Introduced first in 1998, the Audi TT became an instant hit among the car design connoisseurs and has earned the honour of being a modern classic during the course of its three generation old history. Maintaining its compact, distinguished and fresh new take on design in the rather serious world of Audi cars, the TT has succeeded in becoming one of the most popular templates of a lightweight sports car in the modern era.
In its latest avatar, the TT gets underpinned by VW group’s MQB architecture which also works underneath cars such as the VW Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia. The MQB platform essentially offers a FWD layout with the flexibility of being able to adopt a four-wheel drive system.
The new TT is the most compact car within the VW group to employ the platform.
Spunkier, more chiselled than ever, and boasting an interior which both users and critics have been raving about, the TT has been re-imagined to be more desirable and enjoyable than ever in its newest iteration. Here’s our detailed review.
Design and style
In a world where every successive model is getting longer and wider, the TT has managed to shrink in size, even with an extension in its wheelbase by 37mm. The new TT is very marginally shorter and narrower than the model it replaces, though it doesn’t look like it. Advanced aluminium and steel construction has shaved off about 50 kg from the car’s weight, making it lighter, nimbler and more efficient too.
In its latest form, the TT stands true to its original shape and proportions, and there is no mistaking it for anything else. It’s as distinctive in form as say a 911, or a Mini, which is a daunting feat for a car with a much shorter history. While the original TT was quite curvy and more bean-shaped, the MY 2015 car is more rakish, sculpted and sharply styled than any of its predecessors.
Up front, the new TT gets a hexagonal Audi single frame grille with pronounced corners and glossy plastic innards featuring seven horizontal and six vertical stripes. The grille is flanked by aggressively styled, angular air scoops with a honeycomb mesh within. The front bumper also features a wide, though narrow slit beneath the grille for enhanced aggressiveness and a visually wider, squatter stance.
The bonnet lip is angled sharply, with deliberately pronounced, gapped shut-lines to underline what has always been a TT signature. The small surface between the grille and the edgy headlamps almost forms a mini air-scoop under the bonnet’s shut line. The razor sharp headlights are relentlessly angular, feature sharply styled DRLs, and share styling cues with the upcoming second generation R8.
On the sides, flared wheel arches and the signature gap between the front fender and the bonnet is present as ever to lend the TT its most unmistakable styling cue. The shut-line curves around the fender as it always has in the past. The bonnet-line extends as a pronounced, tight crease all the way back into the car’s tail-lamps.
Other notable elements on the sides include the 18 inch 10 spoke wheels, the aircraft style, TT embossed, aluminium finish fuel tank cap and that forcefully dropping coupe roofline. The area under the door sills extends out and gets a bulge towards the rear for that added dash of sportiness.
At the rear, the low, wide and squat stance of the car underlines its sporty character. The LED tail lamps, emulating the sharply styled theme of the headlamps are joined by an array of LED brake lights spanning the width of the boot-lid. The Audi emblem is flanked by TT lettering on the left and 45TFSI quattro badging on the right. Under the rear bumper, a pronounced, blacked out surface housing twin, round exhausts signifies the car’s performance oriented personality. Then there are diffusers to let the trailing traffic know the pedigree of the car ahead.
The TT in its newest iteration has not lost even an ounce of its signature disposition. Staying true to its template, the new TT has evolved into the most muscular, chiselled and aggressive version of the sports car to date.
Engine, performance & driving dynamics
The 2.0 TFSI engine on the TT is designed as a dual character mill, meant to offer everyday usability while also packing a punch. Thanks to its high compression ratio and efficient combustion, the engine really delivers not just on performance and usability parameters, but is highly fuel efficient too. During our test run of nearly 300 km, we saw an average efficiency of nearly 10kmpl, even with some spirited driving. Now that’s an impressive number in the real world for a car that boasts 227 bhp (4500 rpm) of power, 370 Nm of torque (1600 rpm), sprints to 100 from a standstill in 5.3 seconds and is capable of breaching the 250 km/h mark. And just in case you thought that wasn’t enough, the new TT also produces 11 percent less emissions than the version it replaces.
