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Audi TT tested

2007-03-05 08:57

Wilmer Muller

The Audi TT

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Audi
Model TT
Engine 2-litre FSI
Power 147 kW
Torque 280 Nm
Transmission 6-speed S-tronic
Audi TT 2.0 TSFI S-Tronic

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    What's it about

    The new TT is to be a big hit for Audi. Not only is this new sports coupe's price tag great, so is the design, quality, engines and performance too.

    One can imagine that BMW and Merc are perhaps worried about the instant effect the second-generation TT will have in the small sports car market.

    At first we thought that the TT might not grab the aTTention as at first glance the design is more an evolution from its predecessor. But we were pleasantly surprised by the envious looks the car received.

    Although the latest model is still instantly recognisable as a TT, Audi has done a good job at breathing new life into a car that became a motoring icon. Even if you are not an Audi fan, you have to give Ingolstadt credit for successfully reviving a car that helped to change the face of company.

    Also, looking at the initial reaction from readers on our new model report on the car, it is also clear that the TT is definitely the talk of the town.

    And the latest TT is without doubt going to be another success for Audi. It has all the right elements to be a serious contender in its segment.

    Aesthetically, the car still has the traditional dome-like roof and other circular styling elements of its predecessor ensuring that the TT is still a design sensation.

    But it also comes with new trademark Audi touches such as the prominent single-frame grille, while the overall appearance is classier. A chic new taillight design also gives the car's rear more prominence.

    Another cool new touch is the pop-up spoiler, which automatically moves upwards once you hit the 120km/h mark or you can activate it manually.

    It is clear that Walter de Silva and his team decided not to mess with a winning formula, and rather just improve upon the first TT.

    The TT does feel the premium part too and perceivable quality, outside and inside, is top-notch.


    The circular design theme, which is also evolved from the car it replaces, continues on the inside. It is clear that Audi has stuck to a tried-and-tested recipe and the TT's cockpit demonstrates the current excellent fit and finish of other Audi products.

    A sports steering wheel, similar to that of the RS4 and R8, with a flattened base welcomes the driver. Of course there are leather trim, climate control and a good audio system, along with a range of optional extras too.

    Interior space is better than before while boot space is a useful 290 litres, which can be increased to 700 litres if you fold the rear seats down.

    17-inch alloy wheels are standard but optional 18-inchers are available. The TT now also comes with runflat tyres.

    Under the skin

    The TT's 2-litre turbocharged FSI engine is by now a familiar unit as it is used in quite a number of Audi and VW products. It kicks out 147 kW and 280 Nm of torque from as low as 1 800 r/min.

    Our test car featured the superb S-tronic (DSG) manual transmission, which suits the turbocharged engine very well.

    Furthermore the TT is a "lightweight" and tips the scale at a low 1 260 kg. This weight is achieved due to the use of ASF (Audi Space Frame) technology. Apparently 69% of the car's body consists of aluminium.

    Unlike the previous 1.8T model the new 2-litre TT doesn't feature quattro all-wheel-drive, making it 20 kg lighter than its predecessor.

    Driving it

    The TT might be front-wheel-driven but that doesn't mean one has to write it off as a sports car. In fact Audi has done a good job in terms of fine-tuning weight distribution, agility and body stiffness.

    It is a car that has confidence when you thrash it through turns and that won't loose its pose easily - even without the quattro all-wheel-drive. The TT's high-speed composure is remarkable too.

    The optional 'magnetic ride' suspension also adapts the stiffness of the dampers to react to the way the car is being driven and the type of road.

    Go hard on the twisties and the suspension stiffens up, lighten up on the motorway and the ride gets more compliant. There's also the option of a 'sport' setting, which firms things up regardless.

    The system works well most of the time, although it can be caught out by rough, broken patches of tarmac when you're just cruising.

    As an everyday runabout the TT 2-litre seems at ease in traffic and city conditions without it feeling like an impatient wild animal locked up in a cage.


  • Design
  • Quality
  • Value for money
  • Driving experience


  • No grabhandles
  • Rearview mirror looks as if it belongs in a Citi Golf


    It's hard not too like the TT. This is a sports car with mass appeal? And that might just be the biggest downside to the TT too. The fact that it is very reasonably priced might just mean that you will lose out on the exclusivity factor.

    However, the TT is again a showcase that Audi is more than able to produce cars that stand out and that the brand is definitely synonymous with quality products too. Although the TT's design is perhaps a bit more generic than its predecessor, it is still a beaut. Audi managed successfully to evolve the TT brand to the next level ensuring its icon status.

    On the streets

    Regarded by many as bold, innovative and revolutionary, the Audi TT's appeal (and price tag) speaks to an audience with a somewhat oversized wallet and ego.

    Although this compact vehicle is often seen driven by those in well-heeled circles, Wheels24 took the Audi TT to a not-so-affluent suburb on the Cape Flats to hear what the regular folk had to say.

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