8 months with a Renault Clio

Top Car's Wayne Batty says goodbye to his Renault Clio. It’s not a soppy farewell but the little 'automatique' did its maker proud.

Kia's trendy family pick

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post experiences the upcoming Cerato.

TT roadster cruises into SA

2007-07-09 07:24

Wilmer Muller

The new TT roadster has joined its coupe sibling in Audi's South African line-up and as before this drop-top is drop-dead gorgeous.

It has kept its fabric roof, yet features state-of-the-art engineering and the latest innovations from Ingolstadt.

Like the coupe there are two models in the roadster line-up. The two derivatives available are the 3.2-litre V6 with quattro all-wheel-drive and the front-wheel-drive 2.0T FSI. Both are available with either a 6-speed manual box or Audi's S-Tronic (DSG) transmission.

And the new TT roadster is still a looker while also boasting even better build quality than before. It is beautifully finished in every aspect, making it one of the most desirable roadsters.

Pricing is competitive with the base model having a price tag of R395 000.

Roof design

No matter if you have the top up or retracted, the TT looks sleek and sporty.

Thanks to the new Z-fold design of the top, the front section of the roof lies on top like a cover. It locks into place to lie flush with the body. The soft top is available in the colours black and dark grey.

The soft top opens in 12 seconds and can be operated on the move at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

The fully automatic hood incorporates an additional layer of soundproofing beneath the black headliner for even better acoustic and thermal insulation.

A mesh wind deflector that extends and retracts electrically can be ordered as an option to smooth the airstream in the interior.

Thanks to the car's bigger dimensions, boot space has expanded from 210 to 250 litres.

Under the skin

The turbo-charged four-cylinder 2-litre unit, with 147 kW and 280 Nm, is nothing new but still continues to impress. When fitted with the S-Tronic transmission, Audi claims a 0-100 km/h sprint of 6.5 seconds for this model. Top speed is 237 km/h.

Power for the V6 unit is 184 kW and it produces a peak torque of 320 Nm, which is on tap between 2 500 and 3 000 r/min.

As on the coupe, both models have an electrically powered spoiler, which rises up out of the boot lid when the speed reaches 120 km/h

The two-seater's handling has improved too thanks to a revised sport chassis. There is also a sharper electromechanical power-assisted steering, which combines a direct ratio with sensitive precision.

The optional Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping system boosts dynamics even further. At the push of a button, drivers can choose between either an extra-comfortable or a decidedly dynamic suspension set-up.

This system basically stiffens up the TT, preparing the car to tackle hard cornering with more confidence while also making the overall ride more comfortable.

Aluminium body

The two-seater's body is also built on the principles of Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology. The body is made from 58% aluminium and 42% steel, which results in weight saving, and the 2-litre model tips the scale at 1 295kg when unladen.

Audi claims that the TT is 120% stiffer than the previous model too.

The roadster also features extra structural reinforcement to compensate for the absence of a proper roof.

There is an array of safety features such as aluminium beams and padding in the doors and a host of airbags.

The redeveloped electronic stabilisation programme (ESP) has been optimised for a sporty driving style and to help produce the steering balance of the TT. ABS takes care of the braking power.

All in all, the TT is a well-engineered car. As with the coupe, the 2.0 T FSI model is the one that impresses more. It is very nimble and thanks to gizmos such as stability control this front-wheel-drive two-seater boasts confidence on the road.

If you really want all-wheel-drive, then go for the V6 TT though it isn't necessarily worth the price premium.

But no matter which model you opt for, the TT roadster is still highly desirable. Not only does it score points in the styling department, but the ride is great too.

One can't help to be impressed with the overall quality as well and the interior is a showcase of Audi's renowned craftsmanship.


  • 2.0T FSI manual: R395 000
  • 2.0T FSI S Tronic: R411 000
  • 3.2 quattro manual: R485 000
  • 3.2 quattro: S Tronic: R501 000

  • Inside Wheels24

    Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

    Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.