Lighter, faster and more involving than ever, the new TT is the first model carrying the nameplate that truly has the performance to match its personality. Transmission is taken care of by a 6-speed dual clutch S-Tronic automatic, which is quick and efficient as ever and plays perfect foil to that rev happy, torquey, turbo charged engine. All that power is laid down onto the tar via a revised Quattro AWD, offering great levels of all-weather grip, fantastic agility and loads of smiles, with some help from that short wheelbase.
The engine loves being revved, and offers a heady discharge of torque from lower down the rev range to make the new TT both tractable at low revs and exciting once you decide to bury the pedal. The engine is incredibly smooth with a muffled sporty tone till mid revs, after which it gets enjoyably loud, particularly in Dynamic mode where the engine sound is amplified and is clearly audible inside the cabin. At no point does the 2.0 litre four cylinder engine resist being taken all the way up to its 6750 rpm redline.
A finely balanced engine, with the right blend of smoothness, sporty aural notes, great performance, and practical everyday efficiency, the 2.0 TFSI propelling the TT impresses with its versatility.
The TT comes equipped with Audi’s progressive steering system, allowing for a more direct steering ratio at higher speeds. The steering, although light, especially in comfort mode is fairly precise. While it weighs up more in the Dynamic mode, it’s still lighter than what you’d expect in cars of this category. It’s not vague or numb by any measure though, and rewards enthusiastic driving by letting you place the car on the road precisely with almost negligible understeer. While not too direct, or heavy, the steering on the TT feels incredibly precise with decent feel and feedback, and adds to the car’s agile and racy character. At a speed of 120 km/h the rear a spoiler extends from the trunk lid to improve both air resistance and downforce.
Audi’s drive select system lets you choose from Comfort, Dynamic, Efficiency and Auto modes – quite self explanatory, those names. You can, however, set the car up according to your personal preferences using the Individual mode which lets you fine tune the steering, suspension and transmission of the car in an even more fine-grained manner. In addition to tuning the aforementioned three parameters, the drive select system, for the first time, also adjusts the all-wheel drive system on Quattro models, to allow for a sportier drive in Dynamic Mode. Air conditioner load and throttle response from the sharp S-tronic transmission is adjusted based on the mode selected.
In terms of ride quality, the TT impresses with its supple suspension in comfort mode, which should be the mode you drive this sports coupe on most occasions, in India at least. Offering an absorbent, yet fairly firm ride in Comfort mode, the TT has the capability to take the rude challenges thrown by the Indian roads in its stride quite ably, even while wearing those low profile 245/40 R 18 shoes.
Dynamic mode, on the other hand, while adding to the fun-to-drive aspect and racy character of the car significantly, makes the cabin feel jittery and stiff and isn’t the setting you can drive the car in for long hours. A good way to overcome this issue is to use the individual mode, and set everything to Dynamic except for the suspension.
Peppy, compact, absorbent, great to steer and loads of fun thanks to its short wheelbase, the TT in its newest avatar has just the right balance to present itself as a practical, yet powerful and fun sports car, especially in the Indian scheme of things.
Interior and equipment
Even with all its newfound muscularity and sharpness on the outside, it’s the interior where the new Audi impresses the most. A minimalistic, yet incredibly classy, hi-quality and highly functional cabin comes across as a gust of fresh air among the increasingly similar looking cabins in new car models. The new TT’s cabin has received rave reviews from media and customers worldwide – one look inside the cabin and you’d know why.
The three spoke steering wheel looks classy, compact and sporty with chrome highlights on the spokes and on the hub. The foot-well on the steering wheel’s side features steel pedals with rubber grips adding to the racy appeal. The clean, uncluttered black dashboard features a triad of driver oriented, jet turbine inspired A/C vents which look stunning, while also uniquely featuring the controls for air flow, temperature and recirculation within their hubs. The outer A/C vents by the doors have the control for the optional heated seats, wherever available. A single row of buttons on the centre console allows for control of parking sensors, deployment of rear spoiler, traction control, hazard lights, Auto start / stop and drive select.
