Since its unveiling in 1998, the TT has become one of Audi’s signature cars. While the brand’s sedans and hatchbacks easily come to mind when you think about the four rings, its sports coupe stands out for its design. Much like how the Mini hatchback is to Mini and the Golf is to Volkswagen.
Now on its third generation, what does the TT bring to the table?
In typical Audi fashion, the TT bares minimal changes from the previous model, maintaining that recognizable profile. The most significant changes are the headlights and taillights, with Audi's pioneer lighting technology. This one has bi-xenon headlights with separate daytime running lights. The taillights, meanwhile, are LED.
The wheelbase has been increased by 37mm, giving the car shorter overhangs, which aid handling. The new TT uses aluminum more extensively, shaving off 50kg from the previous model and weighing in at 1,335kg. This not only helps the car accelerate faster, but also shortens its braking distance.
We’ve harped that Audi arguably makes the best interiors in the business. The TT further stamps that thought. Materials such as aluminum drift inlays, plus leather and alcantara on the doors and sport seats make the cockpit feel tactile, while having just the right amount of bolstering. The TT does away with the multimedia display that can be stowed away in other Audis, incorporating everything into the Virtual Cockpit TFT instrument cluster.
Another highlight is the air-conditioning vents with the controls within, minimizing buttons and knobs on the center stack. This also lessens your hand movement while driving. As a result, the layout looks intuitive and clean.
The TT is powered by a 2.0-liter TFSI engine, delivering 230hp and 370Nm (with torque kicking in at the low end, making the power very usable). It’s mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. I love the simplicity of this system—all you have to do is flick it down for Sport from Drive, and flick it again to bring it back to Drive.
The Drive Select system has five modes—Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual (for your preferred settings). Dynamic brings out the true character of the TT. Acceleration is rapid and the dual-clutch gearbox crackles violently as it shifts gears. Shifts are lightning-quick.
I stay in Comfort most of the time around town, shifting to Dynamic whenever I could. Switching between modes and contending with the gridlock yielded 5.5-6km/L. While traveling between 70-95kph along SLEX in Efficiency, I managed to get a high of 19km/L.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Steering has the right amount of weight dialed in and is precise. Like the body, much of the TT's chassis and suspension components are made of aluminum, reducing unsprung weight. While the weight reduction provides better acceleration, handling, as well as braking distance, the TT's ride is firm and composed. There's a feeling of being firmly planted on the ground without the ride being jarring. It gives your passenger(s) no reason to complain. And with 18-inch wheels, there’s no trace of harshness.
The Virtual Cockpit TFT instrument cluster displays your tach and speedo, driving data (such as fuel consumption, average speed, driving duration, distance traveled, radio stations, and music playlist). With all the necessary info found here, the dashboard has a less-is-more approach, complementing the lack of knobs on the center panel.
With hardly any premium sports coupes to choose from in the local market, the TT is a unique package. In terms of its price point, it sits right in between the Peugeot RCZ and the Porsche 718 Cayman, which are the closest options considering size and body style. Small, light, and sprightly, it’s quite a good alternative to bigger, more powerful, and more expensive sports cars. It’s easier to justify, too.
SPECS: AUDI TT COUPE
Engine: 2.0-liter turbopetrol DOHC I4
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch
Power: 230hp @ 4,500-6,200rpm
Torque: 370Nm @ 1,600-4,300