£43,270 - £47,530 Price range
37 - 39 MPG
The Audi TTS Roadster is the fastest version of the TT convertible until the TT RS Roadster arrives in 2016. Its rivals are the most powerful versions of the BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK and Porsche Boxster. None of them, however, come with the TT S’ grippy four wheel drive.
The interior has been improved over the old model and is now one of the best out of any car you can buy. The beautifully made dashboard with its minimalistic design is well loved by reviewers, yet it’s packed with technology including Audi’s stunning virtual cockpit. Space for the passenger is good – for a compact convertible – and the boot can fit enough for a weekend away. Unlike the hard-top TTS, however, there are no rear seats.
Reviewers also love the way the TTS Roadster drives – and there are several improvements over the standard Roadster. Standard torque vectoring and adaptive dampers help keep the TTS Roadster planted and, occasionally, even let the driver have some fun in the bends.
A 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine powers the TTS Roadster and it puts out an impressive 310hp. That’s enough to accelerate the small sports car from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and put a huge grin on your face. Being a relatively small engine means it’s able to return a reasonable 38mpg, so you won’t have to take out a bank loan every time you fill it up.
As far as the amount of standard kit goes, the TTS Roadster isn’t particularly well equipped. However, the futuristic 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, the adaptive dampers and the clever stability control system are standard. If you have a craving for even more power, check out our preview of the upcoming Audi TT RS.
As soon as you get in the TTS Roadster you’re greeted by a huge digital screen in the place of the instrument binnacle. This technology not only displays the car’s speed and revs, but also the satellite navigation map and your music choice. This makes a centrally mounted screen in the middle of the dashboard unnecessary, and what is left is probably the most uncluttered interior of any car on sale.
Another thing that strikes you are the air vents – the climate and heated seats controls are integrated into the centre of the air vents, which not only look cool but removes another couple of buttons from the dashboard. Audi says more than 20 different parts go into the assembly of a single vent. That’s the sort of attention to detail that makes Audi interiors so good.
Audi TTS Roadster passenger space
Unlike the TTS coupe, there are no rear seats in the TTS Roadster, or even anywhere to stow luggage, Headroom is decent though with the roof up, and critics say the cabin is almost as quiet as the hard-top car with the fabric soft-top in place.
The front sports seats in the TTS Roadster offer good support, but without the uncomfortable firmness you sometimes get with sporty seats. The driving position is spot on – you’re neither too low or too high, while the manually adjustable seats with electric lumbar support make for quick adjustments.
Audi TTS Roadster boot space
At a glance the narrow boot opening and shallow floor make the TTS Roadster look less practical than it actually is – the boot is surprisingly long and a safety net helps keep small items at bay during spirited driving. However, at 280 litres it’s one of the smallest in class, but it matches the combined luggage space of the Porsche Boxster’s front and rear boots. The BMW Z4 has a bigger 310-litre boot, while the Mercedes SLK is the most spacious rival of all – with 335 litres.
The old TTS Roadster wasn’t bad to drive, but it didn’t put a smile on your face like a relatively expensive convertible sports car should. For this new model, everything has been tweaked. There’s a new stability control program that will let the car slip into oversteer should you wish, and the latest quattro four-wheel-drive system can send up to 100 per cent of power to the rear wheels, making for a more sporty feel behind the wheel.
The standard-fit adaptive dampers let you choose between different driving modes depending on your mood. There’s Comfort which softens things a bit, but not really enough, Sport mode which firms everything, but doesn’t make it unbearable and Auto, which uses the car’s computer to determine the best setup for the current conditions.
Overall, critics think that the TTS Roadster finally drives as well as it looks – which is high praise for a car that looks as good as this.
Under the bonnet lies one of the most responsive, powerful and nice sounding four-cylinder engines on the market. The 2.0-litre petrol engine develops 310hp and sends them to the quattro four-wheel-drive system through a seven speed DSG gearbox called S-Tronic.
We’ve come to expect running costs associated with a +300hp sports car to be high, but the TTS Roadster won’t break the bank – admittedly, the official fuel consumption is difficult to achieve, but 30mpg is more feasible and still pretty decent for a 155mph car.
The TTS Roadster hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the regular TT scored four out of five stars in 2015.
The TTS Roadster is one of the most expensive TT models you can buy, and as a result it gets more safety equipment as standard such as lane-keep assist. There is the usual range of optional safety assists such as blind spot alert, a self-parking system and traffic sign recognition.
In the relatively uncontested market for sporty roadsters, the TTS isn’t bad value. You get heated seats, climate control and a Bluetooth phone connection, plus a more aggressive body kit, large 19-inch wheels, four chrome-tipped exhaust outlets, the modern virtual cockpit and the adaptive dampers.
As with any Audi there is a long list of optional equipment, but recommended extras are the £250 cruise control and £1,500 Technology Pack which adds sat-nav and rear parking sensors.
This second iteration of the TTS Roadster is the best one yet. It combines striking looks, a great engine, grippy handling and a spectacular interior in a package that is competitively priced and more usable than most of its rivals. The TTS Roadster is one of the best all-round roadsters you can buy.