Fine design but the TT fails to hit the spot
I HAVE to declare a disinterest in the Audi TT. It is not my sort of car; never has been anyway, but I may be softening – only a bit.
The shape has always appealed and has changed little since the first TT last century – in 1999. By definition, then, it is nearly a classic, and I can’t dispute the purity of the design.
There have been many models, some with frontwheel-drive, mostly fourcylinder turbos, a six-cylinder, a diesel, with quattro allwheel-drive for more powerful engines.
It was, I think, the first sports car to be offered with a diesel engine. Body styles are twoseater, soft-top roadster and 2+2 fixed-head coupé.
Today, the range starts at well under £30,000, and my test car, with the 208bhp (211ps) 2-litre “entry” level petrol TFSI engine, was £29,240 with Audi’s twin-clutch, six-speed, STronic gearbox and quattro transmission.
Basic figures are 152mph, 0-62mph in six seconds, with 169g/km as tested on the extra-cost 18in alloys. These added £1,280 and are not necessary.
It looked smart in mid-blue paint (shade: scuba) but that was another £510.
Helping take my test car to £37,055 were cruise control (£220), powered heated seats (£995) and “magnetic” ride adjustment, at £1,175. I would give this item a miss: the ride on my local country roads was hard and nothing special.
I would pay £35 (hardly worth charging?) for the Isofix child-seat clips, to make the car more useful for a future owner.
The rear seats are, by the way, suitable only for babies and dogs and small children and for folding down to extend the boot, reached through the tailgate.
This is a quick car by most measurements and I fail to see why I would want more power – though Audi does offer as much as 335bhp (340ps) with a 2480cc, five-cylinder engine. It exists only because someone will buy it to prove something to somebody they will never know – the passer-by obsessed by the RS badge.
For an additional £18,000 over my test car, the RS gives an extra 3mph top speed and to 62mph in 4.5 seconds. I can wait.
The pace of the TFSI was admirable. This engine has direct fuel injection and a turbocharger, and is a gem.
The character is willing and smooth, and in a car weighing 1360kg, the response is rapid, accompanied by a quaint warbling note from the exhaust system.
After weeks of motoring in various “normal” cars, though, the general noise of the TT was loud. It is not a restful car but then neither is a Porsche Cayman, which I adore.
We, or rather, some of us, buy such cars for their looks. Some will enjoy the ability to get round corners quickly and reach higher average speeds, but these gains are more emotional than rational.
Mostly, I suspect, the TT is bought as style statement. It certainly has rakish lines and the coupé is practical for two people and their luggage.
Verdict: Posh girl’s shopper, but an A3 makes more sense. Sorry, chaps, not a bloke’s motor.
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STYLE STATEMENT: Audi’s latest TT.