When we’re thinking about sports cars that evoke driving emotion, arguably the first would be the ones that bear Italian DNA. But how about a German car? First introduced in 1999, the first generation Audi TT has been a breath of fresh air both in the manufacturer’s range, but also in the small sports car sector. Bringing forth a design that broke away from conventions, with an arched roofline, large wing flares and a low stance, it created a cult following, making Audi a company that could rival with established car makers. The second generation came to market in 2006 and sought to fix the issues that plagued the first, including the less than fortunate combination of drivetrain and power plant. A new, stiffer chassis was installed, together with more powerful engines and a few cosmetic tweaks were made, in order to provide a refreshed image of the original.
Fast forward to 2015 and the third generation is ready to meet the road. Seeking to break free from the ‘hairdresser’s car” stigma that it received for its less than adequate dynamic performance, the latest incarnation of the Audi TT promises to be as good as it looks.
Although not a groundbreaking redesign, the car’s lines have ushered it into contemporary times. Overall, the image it projects is more or less the same, save for some styling cues that, honestly, make all the difference.
The front features the same large grille, but instead of having rounded corners, it now comes in a more angular form. The overly rounded headlamps have been replaced with a very angry looking set of lights with integrated LEDs that give it a new lease of life. Two air intakes, on either side of the grille, have protruding housings and, in the basic variant, are united via a thin, long slit that sits just below the grille, in the fashion of the Maserati GranCabrio. The Audi TTS, the more powerful version, has a protruding lip that replaces that design element.
The side profile has received the least amount of remodelling, as only the window line and the mirrors have been replaced. More prominent wheel arches and the profiled side skirts else, it’s mostly the same old Audi TT that we know.
Round the back, the rear lamps are more in line with what’s currently going on in the Audi range, being similar to the ones from large saloons. A long stop light runs the entire length of the boot and unites the tail lamps. In standard configuration, only two exhaust tips will be present, protruding from underneath a black diffuser element, but in TTS guise, a silver hue will replace the dark colouring and a quadruple exhaust will grace the eyes of the onlookers.
Seven different wheel designs will sit at the disposal of customers, with dimensions ranging from 18 inches to 20 inches, from standard star design to V and Y-spoke, all made from light aluminium alloy.
Audi TT 2015 – 5 Point Review
Along with the outside design, the cockpit has also received a makeover. Marching rather on a minimalistic approach rather than drowning the driver in screens and buttons, it follows a back-to-basics approach, the entire experience inside the cabin focusing on the driving pleasure. The centre console is almost bare, save for a CD player, the gear lever and a handful of controls. The circular air conditioning outlets have integrated climate controls, turning them into a pleasure to look at, while the three spoke, flat bottomed steering wheel features metallic inserts. The dials are completely digital and are configurable, even hosting the sat-nav system. Profiled seats that provide a snug fit and decent lateral support have been installed, while the rest of the cabin has been dressed in premium materials.
After the disappointment that the first generation proved to be, the latest Audi TT, by comparison, feels like a different car – because it is! The common MQB platform – found in the Audi A3, the Seat Leon and the VW Golf, amongst others – is also shared by the small sports car. The flexible nature of this awarded set-up permits a greater degree of efficiency when it comes to weight distribution and torsional rigidity, basically transforming the driving experience in the TT into sheer pleasure. The suspension is stiffer, which, combined with its mostly aluminium build, leads to a very nimble and fast-moving vehicle, with a top speed rated at 155mph. Acceleration figures aren’t that shy either, as 0 to 62 takes only 5.3 seconds if the Quattro TFSI engine is chosen.
As the Audi TT has been barely introduced to the market, we can’t pronounce yet on its on-road behaviour. However, Audi offers a choice of three, four or five year warranty, transferable between owners. Certain conditions are attached to these offers, but nonetheless, it’s a decent offering. Moreover, you’ll benefit from Audi’s Roadside Assistance and Recovery program all across the UK for the first three years of ownership, so in case anything breaks down, you’ll be care free – at least for a few years!
The Audi TT comes in two levels of trim, S-line and Sport. The base diesel version is the cheapest, in Sport guise, as it costs £29,770 and sports a 2.0 litre TDI ultra engine, with 184bhp. The petrol offering comes at £29,860, with a 2.0 litre TFSI engine, with front wheel drive, that develops 230bhp and the Quattro version costs £32,785, also being the only one that has an automatic transmission.
The S-line trim raises the bar when it comes to price, as it oscillates between £32,320 and £35,335, depending on the options. The slowest of the bunch is the diesel, as 62 mph comes after 7.1 seconds, compared to the TFSI which manages to reduce the difference to 5.3 seconds. However, the diesel takes the crown for fuel economy figures, as it boasts 67.3mpg, as opposed to the petrol manual (47.9mpg) and automatic (44.1mpg).
A Coupe/Roadster by design, the Audi TT will not rival the big saloons in terms of comfort or interior space. Thus, its boot measures 305 litres or it can be expanded to 710 by folding the rear seats. Speaking of those, unless you’re either really thin or petite in build, we wouldn’t recommend residing in the back, as the space is limited; only the driver and front passenger will enjoy extra legroom.
Want to know more about the Audi TT? Here’s a link the Official Website