It’s not a concept: this is the production version of Pug’s big new saloon car
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Snip, snip, “Going anywhere nice on holiday?”
Oh, stop that now: this is a serious sports car – at least that’s what Audi says. And you know what? They’re right, at least up to a point, although this TT has had a bit taken off the top. Always pretty, the TT has never had a huge amount of praise heaped on it for how it drives. How it looks, yes; how it feels inside, absolutely; but never really how it drives. The new one is a bit different, though, even here in Roadster guise – there’s even talk of “controlled drifting” in the press bumf.
An appointment for a track day, then?
We’d not go that far, but the TT has certainly got more substance to back up its obvious style. The Roadster only adds to those good looks, without, it seems, detracting from the driving experience. It rained all the time we were in it – end-of-the-world type precipitation. So aside from a quick button press in a lengthy tunnel to check it all works – doing no more than 31mph – the hood stayed resolutely closed.
Which one, though?
Your fleet manager will point out the low emissions and tax-friendliness of the 181bhp 2.0 TDI Ultra model. That’s fine too, its 280lb ft of torque actually matching that of the TTS flagship petrol car. Given it’s front-wheel drive and manual only, that can make you busy behind the wheel, at least if you’re driving it without economy in mind. The 227bhp TFSI petrol model is offered with either front- or four-wheel drive, while that TTS with 306bhp comes exclusively with quattro four-wheel drive. The 227bhp car with quattro is the sweet spot of the line-up, with plenty of traction, good grip and a fine ride – though if you’re opting for the S line trim, we recommend you sacrifice the 10mm dropped suspension for the regular suspension set-up to aid comfort. Switch off the stability and traction control systems, and on a sleet-covered mountain corner there’s even a bit of that promised rearward balance.
That controlled drifting, then?
In very specific circumstances, yes, though you’d be going some to replicate it in the dry. We’d suggest you don’t. What it does underline is that the TT has been set up properly, and that’s obvious all the time. The steering is finely weighted, if devoid of real feel, though it’s accurate and quick. Traction is mighty, and the S tronic gearbox shifts smoothly – the standard six-speed manual is pleasingly mechanical in its action too if you prefer it. And then it’s a TT, with all that it entails, so there’s an interior to die for and the trick Audi virtual cockpit with
its digital instruments that’s all very sci-fi – all of which you can show off better in the Roadster. So long as it’s not raining, that is.