Has the new Audi TT “Totally Transformed’ into a true sports car, asks Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The Audi TT is one of the most recognisable cars on the road so keeping it fresh and relevant without straying too much from the iconic original, is a challenge for Audi. When the second generation model arrived in 2005 it had more power and improved dynamics but the driving never quite managed to match its super model good looks. Now the third-generation promises to be sportier and more efficient.
Who is it aimed at? With its voluptuous curves, powerful and sporty physique, the original TT – launched back in 1998 -was a revelation and it has had fashion-conscious car buyers reaching for their cheque books ever since.
Styling? The new TT carries the original styling but there the similarity ends. If you look a little closer, the changes become apparent. The DNA from the Audi R family is everywhere, including the vertical LED headlights, the capless refuelling and the Audi rings that are now found on the bonnet rather than the grille. Crucially, the new TT is also 50kg lighter as a result of using ultra-high strength steel, aluminium and other weight-saving measures.
Under the Bonnet? Our diesel test was powered by the 2.0 litre diesel engine.
What about inside? Slip behind the wheel of the TT and the interior is the very last word in elegance. Behind the three-spoke steering wheel is a “virtual cockpit” displaying key information. Throughout the cabin are some really stylish details such as the air vents that now house the controls for the air conditioning. Space throughout is good and boot capacity is up by 13 litres to 305. Front-seat passengers have good space for head and legs but the rear seats are really only suitable for children or very small friends
On the Road?Despite this particular model being front-wheel drive, it grips the road, is wonderfully responsive and corners with ease. The manual gearbox is super slick and overall the TT is beautiful to drive but its closer still to being a sporty car rather than a real sports car.
And Safety? All the basics are covered from airbags to electronic stability control to keep you safely cocooned.
Options? The new TT is available in Sport or S-line trim levels and with a choice of a 2.0-litre 230bhp petrol engine or a 2.0-litre 184bhp diesel variant.
Will it break the bank?The TT range starts from €46,700; our 2.0-litre diesel test car is priced at €50,200
Economy? Our diesel test car delivers a combined fuel economy of 4.2 litres per 100km or 67.3mpg with Co2 emissions of 110g/km.
Verdict? The latest incarnation of the TT is a truly modern car that’s packed with technology. If you liked the previous TT, then you will love this one, but I’m not convinced that in this guise – diesel and front-wheel drive – Audi have delivered a TT that drives as good as it looks. What they have done , however, is taken a good car and made it better.
Why you’ll buy one? Stylish good looks; stunning interior; good driving dynamics
Why you won’t? Diesel is a little dull to drive;
Peugeot RCZ – From €41,595
BMW 2 series – From €38,480
Watch our video review below (Video Filming by Kyran O’Brien)
Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TDi
Engine: 1968cc, 184bhp, 380 NM @ 1750 – 3250 rpm
Max speed: 241 km/h
0-100 kph: 7.1 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 110g/km (Band A3 – €190 per annum)
Model price: Range priced from €46,700 (test car €50,200)
No of Doors: 2 doors
Euro NCAP : Not tested
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.2 litres or 67.3mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 309 litres
A version of this article, by the author, appeared previously in the Sunday Independent
19th November, 2014