New-gen Audi TT still turns heads
■ When Peter Schreyer and his design team at Audi came up with the TT in the mid-1990s, it turned the compact sports car segment on its head. The helmet-shaped two-door coupe was soon touted as being in line for classic status, honouring the original Volkswagen Beetle, even the Toyota Tarago “egg”.
The third-generation TT, which landed in Australia recently, is no different. It still stands out in a crowd, arguably more so than the gen-two, which was a bit generic in its shape.
Importantly, weight has been shed. The skin of the new TT is aluminium, including the front guards, roof, bonnet, doors and rear hatch.
The mid-range 2.0 TFSI Sport quattro S tronic, at $77,950 provided, was our test car, which with extras was priced at $84,050.
The new TT does hark back to the original design. The fuel flap on the shoulder sports the characteristic TT design with embossed TT logo. Six bolts connect the ring of the fuel flap to the body. This time around there is no fuel cap under the cover, rather the cap is built into the flap. The fuel nozzle is inserted directly into the tank neck in race car fashion.
The two large, round, chrometipped tailpipes are closely spaced, just like the first Audi TT. The same is true of the rounded rear window, the tail lights integrated into the body and the three-dimensional logo.
Focus of the cabin is the winglike instrument panel which is angled towards the driver. Characteristic TT round air vents incorporates all air-conditioning controls on their axes and also displays the settings.
The absence of the traditional air-conditioning control unit frees up space for an expansive Audi virtual cockpit, combining the instrument cluster and MMI monitor into a digital unit. Central to the Audi virtual cockpit is a 12.3-inch wide, high-resolution display producing high-contrast images.
The driver can switch between two interfaces using the view button on the multifunction steering wheel. In progressive mode, a central window offers a big view of navigation map or for lists in the phone, radio and audio areas.
The tachometer and speedometer are displayed as small dial instruments on the right and left.
The centre of the terminal continues to be the round rotary pushbutton. Its surface is equipped with the touch-sensitive MMI touch. The touchpad is used to input characters and now also processes finger gestures.
Standard in the new coupe is the secondary collision brake assist, which is activated in the event of an accident. It can prevent the car from continuing to roll in an uncontrolled manner, and it activates the car’s interior lighting and hazard warning system.
Another standard feature is the rest recommendation, which lets the driver know when they are starting to get fatigued.
New Audi TT is powered by a 2.0litre TFSI four-cylinder engine, putting out 169kW and 370Nm with forced induction replacing displacement. It has direct injection and stop-start engine technology to minimise fuel use and emissions. The engine complies with the Euro 6 emission standards.
With the six-speed S tronic and quattro all-wheel-drive, zero to 100km/h comes up in just 5.3 seconds, with fuel consumption a claimed 6.4 litres/100km in the combined urban/highway cycle, and emissions of 149g of CO2 per km.
The TT marks the first time the all-wheel drive system has been integrated into the Audi drive select system, where it considers steering angle while at the same time orienting on the operation of drive select and the electronic stabilisation control.
From an eager anticipatory initial sighting to a fond farewell, the test Audi TT offered a pleasing, if selfish, driving experience. Audi has just introduced a 1.8litre TFSI engine developing 132kW to its TT range in Europe. It is under consideration for Australia.
The new Audi TT stays true to its design traditions, while taking on the latest technology.
The interior is expansive.