Review: Audi TT Roadster
The TT Roadster didn’t need to be great to succeed but Audi wasn’t about to take any chances. Andy Enright reports
WELCOME to the second generation TT Roadster – a much sharper drive and properly quick, too.
The 1.8-litre turbo takes 7.4s to hit 60mph and the 2.0-litre turbo posts a 6.7 seconds time (6.5 with S-tronic twin-clutch sequential gearbox) before running on to a top speed of 149mph. The TTS is even quicker, hitting sixty in just 5.6s but not as quick as the TT RS which has 340bhp from its 2.5-litre turbo-charged engine.
That’s a whole new plane of performance for the TT and represents a more sensible product mix. It was slightly bizarre that the old TT quattro Sport with 237bhp was, due to its lighter weight, quicker and more capable than the flagship 247bhp 3.2-litre car. At least now there’s a product hierarchy that’s easy to grasp.
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Need an example of the TT Roadster’s design effectiveness? A clever Z-fold system means that the rigid forward section of the roof folds down on top of the remainder, eliminating the need for a tonneau – so often the inelegant engineering solution on convertible cars.
What’s more, the roof operates in a mere 12 seconds and can be operated at speeds of up to 30mph. While the guy who bought a convertible with a metal folding hard top roof is amazing passers by with its origami tricks, he’s not only missed the lights but will also get the stink eye from his lady after a snap shower made her blouse go see-through.
The TT requires no manual clipping or latching to the header rail either. Just fire and forget.
The cabin of the new TT also has high standards to live up to. Even today, the old TT’s cabin feels anything but old. Yes, all-round visibility is woeful but that fascia still feels smart and the much-copied aluminium finishes and buttress bars remain slick pieces of detailing.
The latest car reprises the old model’s look and feel, with the chrome-ringed speedo and rev counter housed in their own cowl and the round air vents, but also adds a few contemporary design touches such as the flat-bottomed steering wheel, the angled centre console and a sportier seating position.
It’s a beautifully engineered vehicle, too, and one that demonstrates quite how well Audi understands not only its target market but also the key influences on that market’s buying decisions.
The product actually needs very little introduction. It’s a TT Roadster. It goes, stops and steers very well, if not at the level of the best in class. As an ownership proposition, however, it has no peer in its direct price bracket.
While it may not be as visually arresting as the iconic original TT, this latest generation car has rapidly evolved for the better. Job done.