Audi TT TDI (2008): first official pictures

Published: 27 February 2008

The diesel TT is here. Audi will unveil the TT TDI Coupe and Roadster at the Geneva Motor Show next week. It was always an obvious thing to do, yet it’s taken the Ingolstadt slowcoach ten years to send its ubiquitous sports car to the black pump.

Let me guess, Audi says the TT TDI is fast and efficient?

Precisely. There’s really nothing revelatory about the principle behind the TT TDI, which is why we’re surprised it’s taken Audi so long.

Having said that, let’s not be too glib here – the TT TDI is remarkably efficient, returning well over 50mpg in both Coupe and Roadster forms (53.3mpg and 51.3mpg respectively) and its torque advantage means it will feel genuinely fast.

But will it actually be genuinely fast?

Let’s be honest, a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds (7.8 for the roadster) isn’t gut-wrenching, but the 168bhp diesel engine has 258lb ft of torque at only 1750rpm – 22lb ft more than the 3.2 V6 petrol – and is good for 140mph.

The TT TDI utilises the same 141bhp 2.0 TDI engine found in the new A4, but the saloon’s tubocharger has been dropped in favour of a bigger unit. Add to that standard Quattro four-wheel drive and the derv TT looks like it might become the pick of the range.

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Are there any downsides to the TT TDI?

On paper, not really. We haven’t  even mentioned the CO2 emissions yet, which are a lowly 140g/km for the Coupe (145g/km for the Roadster), and the engine already complies with the proposed new Euro 5 emissions regulations. The only real worry is the farmyard chunter when you start up.

Spec-wise the TT is like-for-like with the 2.0T petrol, our current favourite of the range, meaning you get 17” alloys, Alcantara sports seats and electronic climate control.

The TT TDI Coupe will cost £26,350 when the order book opens in early March for summer 2008 deliveries, about £1000 more than the 2.0 litre petrol. Add £2,000 for a TDI Roadster.