- Smart, high-quality interior
- Innovative dashboard design
- Great engines
- Still not all that exciting to drive
- Cruise control and parking sensors cost extra
Welcome to the third instalment in the TT blockbuster franchise. The Mk1 Audi TT Coupe (launched in 1998) and the Mk2 (2006) have both been sales smash hits, so TT 3 has a lot to live up to.
After our first drive, we’re pretty sure it has little to worry about. This is the all-new version of the Coupe, with the soft-top version coming in summer 2015. Rivals include the likes of the Peugeot RCZ and BMW 2 Series, while the high-performance Audi TT S model is faster than a Porsche Cayman.
All the bits that made the old TT so popular – head-turning looks, a high-quality interior, everyday usability and speedy performance – remain, while the car as a whole has been brought bang up to date with the latest technology.
The styling mixes elements of the Mk1 and Mk2 and at first glance it’s unmistakably a TT. The wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) has grown slightly but the car’s overall length remains the same, making for super-short front and rear overhangs. They wear sharper, more modern-looking headlights and tail-lights with some neat touches including directional indicators that swipe across the tail-lights rather than wink on and off.
The Audi TT Coupe is still a 2+2, with a pair of tiny seats under the rear window that are best suited to kids only. As before, convertible Roadster and super-quick TT RS models will follow.
The interior has always been an important part of the TT’s appeal, from the very first car’s aluminium-trimmed boutique cabin to the Mk2’s superb fit and finish. In TT 3, it’s reached new heights of designer appeal.
Biggest point of interest is the instrument panel, which has become a 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD screen. The only ordinary gauges are the fuel and water temperature meters at the bottom of the screen – everything else is digital. There’s no central multimedia screen in the new TT – everything, from sat-nav maps to album artwork, is displayed behind the steering wheel.
You can choose between ‘Classic view’, with a conventional speedo and rev counter in their usual positions and all other information between them in the middle, or a full-screen ‘Infotainment mode’ where the instruments shrink to miniaturised versions of themselves and functions such as the sat-nav map, for example, grow to fill the screen almost entirely. You’ll need to specify the optional Technology Mode to access the best of this function, though.
It’s all controlled via either buttons on the wheel or Audi’s latest-generation ‘MMI’ control wheel near the gear lever and it’s all fairly intuitive. It might take a little practice to get used to at first, but after a short while even the least tech-savvy of drivers will be happily scrolling through the system’s various functions on the move.
Petrol and diesel choices
At launch, the regular TT is available with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-litre petrol or a 2.0-litre diesel, both turbocharged.
The petrol TT can be specced with either front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox or ‘quattro’ four-wheel drive and Audi’s smooth S tronic six-speed automatic gearbox.
The diesel, for now, is front-drive and manual only and can boast impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
There’s also a hot Audi TT S model, with a serious 306bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and four-wheel drive.
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