Sport 2.0 TDI quattro
still got it.
The TT. Like the 911, its
honoured icon. As Coco Chanel
or was it Yves Saint Laurent?
once said: Fashion comes and
goes but style never goes out
And the TT has style
THE REALLY GOOD THING about the TT though is that you don't have to be rich
to drive something so stylish. Unusually, while convertibles generally commandeer
all the cachet, in the TT family it's the coupe that's the real charmer.
Yes, you can spend as much as £50K on a TT (the fire-breathing 174mph TT RS)
but you don't have to. You could even pay as little as £24K (front-wheel
drive 1.8 TFSi).
Or you could box clever and buy a £28,585 2.0 TDI coupe quattro that runs to
140mph, despatches the 0-62mph sprint in a satisfyingly brisk 7.6 seconds and,
amazingly, stretches a gallon of diesel fuel to cover as much as 65.7 miles
(official extra-urban figure). In these days of the ever-shrinking pound, even
those running a sports car are as interested in the fuel consumption as much
as the acceleration and top speed figures.
the four interlinked chrome rings on its deep, all-black single frame grille,
the TT's lines run cleanly up and over its thrusting nose, flowing past the
pronounced and geometrically precise wheelarches and round the aerodynamically
curved tail. The low glasshouse is defined by a tapering roofline and frameless
windows. A handsome beast, the TT coupe will still look as fresh in 2023.
Even after several subtle
makeovers the TTs cabin
still resembles the
stunning 1998 launch
after several subtle makeovers the TT's cabin still resembles the stunning 1998
launch model's Bauhaus-inspired 'less-is-more' interior. It also hints of some
serious driving you sit really low in well-padded Alcantara-and-leather
sports seats that provide support in all the right places and more than enough
bolstering to keep you (and your passenger) in place during spirited driving.
Snugly belted-in behind the TT's multifunction flat-bottomed wheel, your fingers
curled round the meaty leather rim, you feel an integral part of the machine.
Directly ahead of you, the dash is a finely-hewn piece of work with dials that
you'll never tire of looking at.
Adding to the 'take me round the track' feel is a stubby gearlever, close to
hand for snatching those changes as the rev-counter closes on the redline. And
just to make sure you know your duty, the wide forward centre tunnel emphatically
divides the cockpit into a clearly defined driver-focused section and a less
dynamically-involving passenger side.
The coupe is a 2+2 so it's no shock to find that while there's plenty of room
in all directions up front for the driver and passenger, the back seats are
best for children few adults will want to squeeze in there. Don't feel
guilty it's an excellent and socially plausible excuse to only travel
with your most amusing friends.
they do have a better use: fold down the 50:50 split backrests and you extend
the 292-litre boot into a handy 760-litre cargo bay along with other
white goods, we even got a small cooker in there! Alternatively, leave then
up and you have a convenient full-width 'parcel shelf' for shopping overspill.
Talking of storage, the cabin has plenty of cubbies and big door pockets for
owners who like everything in its rightful place.
is kept to a minimum; all of it as lovely to use as it is to look at. Chrome
highlights are used tastefully and your ongoing impression of the cabin is of
its premium quality the TT might have flingability but you won't find
a hint of blingability.
Switchgear is kept to a
minimum; all of it as
lovely to use as it is to
look at. Chrome
highlights are used
tastefully and your
ongoing impression of
the cabin is of its
the TT might have
flingability but you
wont find a hint of
The dials for speed and revs are easy to read on the fly particularly
welcome is the crisp white digital road speed readout in the driver's information
display. It's all you really need.
drivers strongly dislike electric handbrakes (they'll appreciate the TT's trad
item). Me? I'm a traditionalist at heart but don't mind either although I'm
no fan of stop-start systems or gear change prompts. The TT will prompt you
to change gear, but at least it doesn't nag so can be ignored until the
day our political masters find a way to outlaw free will. Believe me, secret
courts are just the thin edge of the wedge...
and despite the low-slung driving position, parking a TT is no more tricky than
reversing a run-of-the-mill hatchback even without parking sensors (they're
A week of pretty hard driving (well, wouldn't you?) that included quite a lot
of messy in-town work saw an overall average of 45.1mpg. For the record, the
official mixed-driving consumption figure is 53.3mpg; and with a modicum of
self-restraint I would say most drivers should be able to break through that
magic 50mpg ceiling.
Power from the turboed 2.0-litre four-pot engine is a very usable 167bhp backed
by 258lb ft of torque; CO2 emissions are 139g/km. A passenger who hadn't checked
out the 'TDI' badge on the bootlid wouldn't really know if it was a petrol or
diesel powerplant under the bonnet. Effective cabin insulation makes it even
harder to guess.
Power is sent to all four wheels in these quattro versions via a six-speed manual
gearbox. No problem with that the short gearlever has a lovely, crisp
change action with a well-weighted throw, and the clutch pedal engages cleanly.
Some may think rounded gear knobs passé but the TT's fits the palm perfectly
and makes for an effortless wrist movement whatever your body's position in
relation to the gearlever. One size, as they, fits all. Perfectly.
this smooth-running diesel scores is with its torque the hardest punch
of it hitting between 1,750 and 2,500rpm. Combined with the slick changing short-shift
'box, overtaking manoeuvres are set in motion and executed fast whether you're
dropping just a single gear or block-changing several. Plus there's also plenty
of engine braking when you need it; the other kind, through the pedal, is first
Where this smooth-
running diesel scores is
with its torque
the hardest punch of it
hitting between 1,750
Combined with the slick
manoeuvres are set
in motion and executed
to that earlier quip about 'flickability', it was no joke: with four wheels
doing the gripping at all times the TT goes obediently wherever you point its
nose. And, once committed, doesn't deviate from the driver's chosen line.
often complain about a loss of 'feel' at the helm in four-wheel driven sports
cars. And yes, there always is; but it's an unavoidable consequence of all four-wheel
drive systems. In reality it's a small price to pay for all the extra traction
and wet-weather driveability. Anyway, ride the same horse or drive the same
car regularly and you meld with its character.
So don't lose any sleep over the TT's steering it's fine. Accurate, too:
thread it through a series of quick bends and you won't be complaining. Factor
in the tenacious all-weather handling and the TT coupe easily lives up to its
sports car looks. The ride, albeit on the firm side, is nevertheless well-judged
(even speed bumps don't jolt) and long journeys pass quickly, quietly and comfortably.
And, if you're in the mood, entertainingly!
The stylish TT is not just a good-looker with a strong showing of street cred
designed to appeal to the egos of those who value form above function; it's
also damn good fun to drive… at whichever point on the £25-50K scale you've
bought into. MotorBar
Audi TT Sport 2.0 TDI quattro
Maximum speed: 140mph | 0-62mph: 7.6 seconds | Overall test MPG: 45.1mpg
Power: 167bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2 139g/km