10 January 2008

Detroit show preview: Audi TTS

Hottest-ever TT slips its embargo ahead of Detroit launch

Audi TTS

2008 marks 10 years of the Audi TT and, by way of celebration and the like, Audi is set to show off a new, hotter TT in Detroit. The hottest TT ever, in fact.

Yes, it's another embargo-buster - Detroit this year is leakier than a thatched houseboat - and it'll be called the TTS. 

Due to reach the roads this summer, it features an uprated version of the VW Group's two-litre TFSI engine.

If that sounds small, fear not, because there's plenty of power on tap. 272bhp, to be exact, along with 258lb ft of torque. To achieve this, Audi beefed up more or less every element of the four-pot engine, overhauling the block, pistons and turbocharger, as well as the intake and exhaust systems. 

And it's quick. In Coupe guise with the S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox, the TTS will hit 62mph in just 5.2 seconds - nearly a second quicker than the V6 TT - before topping out at an electronically limited 155mph. 

To make sure that pace doesn't translate into some unexpected Audi/hedge interaction, the TTS gets permanent quattro four-wheel drive, as well as Audi's posh magnetorheological damping system. 

It sits 10mm lower on its springs than the stock TT, and features a new ESP setting which, says Audi, 'enables controlled drifting'. Controlled drifting is, obviously, regarded as a tautology in the TG office. 

Naturally there are a few cosmetic touches to distinguish the S from your run-of-the-mill hairdresser-spec TT. New bi-xenon headlights hide a horizontal strip of LEDs - like those in the A5 and R8 - while the front apron houses larger air intakes. Those wheels are 18-inchers, although you can order yourself a nice pair of 19s if the mood takes you. 

The TTS won't mark the end of TT variants, though. Rumours abound that Audi bosses are planning an even-hotter TTRS to follow, with enough horsepower to make the TTS look sedate.

We'll bring you all the photos as the covers come off the TTS - and another top-secret Audi concept, so we hear - in Detroit early next week.

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