We've already scooped the new 2014 Audi TT, but we've come across new information which fleshes out the detail on Audi's new coupe. The next Audi TT will be more dynamic and performance-focused than the model it replaces.
Although the Audi TT Mk3 version won't encroach on the R8, it does move further upmarket, thereby reducing the terrain for the proposed - and how highly iffy - mid-engined R5 developed by Porsche.
The sports car maker which may become part of the VW family before the year ends, has always kept a close eye on the iconic TT which rivals the Boxster and Cayman twins. Although the next TT will increase the pressure by offering a fresh look along with an even wider range of equipment and drivetrain options, the Swabians have already threatened to strike back with entry-level Boxsters and Caymen powered an all-new four-cylinder boxer engine.
So what's new on the 2014 Audi TT Mk3?
The new TT is of course based on the 20% more cost- and space-efficient MQB components set pioneered by the new A3 and VW Golf. Although Audi has in the past toyed with additional TT bodystyles like a shooting brake (Tokyo 2005) and a spyder (Wörthersee 2007), projected sales volumes don´t seem to justify anything but a status quo mix of hard and soft top.
As befits a halo car like this, the next TT retains the character and the unmistakable proportions of the current vintage, as depicted in our new artist's impression. The design is evolutionary in a way Porsche purists might object to: after all, the revised silhouette almost mimics the 911, which makes the coupe in particular look butch and masculine and emphatically sporty. The only trace of three-boxiness runs along the trailing edge of the rear window where a large boomerang-shaped tail spoiler extends at motorway speeds.
The design of the new Audi TT
The front end features yet another variation of the trademark singleframe grille, this time boasting a set back main air intake, even more elaborate LED headlights, foglamps, cornering lights, DRLs and indicators, some contrasting brightwork and a pair of fake lower black vents to spice up the bumper graphics. The taillights are equally ornate with L-shaped indicators, dot-matrix brakelamps and trendy jewel-like clusters.
Inside, we find the next evolution of Audi's famed MMI ergonomics. Abandoning the familiar in-dash monitor, it incorporates a large display in the driver's primary field of vision. Through the MMI controller which still sits proud on the transmission tunnel, one can personalise the info screen content which incorporates the speedometer as the sole must-show item.
Alternative read-outs include a large-scale map complete with fully animated navigation guidance, an extensive web-linked on-board computer, a variety of infotainment functions or simply a set of four round quasi-analogue instruments. Audi is confident that the upgraded MMI will give the brand an edge again over BMW/iDrive and Mercedes/Comand.
Engines in the new Audi TT (2014)
Thanks to the less complex MQB architecture and a higher percentage of lightweight materials, the next TT will shed about 60 kilos. Other efficiency-enhancing measures include a low-friction quattro drivetrain, improved aerodynamics and a set of more economical engines.
Audi's engineering chief Michael Dick has confirmed that the next TT RS will be positioned above the current model, so it seems safe to expect a beefed-up 2.5-litre turbo motor good for 380bhp, which puts the high-end TT right between the 350bhp 911 Carrera and the 400bhp 911 Carrera S - for about 40%p less money.
• 1.8 TFSI, 180bhp/184lb ft
• 2.0 TFSI, 220bhp/258lb ft
• 2.0 TFSI 280bhp/258lb ft
• 2.5 TFSI, 380bhp/406lb ft
• 2.0 TDI, 180bhp/258lb ft
Both the coupe (June 2014) and the roadster (November 2014) can initially rely on six forward ratios, but there is a seven-speed S-tronic in the works for calendar year 2015.
While Quattro is standard on the TTS and TT RS, the TDI switches to front-wheel drive only. Shame. All-wheel traction is an option for the 220bhp TFSI. Standard features on all models include start-stop, energy recuperation and an EU6 plus emission rating.