Audi TT Roadster

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Audi TT Roadster 1.8 TFSI

Road Test

Audi TT Roadster 1.8 TFSI

Driven November 2009

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Forget yer 335bhp TT RS, with its big face and ooh-so-postmodern quattro references. Indecently rapid though the five-cylinder flagship is, the TT has always made most sense in front-wheel-drive base-spec form, and you can't get your TT Roadster any more base-spec and front-drive than this, the new entry-level 1.8-litre petrol version.

Powered by the tidy turbo engine already seen in the A3 and A4, it develops a modest 160bhp - 37bhp less than the previous cheapest TT, the 2.0-litre petrol model, and less than half the power of the RS version - but it's absolutely brilliant.

Low-end versions can tell you a lot about what's going on with the mechanical, oily bits of a car, and the front-wheel-drive TT feels spot-on, light and pointy with just the tiniest hint of front-end wriggle under heavy acceleration to keep you on your toes. OK, it's not mad-quick, but honestly, it's fast enough: 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds is only a fraction off Golf GTI pace and anyhow, it gives you an excuse to thrash the TT absolutely everywhere. Which is good, because this TT seems to rather enjoy being thrashed absolutely everywhere.

Better still, it's a full four grand cheaper than the 2.0-litre petrol... and half the price of the TT RS. A 1.8 Roadster for the summer and a 1.8 Coupe for the winter? Why the heck not?

Sam Philip

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