£39,500 - £44,000 Price range
The Audi TTS is the most powerful and expensive version of the TT sports car you can buy – at least until the TT RS is released. Its rivals are the Porsche Cayman GTS, Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 and the Alfa-Romeo 4C.
There are two big selling points of the TTS that are an improvement over the old model. The first one is the interior. It’s beautifully made and has a minimalist design that has attracted rave reviews from critics. Passenger space for a low-slung coupe is good and the boot is bigger than in some rivals.
The next big selling point of the car is the way it drives. Testers were impressed by the improvements carried out by Audi’s ’S’ division. The standard adaptive dampers and torque vectoring make for the most engaging and fun TT yet. When you aren’t driving fast, the TTS has a just-about-acceptable ride quality – it’s marginally more comfortable than rivals.
The TTS is powered by a 2.0-litre engine with 310hp – enough punch to get it from 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds. That’s as fast as some Italian supercars from the 1990s, and the TTS’s sheer pace will put a smile on your face. It’s also capable of returning an acceptable 38mpg, so it won’t completely bankrupt you when it comes to filling it up.
The TTS is the most expensive TT you can buy, but it doesn’t have that much kit as standard. However, all the electronic systems that improve the handling are standard, along with the fantastic 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display in place of the instrument binnacle. If you have a craving for even more power, check out our preview of the upcoming Audi TT RS.
There are two stand-out features in the beautifully appointed cabin. One is the 12.3-inch TFT display that sits in place of the dials and can show a wealth of information to the driver – the usual speed and revs, but also the sat-nav and your music choice. This removes the need for a centrally mounted screen in the middle of the dashboard, making for a very uncluttered interior. The other stand-out features are the temperature controls integrated in the air-vents. We haven’t seen a more minimalistic layout that works so well.
Audi TTS passenger space
Let’s start by stating that the TTS is a sports coupe – this means the rear seats are only suitable for small children or a few extra bags that won’t fit in the boot, thanks mostly to limited headroom.
There’s reasonable room in the front with comfortable yet sporty seats. Testers report a great driving position and decent headroom.
Audi TTS boot space
With the near-useless rear seats up, there is a decent 305-litre load space, but fold the seats down and the capacity increases to 712 litres – more than enough for a sports coupe. For comparison the Porsche Cayman has around 302 litres when you combine the front and the rear luggage areas and the Alfa 4C has a measly 110-litre boot. With its large hatchback opening, the TTS is easier to load and more practical as a result.
The key word here is improved. Everything about the way the previous version of the TTS drove has been bettered. From the latest version of Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system that can send anything up to 100% of the power to the rear wheels, through the use of aluminium in the construction that helps keep the weight below 1,400kg all the way to the torque-vectoring that all but eliminates the understeer the old TTS was so prone to.
Thanks to the selectable driving modes, the TTS can be reasonably comfortable for the motorway in Comfort mode or quite aggressive and firm in Sport mode, but it’s best to leave the system in Auto – that way the car’s electronics can determine the best setup for the current conditions.
Many testers conclude this is the best TT to drive yet and the way it goes around corners finally matches the striking looks.
Powering the TTS is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol that is arguably the best four-cylinder engine you can have in any car. In the TTS it’s in its most powerful version with 310hp. That sort of power used to be unheard of in a 2.0-litre just a few years ago, or would most certainly come hand-in-hand with huge turbo lag, ie a big delay between putting your foot down and the car accelerating. This is not the case with the TTS – testers report an almost instant and very un-turbo-like response from the engine and many also say it’s one of the best-sounding four cylinders out there.
There is a choice between two gearboxes: a six-speed manual and a DSG automatic with seven gears. It’s with the S-Tronic (Audi speak for DSG) that the TTS can achieve its supercar-baiting 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds. With the manual it’s a bit slower, but more involving to drive fast. Top speed is an easily achieved – but limited – 155mph.
A Ferrari 360 from a few years ago has the same performance figures as the Audi, but its official fuel consumption was 15mpg and most of the time it was in the single digits. That is not the case anymore with the TTS averaging a claimed 38mpg. That’s a bit optimistic, but 30mpg should be achievable fairly easily. Road tax is also reasonably priced at £145 per year.
The TTS hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP yet, but the regular TT scored four out of five stars back in 2014. That may seem poor when you compare it to other Audi cars that scored the full five stars.
Being one of the most expensive versions of the TT, the TTS has more safety systems such as lane-keep assist as standard. Apart from that there are seven airbags and a stability and traction control system that does a really good job of keeping the car stable. Some of the optional safety equipment includes a self-parking system, blind spot alert and traffic sign recognition.
Value for money has never been a strong suit for premium german carmakers and this is particularly true for the TTS. With a high base price and scarce standard equipment where the only kit that stands out is the heated seats, the sportiest TT doesn’t appear to give you much for the £40,000 price tag – the VW Golf R has similar performance and more practicality for around £10,000 less.
However, what you do get over a regular TT are 19-inch wheels, a more aggressive bodykit, four chrome-tipped exhaust outlets and adaptive dampers. The £250 cruise control and the £1,700 Technology pack which adds sat-nav are recommended optional extras from the long and pricy list.
Whether it’s the looks, the faultless interior, the explosive engine or the surefooted handling, the TTS has plenty of going for it. It’s also cheaper than a Porsche Cayman and more usable than an Alfa 4C – no wonder reviewers love it!