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.
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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.
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).