The sure-footed Audi TTS is about as far removed from the lairy M2 as a sports car can get. It’s much more accessible as a result, but die-hard petrolheads might find it a little soulless
The Audi TTS comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 306hp – enough to blast this four-wheel drive sports car from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds. That’s as fast as an M2 and quick enough to make the more affordable SLC feel pretty pedestrian.
Helping the Audi TTS leap out of the blocks quite so quickly is the standard seven-speed automatic gearbox. The outgoing model’s twin-clutch unit has been redesigned to make the TTS accelerate faster than the old car, and also helps it use less fuel when you’re cruising at motorway speeds.
The new TTS has less power than the old model, but it actually accelerates from 0-62mph a tenth of a second faster. You can thank some late nights from Audi’s gearbox division for that…
It responds very quickly to the paddles on the steering wheel in manual mode and changes gear smoothly when you set it to automatic. Audi hasn’t announced official fuel economy figures for the new TTS, but you can expect it to be in the same ballpark as the outgoing car’s 40.9mpg.
Around town, the Audi TTS feels just like the normal TT to drive. You get a good view out thanks to the fairly thin door pillars and the steering is relatively light so your arms won’t start to ache halfway through a particularly tricky parallel parking manoeuvre. You even get a reversing camera as standard to help prevent low-speed bumps and scrapes.
You don’t hear too much wind and tyre noise on the motorway – especially in Black Edition cars with their clever noise-cancelling stereo system – and the Audi TTS’s exhaust doesn’t produce an annoying drone when you’re cruising along at 70mph. WIth the suspension set to Comfort, the TTS is impressively relaxing to drive for a low-slung sports car, too.
Turn off the motorway, and you’ll want to stick everything in its sportiest setting – or ‘Dynamic’ in Audi’s lingo. This makes the suspension firmer, the steering heavier, the exhaust louder and the accelerator more responsive. Sure, with everything turned up to 11 the Audi TTS fidgets and bounces more than the standard TT, but the clever suspension still manages to do a good job of softening the jarring thud of monster potholes on a poorly maintained country lane.
It’s this suppleness – combined with the standard quattro four-wheel-drive system – that makes the Audi TTS very easy to drive quickly. Sure it isn’t quite as nimble as a 718 Cayman and can’t match the M2’s ability to turn its rear tyres into a smokey, molten mess on a race track, but it feels much more sure-footed on a twisty B Road – especially in cold, wet weather. If you live somewhere prone to particularly harsh winters, the Audi TTS could be the ideal all-weather sports car for you.
If, however, you spend more time pottering around in heavy traffic than blasting up a frozen alpine pass, you’ll appreciate the TTS’s standard cruise control and automatic emergency braking features more than its uncanny grip. Also standard is lane-keeping assist, that’ll help stop you straying into the path of other cars on the motorway.
The new TT hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but features such as these should help keep you safe by preventing avoidable collisions.