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