comfort” mode and hitting the sport button to unlock a firmer (but less comfortable) “Sport” mode. Additionally, these springs are height adjustable, so much like coilovers you can really dial-in the ride height, but unlike coilovers you don’t have to change out the struts and ditch the Magnetic Ride to get the benefit of adjustable ride height.
MSS custom engineers their springs for each model, and offers several different options. My friend Craig had the “Sports” kit, but after having a pretty rough ride quality on my last car due to going to overly aggressive with spring rates, and the fact I only track 2-3 days a year, I decided that this car I’d opt for something more comfortable. The Street kit seemed like the best option for me, so that’s where I went. I also opted to get the MSS “Track Pack” rear springs for use on those rare but oh-so-enjoyable track days, giving me the option to have my cake and eat it too.
The kit installation is EXTREMELY well documented by MSS Kits. The rears are pretty easy to DIY, but the fronts seemed tricky enough I found a local shop to install them for me. The kit contains two springs in the rear, and a single spring in the front, all marked with the MSS Kits brand but produced in partnership with Eibach. It took the installer around 6 hours to install given some of the unique features of this kit compared to “normal” lowering springs.
- Info for Installer – click download PDF
- Front or Rear Adjustable Kit Info – click to download PDF
- Audi TT MK2 Install guide – click to download PDF
Interestingly after they were first installed, even at the lowest setting – the car didn’t seem that much lower. I wrote to William at MSS springs and he assured me that the springs will settle, and the Street kit in particular seems to settle the most. He advised that 200 miles, 500 miles, and 2,000 miles are when I’ll notice the biggest changes in both ride height and ride quality, as part of the adaptation is the magnetic system recalibrating. Because I don’t tend to commute in my car long distances, it took over 4 months to hit the 2,000 mile mark; but sure enough he was right, both ride quality and ride height improved substantially over time. There is a way to go into VAG-com and go into “Adaptation” mode with the Magneride to reset the default ride height and help the computer learn the new “normal,” but I discovered it after the majority of my break-in miles were complete so I’m not really sure it is necessary or beneficial per se.
Measuring from the bottom edge of the wheel to the top of the fender, I observed the following drop:
- Front: 24″ before, 23.25″ after (20mm drop)
- Rear: 23.75″ before, 23.5″ after (7mm drop)
Best of all, the ride quality kept getting better over time. The car now rides like a factory TT; not even a RS, but more like a base model TT. If I had to complain, it’s almost too soft and comfortable – but for daily driving, that is a complaint I won’t be making. For the track it’s definitely a little too soft, but that’s where the track springs come into play.
Numbers are one thing, but as you can see in these pictures the springs do a perfect job at eliminating the fender gap from factory, as well as evening out the stance so it doesn’t have the notorious Audi “butt sag” that nearly every new Audi tends to have from the factory. The adjustability also helps you determine how much rake you want, although MSS Kits recommends a 5mm rake for best results in terms of ride quality. I can bring my rears down a little lower if I want, but I think they’re about dialed in where I want them. The rears are super easy to adjust using the spanner wrench supplied with the kit, although I haven’t tried adjusting the fronts; they’re already at their lowest setting, so nothing really left to adjust there.
For comparison purposes, above is a picture on the stock springs – as you can see the rear sits a little lower than the front, and the front has a good deal of wheel gap. The TTRS benefits from a lower stance than the regular TT, but still not quite low enough for most folks like myself. The kit isn’t going to make your car look slammed or hella-stanced, but will do a great job at giving your car an OEM-plus look that eliminates wheel gap without overdoing it.
As I noted before, the ride quality is really great. When I first installed the kit I was a little underwhelmed, but as the springs settled in and I got an alignment done, things improved. The big litmus test for me is always the “wifey test” and she not only did she not complain about the lowering springs, I don’t think she even noticed them. Compared to my S4 where it was immediately obvious that the car had a modified suspension, the Street kit is a great way to keep the OEM comfort and just fix the stance. My only complaints is that during spirted driving the springs are a tad bit on the soft side, and they don’t fully eliminate rear squat during hard acceleration, nor does anti-roll seem to be any better – to be fair neither are worse than the OEM suspension, so think of the Street kit as the perfect solution for someone who wants to keep the factory ride dynamics exactly how they are, but get rid of the wheel gap & reverse rake. But wait, there’s more…
The icing on the cake for this kit is the ability to quickly & easily swap out the rear springs for something stiffer. On my first track day I got the opportunity to test out the “Track Pack” rear springs, which swap out by just removing one bolt on the rear lower control arms using an 18mm socket & wrench. In about 20 minutes per side I can have the springs swapped, and the Track Pack springs are considerably stiffer and more fun in performance driving. Surprisingly, the ride quality of the Track Pack springs is still very good despite the added stiffness, and something I considered keeping in year-round – but since it is so easy to change the springs back, I decided to keep the Street springs in whenever I’m commuting, and then just swap springs whenever I put my track wheels/tires on (with the wheels/tires already off, the time to swap the springs is even less).
Overall, I’d definitely recommend the kit to anyone looking to mod their TT or other car with magnetic springs. Give careful thought in terms of which option you want – in hindsight, I’m torn on whether I should have gone for Street or Sport. The advantage of my current setup is I can swap between super comfortable and super track-worthy in under an hour, but the advantage of Sport would be the ability to have one spring to accomplish both purposes reasonably well, and might be easier for people who want to set it and forget it. Either way the adjustability of the kit is great, and the extra thought that goes into the packaging and design is really thorough – they now come with dust sleeves (pictured above) that protect the threading from grease and grime and make it easier to adjust in the future.
If you’re interested in placing an order, contact Excelerate Performance in the U.S., or check out the dealers page on the MSS Kits website for International resellers.