2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic 230PS
TT is on a roll
hasten to add, in the handling
department, but on the sales field.
Demand for the brands
never been higher. Drive one
any one of their 50-model range
easy to see why theyve
outstripped BMW, Jaguar and
Mercedes. And with another
scorching summer in full swing,
the third-generation TT Roadster
is good to go...
STILL UNMISTAKABLY A TT, it now wears a sharper, more edgy 'suit' and is
fronted by an R8-look nose it's a look that unmistakably
hints at its more aggressive character and the increased power and handling
dynamics underpinning the striking Bauhaus-esque bodywork.
Under the slim clamshell bonnet lives one of the best turboed 2.0-litre TFSI
engine's around, spitting out 226bhp backed up by a muscular 272lb ft of torque
from 1,600rpm and it's not shy about showing what it can do. Whatever
speed you're travelling at, lean on the accelerator pedal and you'll get a really
hard shove back in the seat yet it's totally tractable in the worst traffic.
on the open road, overtaking slower traffic is a breeze (literally!) and there's
the ever-welcome bonus of the aural theatre provided by the exhaust: a deliciously
whoomphy burble that hardens to a snarly bark at the top end of the rev-band.
An effortless cruiser at high speed, in the UK it spins at just 2,000 revs at
the legal limit the redline, incidentally, doesn't arrive until
Overtaking slower traffic
is a breeze and theres
the ever-welcome bonus
of the aural theatre
provided by the exhaust:
a deliciously whoomphy
burble that hardens to a
snarly bark at the top end
of the rev-band...
through the six gears is delivered in a delightfully potent linear surge made
even more seamless by the sporty S tronic twin-clutch gearbox. Power is laid
down through all four wheels and, in combination with this engine/gearbox set-up,
will get the Roadster off the line and passing the 62mph post in an invigorating
5.6 seconds. Road permitting, you can top out top-down at an electronically
Of course, at any time, and at any speed, you always have the choice of flicking
the selector into Sport and dictating the change points with your fingertips
via the steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters. For this level of performance
you might expect to be penalised at the pumps but a week's keen driving recorded
an average of 33.1mpg not bad at all given the official combined
figure of 40.9mpg because we were hoofing it some.
Boosting the appealing performance is the fluent manner in which the TT conducts
itself when not on the prod a comfortable ride in the 30mph zones
is enhanced by its ability to manage low speeds with no sulks or shimmies. Yet,
just beneath its 'boulevardier' veneer you can sense that the Roadster is always
primed, ready to lunge eagerly forward when you step on the loud pedal. No fear
about using your right foot in the wet either, because the sure-footed quattro
four-wheel drive serves up seemingly never-ending grip on both dry and slippery
Some reviewers criticised the previous generation TT for not being a Porsche
Boxster forget all that because this new TT is not just good,
it's persuasively good. But what the TT does best, and in spades, is style.
Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the superbly crafted cockpit. It's
a visual knockout and Audi's designers have done a magnificent job endowing
the minimalist look with high-tech and charisma in equal measure. The pièce
de résistance is the new 'virtual instrument' pack.
are the handsome traditional analogue dials, replaced by a pin-sharp 12.3-inch
high-resolution LCD digital display filling the space beneath the single hooded
cowl previously occupied by the superseded instrument pack. Directly ahead of
the driver the new full-width screen incorporates doppelgänger speedometer and
rev-counter dials digitised on a backdrop of navigation maps and infotainment
criticised the previous
generation TT for not
being a Porsche Boxster
forget all that because
this new TT is not just
good, its persuasively
What's so likeable about this user-friendly display is that you can change things
around to suit for instance, if you're using the SatNav then you
can shrink the virtual speedometer and rev-counter, maximising the 3D mapping
and making room for other driving information and graphics. All switched by
the driver on the move in the blink of an eye. Not only are the two dials crystal
clear white-on-black items, but helpfully there's a digital mph readout within
the speedo and the currently engaged gear is shown in the rev-counter.
Settle in the superbly cosseting and supportive low-slung Super Sports seats
upholstered in fine grey quilted Nappa leather and
it's blatantly clear that a very ardent driver designed the cockpit to engage
other very keen drivers. The power seats adjust every-which-way: the backrest
bolsters can be pulled in or opened out for a custom fit; the front edge of
the base extends forward for extra under-knee comfort and support; and the equally
important lumbar support can be adjusted up and down as well as in and out.
Roof raised, near six-footers will enjoy a fist of headroom and, along with
a left-foot rest that's spot-on, there's masses of foot room we
even drove several hundred miles in hiking boots without a hitch.
