Audi TT road test

RACV RoyalAuto Magazine

Keen spirit

The latest version of the Audi TT, with its cockpit-style presentation, comfort and road-hugging performance, is all about delivering a great driving experience.

Audi sparked discussion of automotive design and function in 1988 when it created the rounded styling of the first Audi TT. The circular approach to external and internal architecture also gave this small sporting hatchback more practical room and functionality. In 2006, those lines were stretched with the second generation, and now Audi has added a sporting edge to reflect its top-end racers. As a result, Audi’s 2015 TT is a strikingly attractive and balanced two-door coupe, with high-tech sports car credentials and without unduly compromising its practicality.

All 2015 Audi TT models are powered by the same 2.0L TFSI petrol engine, which is more powerful and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. Peak power and torque output is 169kW and 370Nm, coupled to the choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Buyers can opt for Quattro all-wheel-drive over the standard front-wheel drive. This third generation TT is up to 50kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to Audi’s alloy panels and space frame construction. It delivers government fuel consumption between 5.9 and 6.4L/100km depending on the model. Audi offers two TT model lines, Sport and the higher trim and equipment S-line, with three driveline choices of each. A two-wheel-drive manual Sport kicks off the pricing at $71,950, autos are $74,950 and a Quattro (auto only) is $77,950. These cars come with the new “Virtual” cockpit and multi-function sports steering wheel, navigation, 10GB music storage, 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights, smart key, electric front seats, parking sensors front and rear, Alcantara and leather trim, plus Audi drive select. S-line models start at $78,450 for the manual, $82,450 for the auto and $85,450 for the Quattro auto. They add sport interior and exterior styling, sports front seats with pneumatic bolsters, 19-inch alloy wheels, full LED lighting, premium sound system and digital radio.

The TT’s long rear door hatch, removable parcel shelf and 50/50 split-fold rear seats that form a hard flat floor with the boot, provide an unusually practical aspect for a 2dr coupe. Owners must be wary of the severe wedge-shaped load space but at 1320mm long, there is more load carrying versatility than might be expected. The TT’s battery is under the boot floor along with a tyre inflator kit. There is no spare. The two rear seats are unsuitable for adults and only temporarily suitable for children. ISOFIX and child seat mounts on the seat back are included. Up front it’s far more appealing as the TT is primarily designed for the driver and their passenger. Getting in and out of a low-slung two door coupe is always an issue but once you’re behind the wheel the TT makes you feel like it’s all about you. Nicely shaped, electrically adjusted front seats, including height and tilt, plus cushion extension and adjustable lumbar air bolsters provide good support, the sculptured, multi-function steering wheel sits square in front and all switches, controls and readouts are conveniently angled towards the driver. It’s a cosy environment with a smart cockpit presentation. Audi has adopted a unique approach to the satellite navigation and trip computer screen which is directly in front of the driver and flanked by the speedo and rev-counter, instrumentation that can be reduced or enlarged at the click of a button. The climate control, AC, fan and direction switches, are in the centre of the air vents. The TT has a complex array of computer controlled features and information, selected via different means such as steering-wheel buttons, console dial or individual switches, which isn’t always intuitive. Better door opening control, pockets and drink-bottle holders would have been appreciated.

Audi’s Quattro is synonymous with all-wheel-drive, a system honed on the mud and snow of Europe’s rally roads for more than 30 years; it delivers a refined and seamless level of traction and cornering grip. The dual clutch automatic transmission now features a hill-hold mechanism to check roll back at the lights, while the speed and efficiency of this Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), works perfectly with the sporting character of the TT. Because the DSG auto controls engagement of the clutch and the Quattro delivers AWD grip, there is never an issue with traction. While our fuel consumption of 8.5L/100km looks reasonable, our best efforts came nowhere near the government figure.

Most impressive though are the feel of the Audi’s electric power steering and the dynamics of the TT’s handling package. We found the tighter “sport” setting a tad unforgiving over patched and rippled backroads while the “comfort” setting proved ideal for normal conditions.

The TT Quattro is gifted with outstanding agility, tenacious cornering grip and pin-sharp steering precision.

The verdict

Beneath its distinctive wrap and high-quality build, the Quattro is a driver’s sports car, blessed with outstanding AWD precision and agility. Innovative new features are, unfortunately, matched by as many omissions.

Audi TT
Audi TT
Audi TT
Audi TT
Written by Ernest Litera
June 02, 2015