Roadster 2.0 TFSI 230PS Sport S tronic
TT Roadster with
the top down is like being in the eye
of the storm
however wild the wind,
always snugly insulated from
it and in full control...
ADDICTIVE FUN but when it's time for the top go back up it couldn't be more
user-friendly press the 'roof' button and ten seconds later you'll
be as snug as if you were travelling in one of the roadster's fixed head coupe
siblings. Not only that, but the top can be powered up and down while you're
on the move perfect for those spoilsport sudden showers…
The latest generation Roadsters still carry that instantly recognisable Bauhaus
DNA that so strikingly marked out the TT when Audi first launched the iconic
sports car range; but now they're honed even sharper with its chiselled
lines the drop-top radiates a focused, ready-to-rumble stance. And not only
does its aerodynamic bodywork look great but it also generates a best-in-class
choices range from a super-efficient 177bhp right through to a rip-roaring 394bhp
(in the TT RS). That noted, it's the unleaded-drinking 2.0-litre TFSI petrol
that's the most popular engine bay filler, especially as it can be had with
either front-wheel drive or Audi's renowned quattro all-wheel drive and with
either a slick six- speed manual or sporty paddle-shift dual-clutch S tronic
Sports 2.0 TFSI
petrol engine does zero-
to-sixty-two in 6.1
seconds and top-down
you could top-out
However, these headline
figures dont tell the
whole story because in
the real world this
Audi 2.0-litre is one of the
best turboed engines
If you're happy to run with a diesel then the 2.0-litre TDI Ultra version is
gutsy enough to deliver a respectable 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds and still
reach 150mph the payoff is an official combined cycle consumption figure
But it's the blown inline four-pot 2.0 TFSI petrol we've been putting through
its paces. Zero-to- sixty-two is sorted in a smidgen over six seconds (6.1 to
be precise) and top-down you could top-out at an autobahn-friendly 155mph. However,
these headline figures don't tell the whole story because in the real world
this Audi 2.0-litre is one of the best turboed engines around.
With 226bhp backed by a meaty 272lb ft, it's a delightfully flexible unit that
serves up eager thrust from low revs to the tune of a thrummy exhaust signature
that sounds even better the faster you go. Increase the pressure of your right
foot and you'll enjoy a seamless surge of acceleration whatever your starting
speed; wafting past slower traffic is a blast, particularly so if you flick
the selector lever into its Sport mode first if you do, you'll probably
leave it there for the remainder of your journey! If, however, you're just pootling
along in traffic, it's impressively well-mannered; as it is, too, in the cruise
with relaxed numbers on the rev-counter at the UK's legal limit.
So, is there a sting at the pumps? Our week's pretty ardent driving saw an overall
test average of 35.8mpg on the trip computer (officially, the combined cycle
figure is 43.5mpg); drivers with a penchant for more cruising and less bruising
should hit the big Four Oh easily enough.
4.17-metre-long Roadster may have a compact nose-to-tail footprint but when
it comes to inner space, its cabin is unquestionably liberal. Adding to the
sense of space is a streamlined cockpit that artfully blends tech with charisma.
it's the driver who gets the best of it with a pin-sharp 12.3-inch hi-res digital
display filling the instrument pod beneath the single hooded cowl where once
only traditional dials held court.
to the sense
of space is a
streamlined cockpit that
artfully blends tech with
charisma. And its
driver who gets the best
of it with a pin-sharp
12.3-inch hi-res digital
display filling the
instrument pod beneath
the hooded cowl where
once only traditional dials held court...
It appeals not purely because it's state-of-the-art but because it's so user-friendly
and informative. The wide-angle screen shows a digitised speedometer and rev-counter
dials against a backdrop of live navigation mapping and infotainment displays.
Best of all you can reconfigure it in an instant on the move if you suddenly
need to dip into a different set of information; for instance, you can shrink
the virtual speedometer and rev-counter to maximise the 3D map as well as bring
up other core driving information and graphics. Helpfully, a digital mph readout
appears within the speedo while the currently engaged gear is always indicted
in the rev-counter.
Making life even easier for the driver is Audi's truly foolproof multimedia
interface that comes with MMI Touch to further enhance the tech-fest: the top
surface of the master rotary MMI control is also a touchpad for inputting fingertip-written
numbers, figures and even symbols; you can also zoom in/out smartphone-style,
scroll maps and search within the navigation, telephone, car, and media menus.
Or you can just stick to the equally easy and quick MMI shortcut buttons. Whichever
way you prefer to input your destination you'll find it idiot-proof with accurate
spoken directions. Webistas will appreciate Audi's Connect feature that gets
you online with access to Google Earth's maps and street views.
And all the while you'll be sitting comfortably in a cosseting, low-slung Super
Sports seat upholstered in diamond-stitched grey suede. Admittedly these are
a £695 option but worth every penny as they support you in all the right places
and, along with the good-to-grip flat-bottomed steering wheel, offer smooth
every-which-way adjustment plus powered lumbar (in and out and up and down);
the front seat cushions can also be extended for additional under-thigh/knee
even for near six-footers, is unexpectedly good with the roof up a full
fist of it and there's masses of leg/foot room to go with it. The driver benefits
from a well-sited foot rest for his or her left foot and also enjoys excellent
forward and side vision that makes placing the Roadster a no-fear affair even
in the tightest of gaps.
have even managed to endow the TT's air vents with a dash of flamboyance
the five turbine-look circular fascia vents each have an outermost ring to control
direction with an on/off slider for volume; ingeniously, each of the outermost
vents' central hubs is also a switch that controls the three-stage neck heating
(incorporated into the seatback) as well as the three-stage seat heating.
roof is, obviously, the
defining feature of the
Roadster. As powered
tops go, it is very quick
just ten seconds
from closed to open.
