With a smaller motor and a much better price tag, can the Audi TT overcome competition? Here are the details on the sports coupe
Two cylinders and roughly 100bhp less than competition may sound like a losing proposition in the sportscar category, but factor in the price difference which is a massive Rs. 15 lakh, and suddenly you see what Audi has in mind with the Audi TT 2.0-litre TFSI Quattro. So does the cheapest sports coupe in the country have it to overcome competition?
When you slide down into the TT’s low-slung seats, you’ll find a dashboard that’s beautifully built and rather sporty. The red and black upholstery, the way the triple air-con vents are angled towards the driver and the beautifully crafted dials highlight this. You sit really low, with the dashboard in front of you, rather than below, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel is ideally placed. If there’s one grouse it is with the audio system’s display.
The old-school Audi red dot-matrix display looks a bit old-fashioned. Still, it’s a tiny grouse in an otherwise well-built cabin. There’s plenty of space for the front passengers, all-round visibility is good and every switch and dial is cleanly styled and perfectly weighted in its operation. The rear seats, though, are best used for kids – they are rather cramped and even people of average height will have to sit hunched. Still, fold the rear seats and you get a very useful 700 litres of boot space, making the TT a rather practical two-seater for touring.
More importantly, the 2.0-litre, direct-injection turbo-petrol motor is responsive and lively. It makes its peak torque of 35.7kgm all the way from a low 1600rpm and on to 4200rpm, and it’s this wide powerband that makes the TT particularly nice to drive. The engine pulls cleanly from low revs, the midrange is particularly strong and there is decent shove all the way to the engine’s 6200rpm redline. The TT 2.0 TFSI gets Audi’s six-speed DSG auto, which is a pretty good match for the engine’s power characteristics and is responsive to paddleshift inputs.
The TT will accelerate to 100kph in 6.49sec, which isn’t shatteringly quick, but more than adequate for this kind of car. In fact, the car feels faster than its times suggest because of the engine’s wide powerband and the aurally pleasing growl it makes as the needle winds its way to the red part of the tachometer.
It’s a stiff chassis on a stiff suspension set-up and one that doesn’t work on our roads particularly well. The suspension works silently enough, but you tend to bounce and jiggle over uneven surfaces and the ride is excessively fidgety over anything but the most perfect surfaces — this makes it rather tiring to drive on our roads.
However, find the right road and the TT will delight with its short wheelbase-aided nimbleness and four-contact-patch grip. There’s little body roll, the engine’s flexibility and responsive gearbox all add up to quite a lot of fun on a twisty road. The weak point of the TT’s dynamic envelope is its steering and the problem is not with its accuracy but more with the absence of feel.
The Audi then has it all with stylish looks, performance and if Audi could have done something about the ride quality, this would have been the perfect sports coupe.