Audi TT Clubsport Quattro: the full lowdown
Inspired by the Porsche 356, Audi has lopped the top off its TT Roadster to make this speedster version of its two-seater. The TT Clubsport Quattro, unveiled today in Austria, is a concept car to show how far the TT brand can be stretched, but officials freely admit that they are considering a limited production run. It's a TT like no other, squashed and squat, flattened to create a low-slung sports car for those living in dry climates where the occasional rain storm isn't a worry. There's no roof on this speedster at all - slightly at odds with the apparent motorsport roots of this one-off.
So how have they created the speedster look?
The hood is dispensed with altogether, along with the A-pillar, leaving just a tinted, wraparound windscreen. The rollover bars are lower than in the TT Roadster, nestling the same height as the sports bucket seats. Audi has also played around with the single-frame grille; new aluminium inserts emphasise the width and Ingolstadt's four interlocked rings have been switched up to the bonnet. Day-running lights are standard, the mirrors are shrunken items on stalks and you won't spot any door handles, because there aren't any; the doors open by remote, apparently.
Is it all show and no go?
The TT Clubsport Quattro uses the TT's standard 2.0-litre TFSI engine, as used widely in the VW Group from the Golf GTI to various hot Seats. This one is tuned to produce 300bhp - 40 ponies more than the same engine in the S3. Audi claims a reworked intake manifold and racing air intake are responsible for most of that, and the power is sent to all four wheels. That makes it the first four-cylinder, new-generation TT to have a quattro drivetrain, suggesting that the all-wheel drive spec will trickle down the range. Audi's automated manual, six-speed gearbox, S Tronic, is standard, and ceramic brakes from the RS4/A8 are fitted to the TT for the first time.
It definitely looks wider than the regular TT...
That's because it is. Audi hasn't just used the trompe l'oeil of different grille detailing to make the Clubsport look wider - the track is 80mm wider, too, with flared wheelarches over regular models. They house 20-inch wheels shod with 265/30 rubber.
What's the TT Clubsport Quattro like inside?
Racing buckets with four-speed harnesses are thrown in to emphasise the car's supposedly sporty credentials. Manufacturers love to talk up their cars' sportiness and Audi reckons owners will use theirs on the racetrack at weekends... Of rather more importance to most owners are the aesthetic changes: the steering wheel gains aluminium detailing, and the pedals are made from grooved, lightweight metal, too. Even the gearlever gate is new, borrowed from the top-end R8 sports car, while the middle of the three round air vents normally found on cooking TTs is replaced by a display for the top-end B&O sound system.