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Audi TTS Coupe (2008) review

Published:30 April 2008

Audi TTS Coupe (2008) review
  • At a glance
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Gavin Green

Contributor-in-chief, former editor, anti-weight campaigner, voice of experience

By Gavin Green

Contributor-in-chief, former editor, anti-weight campaigner, voice of experience

The new Audi TTS is the fastest and sportiest version of the iconic TT. Finally, the TT gets the performance to complement the style. Power comes from a hotter version of the TT’s existing 2.0-litre turbo engine and the price jumps to £33,390 for the coupe and £35,390 for the roadster. It’s the first TT to play in Porsche territory.

The TT has always been a bit of a hairdressers’ car – more high-pose than high-performance. Does Audi finally have a cut-price Porsche beater?

Well it’ll certainly beat a Cayman or most Boxsters in the 0-60 dash. What’s more, it feels light, eager and willing to rev. The 2.0-litre turbo FSI engine, already familiar to TT buyers, gets a bigger turbocharger, an uprated air cooler, a better flowing exhaust and a host of internal upgrades: power is boosted from 197bhp to 270bhp and torque jumps 25 percent.

The engine revs sweetly, growls pleasingly as it homes in on its 6800rpm redline, and it’s silky smooth to boot. The standard six-speed manual is quick shifting and short-of-throw, and so light that gear-changing is a simple matter of flicking the wrists. This lightness of control also extends to the clutch and steering: it’s an easy car to drive hard.

The direct fuel injection engine is also light, and combined with the part aluminium construction of the latest TT, it makes for a featherweight sportster (at least compared with some beefy rivals). It’s an agile car, the handling security helped by the Quattro all-wheel drive system (which can vary 100 percent of the torque from front-to-rear and vice versa as conditions dictate). Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are good for a 155mph car too.

Click 'Next' below to read the rest of our Audi TTS Coupe first drive

Sounds like the TT has become a serious sports car, at last.

It has. Add the style – something the TT has never been short of – and a really convincing cabin and the result is a highly desirable machine. By some margin, this is the best driving TT yet. But the elevation into Porsche territory does highlight a few shortfalls. Push hard on a twisting undulating road and you still won’t get the feedback or the deftness of a Boxster or a Cayman, or even one of the hotter 3-series Coupes. That ultimate easy-driving poise still isn’t quite there. Plus the steering, though sharp and linear, won’t entertain like a better rear-drive machine.

Verdict

The brilliant R8 now has a little brother it can be proud of. The TTS is a handsome, beautifully wrought and pleasingly fast sports car. It’s light, agile, supremely stable at 100mph-plus and rides well too. As always with a sports Audi, go for the optional S-tronic (nee DSG) dual-clutch paddleshift gearbox (faster of shift and more economical too).

 

 

Specs

Price when new: £33,390
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1984cc 16-v 4-cyl turbo petrol, 270bhp @ 6000rpm, 258lb ft @ 2500-5000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Performance: 5.4secs 0-62mph, 155mph, 35.3mpg, 191g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1395kg/aluminium and steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4198/1842/1345

Rivals

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Photo Gallery

  • Audi TTS drive: rear three-quarter photo
  • Audi TTS drive: engine photo
  • Audi TTS drive: interior photo
  • Audi TTS drive: front three-quarter photo
  • Audi TTS drive: rear three-quarter photo

By Gavin Green

Contributor-in-chief, former editor, anti-weight campaigner, voice of experience

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