Primary Navigation Mobile

Audi TT Coupe engines, drive and performance

2014 - 2023 (change model)
Performance rating: 4.5 out of 54.5

Written by Parkers Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 17 March 2021

  • All-petrol TT line-up; diesel no more
  • All turbocharged, all punchy
  • Performance strong across the range

Making up the Audi TT engine is a choice of impressive turbocharged TFSI petrol engines. They range in power from 197hp all the way up to 400hp.

Audi TT TFSI petrol engine range

The TT petrol range is made up of 2.0 TFSI units in a range of outputs. The entry-level engine is a 197hp offering – badged 40 TFSI – with a useful 320Nm of torque that helps this version get from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds, and uses a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox. 

Next up is the 45 TFSI, a 245hp version of the same engine, with a boost in torque to 370Nm. The front-wheel drive manual version is capable of a 0-62mph time in 5.9 seconds, and will reach a 155mph top speed. Go for this engine with an S Tronic gearbox and the 0-62mph time is 5.8 seconds. 

You can also get Quattro all-wheel drive with the S Tronic gearbox, boosting traction and all-weather ability while bringing the 0-62mph sprint time down to 5.2 seconds.

Audi TT Quattro

In this combination, the TT feels very rapid, feeling very confidence-inspiring when driven quickly. The S Tronic gearbox is quick to move up and down the gears, the engine feels eager in any driving mode, and never like it feels overwhelmingly powerful for the TT’s small size. 

TTS provides more thrills

Powering the TTS is a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol with 310hp and 380Nm of torque. It’ll go from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds with a manual gearbox and 4.6 seconds with an S Tronic. You can only get this car with Quattro all-wheel drive to help put down all of that power. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

On the move, the TT S is quite surprising in the way it responds. When pottering around town in Comfort mode it feels like a regular petrol TT. It’s still responsive and quick to pick up when you move off, but it can be mildly relaxed and not feel too eager. However, flip the Drive Select switch to Dynamic and everything sharpens up. The throttle response becomes very sensitive and the TT S feels incredibly keen to get going. It’s almost instantaneous when you apply just a little pressure to the accelerator pedal, and if you do it with even more force, power is put down immediately as you surge forwards. 

That 4.9-second 0-62mph time is easily believable in this regard, with the Quattro all-wheel drive system ensuring there’s no drama when you move off. Just a big kick in the back of your seat. There’s not much drama in terms of noise, though, which is what you’d want from a more performance focused version of a sporty coupe. However, there’s little complain about from the relentless acceleration. 

TT RS crowns the range with supercar performance 

The real excitement in the TT range lies with the TT RS. Under the bonnet lies a five-cylinder 2.5-litre TFSI petrol producing 400hp and a not-inconsiderable 480Nm of torque. Unsurprisingly, Quattro all-wheel drive helps put all of this shove onto the road, while a seven-speed S Tronic gearbox deals with the gearchanges for you, although paddles are there for more involvement.

It’ll rush to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds, and is limited to 155mph at the top end. However, you can pay to have this limiter removed, unlocking a top speed of 174mph. Acceleration is relentless, with a jab of the throttle resulting in a fast response in Dynamic mode. The car is keen to push on and on, with revs building and an intoxicating howling sound coming from the engine and sports exhaust system.

Engines no longer available

Before the mid-life facelift, the TT range kicked off with a 1.8-litre TFSI turbocharged unit producing 180hp and 250Nm of torque. With the six-speed manual gearbox it’ll go from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and onto 149mph, while the seven-speed S Tronic automatic manages the sprint in 7.0 seconds flat. It will go on to reach 149mph.

Next up the ladder was the same 2.0 TFSI in the new models, but with 230hp and a much more usable 370Nm of torque. The 0-62mph sprint is taken care of in 6.0 seconds in the manual, 5.9 seconds in the S Tronic and 5.3 seconds in the S Tronic when equipped with Quattro all-wheel drive. All versions will reach a 155mph top speed. This was superceded by the 45 TFSI with more power in 2019.

Audi TT TDI packs a punch and economy

For something a little more sensible, there was also a TT 2.0-litre TDI, producing 184hp and 380Nm of torque. There was the 2.0 TDI Ultra which was front-wheel drive and came with a six-speed manual gearbox. This version reached 62mph in 7.1 seconds from a standstill, and went on to 149mph at the top end.

If you wanted an S Tronic gearbox with this engine, you got Quattro thrown in as well. That means the 0-62mph time falls to 6.7 seconds, but top speed also falls to 145mph.

It’s an excellent fit for the TT if you’re looking for a used example. There’s some noticeable diesel growl when you put your foot down, but the S Tronic gearbox never becomes flustered if you demand too much of it, and Quattro all-wheel drive helps deal with the torque. It makes the TT a great alternative to something like a VW Golf GTD or BMW 120d as it’s smooth, refined and great for long journeys.

  • Very predictable handling characteristics
  • Quattro all-wheel drive provides reassurance
  • Not exciting, but very capable

The TT Coupe is grippy, stable and easy to drive quickly or slowly. The brakes are worthy of praise as they’re powerful, progressive and not as grabby as you’ll find in some other sporty coupes, and even other Audi models. Overall, the driving experience is safe and predictable, if not as exciting as an equivalent hot hatchback.

You can cycle through different parameters for the power steering sensitivity and engine response using the Drive Select switch. This also controls power distribution in all-wheel-drive Quattro models.

Audi TT S Line 45 TFSI cornering

In Auto mode, the torque is shuffled to wherever it will give the best traction while in Dynamic mode more power is sent to the rear axle to make the car feel more agile. In Efficiency mode the car becomes two-wheel drive most of the time to save fuel unless extra traction is needed.

Even if you flick between drive modes, the steering isn’t the most communicative. It’s nicely-weighted, but there’s very little feedback coming through to the driver, so it’s not as involving to drive as a dedicated hot hatchback with driving thrills at its core.

Audi TT S Line 45 TFSI rear action

The quick TTS and TT RS models are Quattro-only and are fitted with magnetically controlled adaptive dampers as standard. We drove a TTS on track and it’s incredibly grippy in the dry – even with the traction control switched off it has enormous reserves of adhesion. However, even with this adaptive setup, it can feel very fidgety and firm when you’re on anything other than a super-smooth road surface. It can take away from the experience somewhat, but the TT still impresses with its ability to really cling on around a corner with minimal fuss and drama. 

Despite that, the TT’s still not the most thrilling of cars to drive. A decent hot hatch will be far more fun to drive than even the super-quick TTS model, but the TT is still very easy to drive quickly and is a very flattering car to most drivers.