What am I looking at?
This is the all-new Audi TT. It won’t be in showrooms until December, but will be available to order soon.
And what’s new about it?
You’d be forgiven for thinking this is mere facelift material, like the recently updated Volkswagen Scirocco. However, despite the looks, there’s an wholly new beast beneath this new TT.
The most important change is the chassis. Like the Scirocco, the TT has always been based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf (albeit with much more use of lightweight aluminium) but while the updated Scirocco keeps the older Mk5 chassis at present, the TT has shifted to the new “MQB” platform as the current Golf. This doesn’t change the TT much visibly – it’s almost exactly the same length (4,187mm), width (1,832mm) and height (1,353mm) as the previous model, with only another 37mm in the wheelbase making for shorter overhangs.
It’s also around 50kg lighter than its second-generation predecessor, due to fancy new technologies in aluminium/steel hybrid construction, so while it might not look like a giant leap forwards it ought to feel like a different car altogether.
What powers it?
At launch there’ll be a 2.0-litre TDI (diesel) producing 181hp and driving the front wheels only, or a 2.0-litre TFSI (petrol) front or ‘quattro’ four wheel drive with 227hp. A 306hp version dubbed ‘TTS’ will be joining the fleet in October ready for a March 2015 street date. At some point we expect Audi will add a super-fast TTRS to the range, possibly with a version of the brand’s five-cylinder petrol engine.
The diesel models will return a 110g/km CO2 figure, and 67.3mpg, yet still propel the TT to 60mph in 7.1 seconds before hitting 150mph flat out. Opt for the petrol ‘quattro’ and these figures plummet – the sprint takes 5.3 seconds (though top speed is limited to 155mph) while the combined economy tumbles to 44.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 149g/km. Audi advises that your wheel selection may impact your emissions figures, so be careful with the options list lest you find yourself in an unexpectedly high VED (road tax) bracket.
There’s a funky standard feature on the TT that Audi refers to as a ‘virtual cockpit’. The instrument panel is a 12.3-inch LCD screen, which replaces traditional binnacle dials. It looks incredible in the press photos, and Audi’s tech department has made the very best use of it. In standard mode you get exactly the dashboard that you’re expecting, while in ‘infotainment’ mode the dials are made smaller and moved to the periphery allowing for a huge amount of screen real estate that can be used for other things, such as the satellite navigation map – no more glancing over to the centre console to see where you are.
How much will it cost me?
The cheapest way into Audi TT ownership will be the front-wheel drive diesel model in Sport trim, which will cost £29,770 before you add any options. There’s just a £90 difference between this diesel model and the equivalent petrol version, and moving up to the quattro four-wheel drive adds £2,925 – though this also includes the 6 speed S-tronic automatic gearbox.
The S-Line trim is £2,550 more than the entry level Sport option. This adds larger 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and LED tail lights with dynamic rear indicators that ‘sweep’ in the direction you’re turning, rather that just flashing on and off. These were first included on the Audi R8 Plus, so you get a few geeky bonus points for the pub. There’s also an exterior styling package in the price and there’s a no-cost option to swap to a 10mm lower and tauter S line sports suspension.
The thirty grand sports coupe sector is positively swollen. The TT’s chief rivals will always be German – the Mercedes SLK particularly – but don’t forget to look east at the Nissan 370Z and Toyota GT86. The TTS will likely compete with the incredible Porsche Cayman – the only car to net a perfect 10.0 aggregate wowscore.
When an inevitable cabriolet version shows up, the BMW Z4 can be thrown into the mix too.
In a line…
The world’s coolest mass-produced car keeps on improving.