Audi TT S


Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

It’s 20 years since the Audi TT first went on sale. If you’re any­thing like us, that’ll make you more than a lit­tle wist­ful about the re­lent­less pas­sage of time. Audi’s likely over the moon, mind; it’s sold 600,000 in that time, while its im­age has risen ex­po­nen­tially. It’s now a com­pany that reg­u­larly ex­plores niches you didn’t think nec­es­sary. Imag­ine Audi get­ting away with diesel per­for­mance SUVs be­fore the TT?

To co­in­cide with the car’s an­niver­sary, there’s been typ­i­cally res­trained up­dates: more sculp­tured bumpers, new colours and a re­freshed en­gine range. There’s no diesel any­more, all but the TT RS us­ing a tune of 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol.

Out­puts start at 197bhp, but the car you see here is the lat­est TT S, its 302bhp slightly down (well, by one per cent) thanks to new emis­sions regs. You can only have one gear­box – a 7spd S tronic auto – and it op­er­ates as smoothly as you’d ex­pect. Qu­at­tro all-wheel drive is stan­dard, and able to send all of its power to ei­ther axle.

As be­fore, though, the bal­ance is very much safe and sure­footed. In fact, it’s an ab­surdly easy car to jump in and drive quickly. Very wel­come, when our first drive was on the (closed!) Snae­fell Moun­tain sec­tion of the Isle of Man TT course, a piece of road that res­o­lutely – no­to­ri­ously – doesn’t take pris­on­ers. At­tempt­ing to do my bike rac­ing he­roes some sort of jus­tice, I didn’t once wish for any­thing other than cos­set­ing AWD and the ease of pad­dleshift­ing. But will it sat­isfy in the long run? A 718 Cay­man or Alpine A110 re­mains much more ap­peal­ing when you’re driv­ing for fun rather than hang­ing on for dear life.

Of course, the TT S makes up for its thrill short­fall with two back seats, a big hatch­back and what re­mains an ex­em­plary cabin; it was so good be­fore, this up­date’s only change is some new power and g- me­ter read­ings for the snazzy dig­i­tal di­als. All told, coupes get no more rounded or eas­ier to live with. You’d be a fool to bet against the TT manag­ing an­other 20 years with ease. STEPHEN DO­BIE

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