Seven things we learnt driving the new Audi TT 45 TFSI
It’s tweak time for the third generation Audi TT. With a new look, new power outputs, and a world to conquer, I went to see whether the new coupé for the well heeled would make me weak at the knees or was just… weak. Here are seven things you need to know.
1: It's ANGRY now
Classically the TT’s been about smooth, good looks (save for the S and RS cars – they’re a bit pointier). The right crease here, a gentle flourish there… that kinda stuff. The new one has put all that in the bin and is all about looking AGGRESSIVE and SPORTY. There are slashy vents on the front and rear, a new grille that wouldn’t be out of place in a workshop that makes big things out of metal, and it’s all together a little more lively on the eye than before.
2: The interior isn't
Audi’s first stab at the Mk III TT introduced the Virtual Cockpit, a digital instrument binnacle that displays navigation, audio, phone, and driving information where the traditional speedo and rev counter would be. It’s very shiny and very good, and it removes the need for a big screen in the middle of the dash. The result is clean lines and a pretty zen place to be. You can get on with the job of driving while your passenger gets on with providing snacks, conversation, and asking if you’re nearly there yet.
3: 242bhp is plenty quick enough
Your passenger’s quandary will be an easy one to answer – with the 242bhp 2.0-litre powerplant you’ll get to where you need to get in no short order. TT Coupé buyers will clock 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, TT Roadster owners not long after. If you get yourself an Autobahn or a runway you’ll see 155mph as well. Power delivery is brisk, with an in-gear pedal prod pushing you back in your seat. There’s an S model with over 300bhp on the way as well. Punchy.
4: You may not remember the drive though
You can drive the TT fast. You can drive it fast around bends, in a straight line, everywhere. But unless you’re balls-to-wall skidding and sliding everywhere, you’re not likely to remember it as one of the world’s great driver’s cars (though I’m sure the RS will fix that). Its quattro four-wheel-drive system gives you plenty of grip to take bends at speed, yet the steering doesn’t feel alive in your hands. The brakes will scrub off enough speed to make your face try to fall off and the S Tronic automatic gearbox will fire you up and down its ratios as quick as you like as well. While it’ll do all the right things, you won’t get out and yearn for the next drive.
That said… if you’re not a petrolhead and want something quick enough to entertain but easy enough to wrangle on the day to day, the TT’s got your back.
5: Emissions regulations have forced change on the TT
Emissions are a hot topic at the moment. A new test procedure has been brought in to ensure the figures manufacturers give out (MPG, CO2, et al) are realistic. The test, WLTP, has meant engineers are thinking smarter and harder than before. The TT has not escaped the engineers’ grasp. As such, the S Tronic gearbox has been tweaked, and there’s a new petrol particulate filter on board to make the car as clean and efficient as possible. While this sounds incredibly dull, I’m sure, it’s hugely important.
In fact, those tweaks mean the new TT S will be a few horses down on the old one, but gearbox tweaks mean it won’t lose any pace. The TT 45 TFSI quattro I took a spin in will net you between 34.9-35.3mpg and 160g/km CO2 depending on what options you have fitted to the car.
6: Yes, there's still a drop top
Good news, show offs! You can have a TT with a fabric roof that you can lower to show the world just how fabulous you are at the wheel of your shiny new TT. Unlike some soft tops, the TT’s look isn’t compromised as a convertible. It’ll do its thing in near-as-damn-it 10 seconds at speeds up to 31mph.
7: The TT has been around for 20 years
It seems odd to think of a world without the TT in it. For so long it’s been a car for the fashion forward types to tool around in, yet it first hit the roads two decades ago. Thing is – the DNA of the original is still in there. The coupé is a 2+2, so you can take (small) people with you in the back, the wheel arches bulge, the ends curve, and the roof looks like a little bubble on top of it all. Plus ca change…