Well-considered touches are everywhere, from the engine start/stop button to
seatbelt guides on the seats' outer shoulders (so no awkward twisting to find
the belt before buckling-up). Plus Audi's multimedia interface is truly foolproof
to use the navigation's destination input is a doddle and spoken
directions are refreshingly unmistakable.
MMI Touch adds to the tech-fest the top of the master rotary MMI
control is a touch pad that lets you input written numbers, figures and even
symbols and, using your fingers as you would on a smartphone, zoom in/out and
scroll maps as well as search within the navigation, telephone, car and media
menus. Or you can just stick to the equally easy and quick MMI shortcut buttons.
For webistas, Audi Connect takes you online with access to, among other things,
Google Earth's maps and street views.
appreciated is the 'favourite' button on the very flat-bottomed steering wheel
(one that leaves plenty of room for elbows). We set ours to the drive select
system that lets you, on the fly, change between Auto, Comfort, Dynamic or your
own personalised Individual driving mode that you've 'tuned' for the level of
traction and dynamic handling you like the best.
is the favourite
on the very flat-bottomed
We set ours to the
drive select system
that lets you, on the fly,
change between Auto,
or your own personalised
And then there's the Efficiency setting. Essentially this enables the TT to
freewheel when easing off the accelerator by cutting the drivetrain 'drag'.
However, the instant you touch the throttle or brake pedal drive instantly re-engages
so you're never coasting out of control. If you like your power but also like
to save fuel, Efficiency is the mode for you.
Other striking cabin 'jewellery' includes the stand-out circular air vents.
All five have three controls incorporated into their beautifully crafted architecture:
the outermost ring controls direction; an on/off slider sets how much air you
get; and the small central rotary control/button manages the three-stage neck
heating as well as the three-stage seat heating. The three central vents sitting
side-by-side on the dash work the same way but their central switches control
the A/C on/off and blower speed; the auto mode and temperature; and recirculation/manually-set
distribution ie; face, feet, etc. Very smart both visually and logically.
A core element of the TT Roadster's appeal is, obviously, its powered folding
fabric roof. First off, it's fast 0-10 seconds from fully closed
to fully open and neatly folded away out of sight or vice-versa. That's quick.
You can even close it one the move (up to 30mph) if caught in a sudden downpour
with no safe place to pull over. Watch out though for the effect that doing
this has on other drivers!
Top down, passenger or driver, the Roadster is a great place to be. With the
side windows up you can kill any draughts or turbulence behind your head and
neck with a push on the powered glass wind-blocker switch.
Even at the seriously fast cruising speeds of which the 2.0 TFSI is capable,
topless refinement is good, with negligible buffeting. And for those scrumptiously
crisp autumn nights one of the best times for top-down driving
there's 'neck scarf' ventilation built into the seat that blows
warm air onto the back of your neck.
TT's roof demands no compromises it's made of a material that
reduces noise and is designed to keep out the cold. With the roof up the Roadster's
cabin is nigh on as quiet and refined (and, on cold days, cosy) as its fixed-head
Coupe sister. Another big plus: the drop-top's boot space remains the same regardless
of whether you have the roof open or closed 280 litres.
boot itself is unexpectedly long and of a fair depth. In addition you'll find
a storage tray beneath the boot floor and (another nice touch) a sturdy, well-tailored
ski-bag for use with the load-through hatch into the cabin. Talking of storage
space, those shorter than six-feet tall will have room behind their seatbacks
for a squashy weekender bag.
The TTs roof demands
its made of a material
that reduces noise and is
designed to keep out
With the roof up the
cabin is nigh on as quiet
and refined as its fixed-
head Coupe sister...
The TT's all-wheel drive can, when required, distribute 100% of the driving
torque to either the front or rear wheels and its variable torque split between
the front and rear wheels always delivers the optimum amount of grip. From the
driving seat the Roadster feels hewn from a single metal ingot and reassuringly
solid; body control is impressive.
Dynamically it's quick, well balanced and wieldy, helped by the lighter (steel
and aluminium) hybrid body construction of the VW Group's highly rated MQB modular
platform that underpins these latest TT models. On average they're some 50kg
lighter than the previous generation cars. The steering is sharp, responsive
and well-weighted; the potent brakes will shed speed as fast your right foot
can conjure it up. All of which makes the Roadster an entertaining drive whenever
you feel in the mood for a perfectly legal adrenaline hit.
This latest incarnation of the desirably iconic TT stands alone; it needs no
comparison with other premium convertible sportcars because it is what it is
and it's perfectly comfortable with that. Drive one and you will
be too. As is becoming increasingly obvious, the only way is Audi!
TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic 230PS
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 5.6 seconds | Test Average: 33.1mpg
Power: 226bhp | Torque: 272lb ft | CO2 158g/km