Pump up the vol­ume

S is for sub­stance — to com­ple­ment the style of Audi’s up-spec TT pair

Herald Sun - Motoring - - PRESTIGE - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@news.com.au

LAUNCHED 20 years ago, Audi’s TT mag­nif­i­cently mixed de­sign and dy­nam­ics and spawned im­i­ta­tors, none of which got the for­mula right.

This is a car you want to be seen driv­ing as much as want to drive it.

For those who like a richer mix, wel­come to the TT S, pump­ing up the reg­u­lar TT’s 169kW to 210kW and tweak­ing torque up 10Nm to 380Nm. It’s like dat­ing UFC cham­pion Ronda Rousey — be­yond the fash­ion­able fa­cade is a cage fighter who will mess you up if show dis­re­spect.

What’s on the in­side also counts. The vir­tual cock­pit of the TT S is the fu­ture of car cab­ins, in­te­grat­ing the con­ven­tional driver’s dis­play with the sat­nav and in­fo­tain­ment to avoid hav­ing eyes dis­tracted from the road for any longer than nec­es­sary.

On one of the best screens yet fit­ted to a car, the dis­play is re­freshed 60 times a sec­ond to elim­i­nate lag be­tween real and in­di­cated speeds. As the coupe and road­ster each hit 100km/h in less than five sec­onds, it is prob­a­bly a wise ap­proach.

The cabin is among Audi’s best ex­am­ples of un­der­stated qual­ity. The dash wraps around the driver with classy tex­tured plas­tics, matt al­loys and leather pan­els.

Prices are up by about $1000 on the out­go­ing model. Audi says it has added $12,000 in value, with adap­tive LED head­lamps, dig­i­tal au­dio, ac­tive lane-keep­ing as­sist, front and rear sen­sors and re­vers­ing cam­era.

The eas­i­est way to spot the TT S is by the dou­ble-hor­i­zon­tal bars in the grille and the al­loy mir­ror caps. Trainspot­ters will no­tice the 19-inch wheels and 10mm lower ride height.

ON THE ROAD

Ac­cept the TT S has more sport­ing as­pi­ra­tions than your reg­u­lar coupe or con­vert­ible and you won’t be dis­ap­pointed.

Mag­netic shock ab­sorbers linked to Audi’s Drive Se­lect modes give the TT S sus­pen­sion set­tings rang­ing from firm to flat-out racer. It can still cruise by the city beaches but it isn’t fet­tled to float over speed bumps.

You can phys­i­cally load two peo­ple into the rear seat of the coupe; whether you’d want to de­pends on how you value your re­la­tion­ship with them.

The road­ster, a two-seat-only af­fair, weighs in 85kg heav­ier than the coupe. Only 35kg is from the soft-top and mo­tors; the rest is from stiff­en­ing in the body to

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