- Sharp looks
- Punchy engines and performance
- Evolutionary design
- Current lack of quattro diesel
- Rivals more focused
When it comes to sports coupes there’s none more stylish than the Audi TT, and removing the roof to make the new Audi TT Roadster only heightens that. Fighting it out with the Mercedes SLK, BMW Z4, Nissan 370Z Roadster and – more worryingly – the talented Porsche Boxster, it’s got a tough time ahead. Audi is, however, confident.
Diesel and Petrol engines
Part of that is down to the range of engines, currently, on offer. There are only three – one diesel and two petrols – but all impress on paper and in reality.
The 2-litre Ultra diesel promises astounding efficiency, with 65.7mpg and 114g/km the highlights on the spec sheet. Only available with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox, for now, but a quattro will follow. Until then 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds, top speed is 147mph and the refined delivery of its 181bhp and 380Nm of torque is lasting.
As an ‘entry-level’ TT Roadster there’s the 2-litre petrol with 227bhp. Accelerating from 0-62mph takes 6.2 seconds (front-wheel drive manual) or 5.6 seconds (quattro S tronic) with an electronically limited top-speed of 155mph. Smooth and happy to rev, with incredible mid-range urge, it’s also capable of over 47mpg and 140g/km of CO2 emissions.
Those less concerned with money-saving should look to the 306bhp TTS model; fitted with quattro four-wheel drive as standard the TTS Roadster dispenses with the 0-62mph sprint in 4.9 seconds (S tronic) or 5.2 seconds (manual) and is also limited to 155mph. Peak torque arrives at just 1,800rpm and there’s few cars as quick point-to-point on an unfamiliar back road.
Ever since the first TT arrived in the UK back in 1999 the interior has left rivals playing catch-up, and so it is with this third generation. Completely uncluttered and boasting the firm’s Virtual Cockpit Display, which dispenses with the traditional centre console for infotainment, sat-nav and other information and puts it directly in-front of the driver in the main instrument binnacle.
Antisocial for passengers, who are now faced with a stark cabin to look at rather than the digitised map, it is however fantastic for the driver and entirely befitting of a sportscar. The ability to switch between information streams, and even fill the screen with navigation instructions is intuitive and genuinely beneficial to drivers, while the multifunction display offers a different layout for the TTS.
At least passengers can marvel at the beautifully designed airvents, complete with integrated controls for the climate control system (and heated seats where fitted). It’s such an intuitive design and idea you’ll wonder why it wasn’t done decades ago. Be in no doubt this is one of the best car interiors in production, at any price point.
Audi has always offered a fabric roof on its convertibles, rather than folding metal hardtops, and the TT Roadster is no different – the reason the firm says is to lower the centre of gravity and improve handling. In reality it also means the car can transform from open to closed within ten seconds, at speeds of around 30mph, and uses no extra boot space when retracted.
Three layers of acoustic material mean there’s little penalty in terms of refinement and noise on the move and the new Roadster is up to 6dB quieter than its predecessor.
An open top driving package, which includes head-level seat heating, an electrically operated wind deflector and heated Super Sports Seats ensures you’ll stay warm with the roof lowered, no matter the weather.
Read on for the full Parkers Audi TT Roadster Review.