You can also close it on
the go (up to 31mph)
if caught in a downpour
in moving traffic...
The three central vents work the same way but their switches control the A/C
on / off and blower speed, the Auto mode and left / right cabin temperature,
and recirculation / manually-targeted distribution (feet, face, etc). All visually
very smart and brilliantly easy to use on the move.
Other well considered touches include seatbelt guides on the seatback outer
shoulders that guarantee a belt always being readily to hand with no uncomfortable
twisting when buckling-up.
The powerfolding fabric roof is, obviously, the defining feature of the Roadster.
As powered tops go, it is very quick just ten seconds from closed to
open. You can also close it on the move (up to 31mph) if caught in a downpour
in moving traffic. Top down, the passenger or driver needs make no compromises
regards comfort and refinement; like the eye of a storm, it's a calm, turbulence-free
place to be.
With the hood folded away out of sight under the rear deck anybody can 'get'
the appeal of a roadster with so much more to be seen around and above,
it's an invigorating way to travel. Raise the side windows and powered rear
wind blocker and you won't feel any draughts or buffeting, even at motorway
cruising speeds if the skies are grey rather than blue, there's extra
cosseting available from the 'air-scarf' system that wafts hot air onto the
back of your neck (like the heated seats, the air-scarf offers three settings
from nicely warm to full-on hot). If you're travelling with a companion, refinement
is good enough for you to chat without raising your voice.
course there will be days when the top stays firmly in place but that's not
a problem either because the hood is very well insulated against both the cold
and noise top-up, the cabin of the Roadster is every bit as snug and
virtually as hushed as you'd find in its fixed-head coupe.
range-starter Sport trim gets you a Roadster with black acoustic hood (other
colours are available), cruise control, keyless start, sports seats, AirCon,
flat-bottomed steering wheel, retractable rear spoiler, one-shot windows, auto-dimming
frameless rearview mirror, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, DAB radio, and SatNav
along with Audi's brilliant Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch instrument display, auto
lights and wipes, electric park brake with auto-hold function, heated electrically-adjustable
door mirrors, drive-away automatic door locking, Xenon headlights, and a set
of 18-inch alloys.
enough traction to ensure
that even the front-wheel
driving Sport version
grips like a
the topless body is as
rigid as it needs to be
and its quick and light
on its feet and obedient
to the helm...
The entry-level Roadster Sport rolls on multispoke 18-inchers wearing 245 profile
rubber and comes with a standard suspension set-up and the ride is agreeably
complaint despite its handling wieldiness. Even on the iffy tarmac found on
most of the UK's 30mph roads, the Sport serves up a pleasant ride with a marked
absence of any jiggling.
Don't let that fool you because it's firm enough to deliver impressively on
the handling front. Which brings us to the 'q' word: when you think of Audi
you're most likely to also think of 'quattro' and vice versa. However,
you don't have to go for an all-wheel driver as front-wheel drive is standard
on the less expensive versions. Sure it adds to the dynamic mix but our 2.0-litre
Sport spec test car put its power down through its front wheels.
And there's more than enough traction to ensure that even the front-wheel driving
Sport version grips like a thoroughbred. The topless body is as rigid as it
needs to be and thanks to the hybrid (steel and aluminium) construction Audi
Space Frame platform it's quick and light on its feet and obedient to the helm,
which makes good use of an intelligently-weighted progressive electromechanical
This is a sports car you can drive for hundreds of miles before climbing out
refreshed and satisfied because it feels so fluid and is so effortless to pilot,
even pressing-on along challenging B-roads. The shifts from the instantly responsive
S tronic 'box are as seamless as the Roadster's changes of direction. And the
brakes whether you're using them to scrub off speed or temper your line
through a deceptive bend are reassuringly progressive with as much bite
as your right foot demands.
icing on the cake is Audi's Drive Select that enables instant on-the-fly changes
between driving modes not surprisingly, our test car spent much of its
time in Dynamic (hence that sub-forty mpg figure) but Comfort does a fine job
without compromising the fun factor.
icing on the cake
is Audis Drive Select that
enables instant on-the-fly
not surprisingly, our test
car spent much of its
time in Dynamic but
Comfort does a fine job
the fun factor...
There's also Auto as well as the driver-customised Individual for drivers who
prefer to tune each of the separate handling components to their own spec. Plus
an Efficiency setting that boosts economy by permitting the TT to freewheel
when it's safe to do so; no worries because touching the accelerator or brakes
sees drive instantaneously re-engage.
The Roadster's long boot is more than fit for purpose it's 280-litre
capacity swallows more than you might expect thanks to the dedicated storage
well for the soft-top that keeps the luggage space the same whether you're driving
with the roof up or down. Plus there's room for overspill and squashy weekender
bags behind the seatbacks.
Look under the boot floor and you'll find a multi-compartment tray that additionally
provides some useful extra storage; there's also plenty of in-cabin stowage
including a large lockable locker with a first aid kit between the seatbacks
in the rear bulkhead.
Classy looks, bona fide sports car handling, and rorty entertaining acceleration
combined with civilised top-down cruising when you just want to coast along
and take in the sights means the TT Roadster is perfectly at ease matching each
and every one of your driving moods ~ MotorBar
Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI 230PS Sport S tronic
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds | Test Average: 35.8mpg
Power: 226bhp | Torque: 272lb ft | CO2: 151g/km