Roadster 1.8 TFSI Sport S tronic
topless can have unwanted
repercussions, as proven recently
in some quarters; but if you must, a
more responsible way is to opt for
convertible or cabriolet
as one of Audis
WITHOUT ANY REGRETS, I HAVE JUST GONE TOPLESS in the long-serving but still
very desirable Audi TT Roadster which, following the introduction of a 1.8-litre
TFSI petrol engine to both the soft-top and Coupe hardtop models, recently became
much more affordable.
Available in standard, Sport, or S line spec, the 1.8 Roadster with the 158bhp
petrol engine can be yours from £25,325. The 2+2 TT Coupe with Sport or S line
trim, and with this same engine, costs between £24,075 and £26,065.
There are bigger engines and bigger prices you can, if you want, spend
as much as £50,925 on a TT. Also available for both drop-top and fixed roof
versions are 2.0 and 2.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines. And,
depending on the engine of choice and level or specification, you can also choose
between two- or four-wheel drive (quattro). With thirty-one TT Coupe and Roadster
models on offer there's one thing you can be sure of: you'll be spoilt for choice.
test car was the new 1.8-litre 158bhp Sport version, priced at £26,090
to my mind the most cost-effective version of the entire Roadster range. But
given our poor record for sunshine hours in the UK and the extra-small but nevertheless
handy two rear seats, the 1.8 TFSI 2+2 Coupe would be my optimum choice
and it's cheaper: £24,075.
My test car was the new
1.8-litre 158bhp Sport
version, priced at £26,090
to my mind the most
of the entire Roadster
Interestingly, Audi (with four soft-top convertibles in its portfolio
the A3, A5, TT and R8 Spyder) recently conducted a survey about UK convertible
buyers. For the record, this country is the second largest in Europe (after
Germany) for the sale of convertibles, cabriolets, and roadsters. For Audi,
the UK is their largest Cabrio market world-wide. Audi says and they
do have a point that even with our unpredictable weather such models,
even with the roof up, still look out of the ordinary and are highly desirable.
It appears from the Audi survey that two thirds (64%) of Britain's convertible
owners either never, or only rarely, go topless. And almost half (46%) cited
'exotic looks' rather than wind-in-the-hair driving appeal as their primary
reason for choosing a soft-top.
Women users were far quicker to drop their top: 39% said they always drive with
their top down whereas only 32% of men said they did. And by far the largest
group likely to drive topless are 25 to 34 year olds.
The Audi TT is, of course, not new; it's been around since 2007 but has undergone
various tweaks and upgrades, and seen revised and additional engines added.
Like its main affordable competitor, the Mazda MX-5, these classic open-top
sports cars are pretty much 'timeless' and accordingly hold their used values
I see in my Cotswold locality more TTs driven by seemingly affluent ladies of
all ages and older empty-nester couples who are still young at heart when it
comes to choosing 'their' car. A friend of my wife still regrets having to change
her TT Coupe for a Golf five-door hatch when grandma duties came along.
the driving conditions normal on today's traffic-congested roads, ever more
stringent speed limits and the increasing cost of fuel and road tax, the introduction
of the free-revving 1.8-litre turbocharged and intercooled, direct injection
158bhp petrol engine makes a lot of sense. The 184lb ft of torque available
from just 1,500rpm means it's also a very responsive unit, giving plenty of
get-up-and-go from low speeds and plenty of mid-range overtaking zip.
184lb ft of torque
on tap from just 1,500rpm
means its a very
responsive unit giving plenty of get-up-and-go
from low speeds,
and plenty of mid-range
top speed of 139mph is a smidgen slower than the 2.0-litre petrol model, as
is the zero to 62mph acceleration time of 7.4 seconds but that's plenty
of power and performance and, realistically, all you'll ever need.
The fuel economy is good as well: officially it's 43.5mpg. Better still, during
my test drive I averaged 44.6mpg driving on a mix of roads that took in motorways
and stop-start commuter trips as well as country lanes and B roads. The CO2
emissions are relatively low 152g/km so road tax costs a bearable
£170 a year (company car tax is 20%).
My test car also had optional (£1,480) S tronic twin-clutch, seven-speed automated
gearbox fitted, which pushes up the six-speed manual 1.8 Sport model's on-the-road
price from £26,090 to £27,570.
But it's well worth paying the extra because the seamless automatic transmission
works really well with this engine; and it doesn't in anyway detract from the
sporty driving nature when required and makes driving so very easy in
busy stop-start conditions.
The exterior design of the Audi TT both in Roadster and Coupe body styles is
a classic it simply cannot be confused with any other sports car, hence
its enduring appeal. Inside it is equally timeless: beautifully designed and
well put together. The Roadster has wide-opening doors for easy access although
these can be a bit of an issue when trying to get in and out of the car in confined
side-by-side parking bays. The well insulated fabric roof is power operated
and folds neatly away behind the front two seats in what, in the 2+2 Coupe,
would be the rear seat area.
the roof raised, visibility to the rear-quarters is very limited, making parking
and pulling out of road junctions difficult at times. There is a conventional
rear boot that offers 250 litres not much and the boot is shallow, but
enough room for soft overnight bags and a few odds and ends.
The exterior design
of the Audi TT both in
Roadster and Coupe
body styles is a classic
it simply cannot
be confused with any
other sports car,
hence its appeal.
Inside, its beautifully
designed and well put
The Roadster's boot is one of the reasons I would probably opt for a TT Coupe
because although in that version the rear seats are tiny, they can still be
used for carrying extra luggage and the seats also fold, increasing load space
to as much as 900 litres.
interior equipment for the Sport level includes AirCon, leather and Alcantara
upholstery, electric windows, plus a good sound system. Needless to say, there's
an extensive list of extra-cost goodies including DVD-based SatNav with Bluetooth
(£1,525) and, something I would definitely add to 'my' spec, the very useful
and desirable £185 multi-function flat-bottomed steering wheel.
The Roadster's ride comfort is generally good although I would stick with the
standard 17-inch alloys over the larger 18-inchers (£1,280) fitted to my test
car: the standard wheels look just as good and the ride is more compliant.
Overall the Audi TT Roadster is a classic soft-top sports car and its current
design, although long-standing, has not dulled its appeal one jot. Reasons to
buy include the looks, it's fun to own and drive with excellent handling, is
beautifully built, and has a lovely interior plus it has sound residual values.
Even the restricted rear visibility (with the roof up), shallow boot and firmer
ride on the optional 18-inch wheels will not put people off. And the welcome
addition of the 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine will broaden its appeal
even more. Going topless in a TT may not get you in the papers, but it will
get you a lot of admiring glances!
TT Roadster 1.8 TFSI Sport S tronic | £27,570
Maximum speed: 139mph | 0-62mph: 7.4 seconds | Overall test MPG: 44.6mpg
Power: 158bhp | Torque: 184lb ft | CO2 152g/km