“Don’t fix what isn’t broken” is a phrase that can be used to describe the little coupe from Ingolstadt. The first generation Audi TT can be considered as a rather successful model for Audi. The second generation TT, Audi took liberty to give it a more aggressive look. However, when it came to the third generation TT, critics have said that Audi has been lazy. Or have they?
At a quick glance, thankfully the third generation Audi TT is easily recognizable as an Audi TT, thanks to the familiar side profile. The Audi TT now sports a much sharper front fascia, with a pair of aggressive headlights surrounding the familiar trapezoid Audi grille. Overall height has decreased by 11 mm, which now gives the TT more stance.
The rear end of the third generation Audi TT is also familiar, as Audi chose not to drastically redesign it. While the predecessors featured a single muffler (bar the Audi TT-S and TT-RS), the new TT has a pair of mufflers, at both ends of the rear bumper. There is also a retractable rear spoiler, that sits flush when retracted. Rim size are 18-inches all round, and are complemented with 245/40 R18 Continental ContiSportContact 5 rubbers, which provided excellent grip.
While exterior looks is far from flashy, the Audi TT redeems itself as you step inside, as everything is simple and made out of high quality materials. Feast your eyes on the Audi Virtual Cockpit, as all vital information can be easily found without the driver having the need to look away. The Audi Virtual Cockpit also incorporates the media (radio, USB, Bluetooth) and various vehicle controls. The Audi TT can also be optioned with satellite navigation, which displays map info in the meter cluster. Our test car was not fitted with the navigation system, unfortunately.
The leather and Alcantara seats hugs me well, with additional controls for lumbar support, while the leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel is nice and chunky, with all the crucial controls within fingers’ reach. Air conditioning controls can be found on the jet turbine-inspired air conditioner vents.
But what is it like behind the wheel? In short, fantastic. With the full 370 Nm of torque available from a low 1,600 rpm, generous self discipline is needed. Gun the throttle and with every upshift of gears you’ll be rewarded with a lovely brapp from the exhaust, something I am secretly guilty of enjoying. From standstill, the base Audi TT we have here will crack 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds, before reaching an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h. The Audi TT’s distance sibling, the Volkswagen Golf GTI can only manage the same century sprint in 6.5 seconds.
Steering weight is spot on, with the right amount of accuracy. Despite that, the steering feels numb, which disconnects the driver and the road. Grip levels are phenomenal, even with the omission of quattro all-wheel-drive. The Audi TT just keeps gripping, even on the twistiest of roads. Down side is that road noise might be a bit too intrusive for some. Ride comfort is far from the comfiest of the lot, but the TT does redeem itself as it remains flat through corners.
Downside? Those who own the Audi TT should be warned that the back seats are merely there for decoration purposes, as any person with a normal height will struggle to seat there comfortably due to the sloping rear windscreen. Also, the TT does get rather thirsty, even more so if the driver enjoys the strong acceleration the EA888 offers.
Apart from that, the S-tronic gearbox get confused for a while before it decides to downshift. Don’t worry, as that was not a common occurrence. When it works, the S-tronic gearbox offers lightning quick gearshifts which are also very smooth. Even in traffic jam grinds, where dry dual-clutch gearbox stutters, the S-tronic in the TT just rides smoothly.
As a whole, I am convinced that the Audi TT serves its purpose very well. The Audi TT boasts one of the best interiors I’ve been in, coupled with excellent performance wrapped in an attractive body. The TT isn’t perfect, but all the small niggles are soon forgotten when the car is driven hard, just as it was designed to do.
For a car like this, I don’t mind not having a manual gearbox, despite how much I enjoy shifting my own gears. The paddle shifters, coupled with the quick-shifting S-tronic makes up for it. The Audi TT is an easy car to drive fast, which says quite a lot for itself. Sure, this variant lacks quattro, but with the sheer amount of grip available, its not an issue at all. The perfect daily and weekend drive? I certainly think so.
Now, where do I find RM285,000 for one?
Chris Wee says…
Ah, the Audi TT. I remember when it first stormed onto the scene many years ago, it made everyone sit up and go ‘What the heck is THAT!’ and ‘No way that’s an Audi!’. Indeed the TT was unlike anything we’d ever seen from the four-rings and to say it was a ‘radical departure from the norm’ is an understatement of epic proportions. However, with the advent of the R8, the TT has lost some of its razzmatazz, its bling isn’t what it used to be. In short, time has caught up with the little fella, and where once it was ‘da bomb’, it’s more an overshadowed fizzle these days. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a hoot to drive; it’s a fun car to chuck around, perhaps for the grown-up boy racer who can’t see himself in a Golf R, and is still put off by an A45 AMG because “Mercs are for dads” (although that said having recently driven the A45 AMG I have to say that dads would HATE it because it’s sportier, flashier and louder than a Boxster) and wants something that’s still fun, looks good and is somewhat sporty….but can’t ante-up for an R8. In many ways I pity the TT, it’s neither here nor there in the great scheme of things, I can’t put my finger on its target market. With all Audis – regardless of category – getting sportier and more fun to drive with each new model, and nothing in its stable even coming close to the performance characteristics and sex-appeal of the R8, the TT seems to be alone in a realm that very few would venture into. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if this is the last iteration of the TT we see. – CW.
Audi TT exterior photo gallery
Audi TT interior photo gallery