The panel between the front seats gets a silver finish and has volume control, start / stop button, a beautifully crafted drive selector for the 6-speed S-tronic transmission, electronic parking brake toggle, MMI controls and handwriting recognition track-pad. This is followed by a cupholder / ashtray with Audi branding and a storage crevice behind it, also featuring a 12V power socket.
The real hero of the cabin, however, is the spanking new 12.3 inch, high resolution display which replaces the traditional instrument console and is the centrepiece of what Audi prefers calling the ‘virtual cockpit system’. This LCD driver display replaces both the conventional instrument console dials and the central screen, allowing for a highly functional, yet minimalistic design for the dash that’s refreshingly new, high on quality and very intuitive.
The screen, boasting a bright hi-res display puts all the information in front of the driver. The driver can choose between a classic speedo – tacho view or the Infotainment View. The latter displays functions like navigation map prominently, with other functions such as telephone, media, and car settings visible clearly on the screen and controllable using the touch sensitive MMI controller or the multi-function wheel.
The new layout takes a wee bit for traditional Audi MMI users to get used to. In a very short span, however, the intuitive new system makes the old system look dated. Material quality and finish is excellent all throughout the cabin with high quality switchgear offering fantastic tactility and built-to-last feel.
Front seats are comfortable and spacious with exceptional support and bolstering, though the same cannot be said about the space at the rear. The aggressively sloping, low roofline makes the TT look smashing, but makes the cabin lose on space and practicality. The ingress to the rear seats is cumbersome, with even kids finding it difficult to get in an out. Accommodating an adult in that space is equivalent to torture. Leg room and headroom is extremely limited with the seats also evoking a feeling of claustrophobia owing to lack of light.
While the TT is billed as a 2+2, consider it as a 2 seater and you would be happy with the space and usability it offers. Under the rear hatch, there is space to store 305 litre of luggage, extendable to 712 litres when you lower the rear seats. Storage spaces also come in the form of bins within the long doors. There’s another storage bin ahead of the drive selector with some space to spare for a cellphone between the front seats.
In terms of safety, the TT comes equipped with all the gear you expect on a premium sports car with six airbags as standard. There is a whole army of electronic aids to endow the TT with a solid active safety net as well.
Some more details
A 12 V power socket in the boot
Long door allows for some space in the panel to store small to medium sized water bottles. Don’t miss the Bang & Olufsen branding for the speakers. Needless too say, they produce kickass sound
Leather strap to bring down the front seats and make way for the unfortunate souls who’d take the space at the rear
Steel pedals with rubber grips and a dead pedal. You’d want to hoon this baby just looking at that setup
Sharply styled headlamps with strikingly angular DRLs add to the chiseled, muscular character of the new TT
Fuel tank caps don’t get any classier than this
The hubs of the jet turbine shaped A/C vents comprise of the buttons to control temperature, flow and recirculation – an absolute first we have seen
The floating panel between the front seats comprises of MMI controls, gear shifter, and a few crevices to store the indispensable cellphone
The flared side skirts feature an aggressive bulge towards the rear
Satin silver finished globular gear knob with S-Tronic badging and a leather crown – sheer artistry
That silver and black textured material on the inner door handles is just one of the many high-quality materials adorning the TT’s impeccably built interior
LED tail lamps follow the sharp styling seen up front. Notice the spoiler neatly tucked away over the bootlid when the car is stationary
A definitive representation of a premium compact sports car, the Audi TT, looking at its price and what it has to offer doesn’t have any real rivals. At Rs 60 lakh ex-showroom, it’s the least costly sports car of its type. The good thing is, being less expensive doesn’t mean that it’s a compromise. Offering a flamboyant, classic design along with an extremely well appointed interior and a capable engine, the TT is an exceedingly strong product in its class. If a true-blue, compact sports coupe is what you are looking at, the TT will offer the right blend of performance, value and quality – it’s the default choice for the segment it represents.
Price as tested: Rs 60 lakh ex-showroom
Audi TT 2.0 TFSI Technical Specifications
2015 Audi TT 2.0 TFSI quattro Image gallery