The Audi TTS Roadster makes light work of potholed country roads, but it doesn’t thrill in quite the same way as some nimbler rear-wheel-drive alternatives
The Audi TTS Roadster comes with the same 306hp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and quattro four-wheel-drive system as the Coupe. As a result, it’ll blast from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds – that’s faster than the BMW M240i Convertible and Mercedes SLC 43.
One of the reasons for the TTS Roadster’s spritely turn of speed is the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox you get as standard. It changes gear quickly and smoothly in automatic mode and responds with the reactions of an Olympic sprinter when you pull on the paddles behind the steering wheel to change gear in manual mode.
The Audi TTS Roadster isn’t the most exciting sports car on sale, but it does everything else so well that you’ll still want to drive it every day
This extra performance hasn’t come at the expense of fuel economy, however – you can expect the new TTS Roadster to return around 35mpg in normal driving conditions. That’s not too shabby for a rip-roaring four-wheel-drive sports car.
The Audi TTS Roadster is certainly faster than the standard car, but it’s just as easy to drive around town. You get a reasonably good view out – only the thick pillars of fabric beside the rear windscreen produce any sizeable blind spots – and the steering’s reasonably light so you won’t strain your arms squeezing into a tight parking space. Speaking of parking, you get a reversing camera as standard in all TTS Roadsters to help prevent car park bumps and scrapes.
The Audi TTS Roadster’s fabric roof doesn’t do quite as good a job of muffling wind and tyre noise at motorway speeds as the Coupe’s metal item, but you’ll still be able to travel long distances in the Roadster without needing earplugs. Put the standard drive select system into its most comfortable setting and the TTS Roadster soaks up bumps impressively well for a small soft-top sports car, too.
If back-road blasts are more your thing, put the Audi into its Dynamic driving mode and the suspension becomes firmer, the steering heavier and the exhaust louder. The accelerator is more responsive in this sporty setting, too, so the TTS Roadster feels especially keen to leap forwards out of every corner.
In this highly-strung setting, the Audi TTS Roadster does bounce over bumps a little more than the standard TT Roadster, but it’ll soak up some fairly sizeable potholes without sending a nasty thud through your seat.
Combine this surprisingly supple suspension with Audi’s signature quattro four-wheel-drive system, and you’ve got a convertible sports car that’s tremendously easy to drive quickly. Sending the engine’s power to all four wheels means it doesn’t feel as lairy as the BMW M240i Convertible but it’ll feel more assured across wet roads.
If you’re more likely to be cruising around town than careering up a country lane, you’ll be pleased to hear that the TTS Roadster comes with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and cruise control as standard. The new TTS Roadster hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but these features should help make sure it performs reasonably well.