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Driven: Audi TT

Driven April 2015

Driven: Audi TT

The Audi TT has been around in India for a while. Frankly, it’s a pocket rocket in its true sense – Tiny, nimble and agile – but don’t mistake it for a docile little car. It packs enough punch to plaster a smile on your face.

The Audi TT is somewhat like the first step into graduating to a sportscar. It’s one of the cheapest at well under a crore, and you can still have the sort of fun as you’d have with the big boys of the sportscar world. The 2015 Audi TT has a number of changes, starting with the new skeleton under its skin, courtesy the VW group’s MQB platform. Yes, it’s the same flexible platform that can be altered depending on the company’s need to be the underpinnings of a sedan, an SUV or, in this case, a sportscar. Currently in India, the Audi A3 and the Skoda Octavia are based on the MQB apart from this new TT.

Audi has kept the same engine to power its new sportscar – a four-cylinder, 2-litre turbocharged petrol. Internationally, Audi offers this engine in two sets of tunes and a diesel unit, but in India, we get only this one. The engine churns out 226bhp and 370Nm of spin (the more powerful TT S gets 306bhp). It’s one peppy little piece of machinery and loves to put on revs, going right up to 7,000rpm. Power delivery too is sweet – barely any turbo lag and a clean, linear power curve.

The gearbox employed here is a good one. It has two clutches to help make the shifts faster and crisper, and it goes about doing its business, with six ratios at its disposal, in utter ease. The shifts are there when you want them, and even more so when the lever is slotted in S. As you brake hard just before a corner, the tranny downshifts and keeps the engine on a boil to offer a bit of engine braking.

The suspension makes a loud thud every time you go over a pothole at crawl speeds. But try going over the same pothole at slightly higher speeds and you’ll find the TT coping up with it much better.

The steering too is light, making the TT even more useable and less tiring to drive. But wait, don’t jumble the words light and boring when we’re talking steering feel. It’s so direct and so sharp that you could, for a minute, forget about the slightly less feedback that it offers.

The quattro system, in normal driving conditions, directs all the 226 horses and 370Nm to the front wheels. But as you start pushing the machine and introducing it to a set of curves, it instantaneously transfers the right amount of spin to the rear wheels. And what you get in return is truckloads of confidence and accuracy. And now that you’ve got that, couple it with a capable chassis and you’ve got one heck of a sportscar.

With the styling of the new TT, it’s easy to mistake it for a facelift rather than a complete new model. The overall silhouette is broadly the same as its predecessor. But look more closely and you’ll a host of differences. The lights, for instance, now boast a new design of the daytime lights, and the styling throughout is much, much sharper than older TT’s.

The cabin of the TT has also been redesigned completely, along with the dash layout. The designers have uncluttered the space and still made it look sporty. The air-con controls have been moved between the vents and the place that houses the controls in an ordinary car has been utilised to put in controls for the Drive Select button, traction control switch among others.

There’s no pop-up screen either. Instead, the instrument cluster has been turned completely digital and doubles up as the screen for satnav and the MMI system.

If you have a crore to spend on a sportscar, you’d be stupid to not get a Porsche Cayman for yourself. But if you’re falling short of ₹20 lakh, you’d not be stupid to buy the TT. Despite being the first step in the world of sportscars, it’s nowhere any less entertaining than a full-fledged one. The engine has enough juice, it handles like a gem and most importantly, it is fun.

The numbers
1982cc, four cyl, turbo petrol, 226bhp, 370Nm, 6A, AWD, 0-100kph: 6 seconds, 30-50kph: 1.56 seconds, 50-70kph: 1.61 seconds, 80-0kph: 23.66m, 2.12 seconds, Top speed: 250kph (limited), ₹60.34 lakh (ex-showroom)

The verdict
Extremely nimble and agile, sounds great for a four-pot and the overall package makes it one loveable little sportscar

Agasti Kaulgi

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