it is the Audi TT that brought this brand in to the cool corner and changed the face of Audi forever.
There is no denying that when the Audi TT first made it’s appearance as a concept car back in 1995, things were about to change dramatically for Audi. In fact, it is the Audi TT that brought this brand in to the ‘cool corner’ and changed the face of Audi forever.
The TT has kind of been in its own segment really. You could call the BMW Z4 or Mercedes-Benz SLK it’s main rivals, but if you think about, there really isn’t anything out there that quite matches the TT. The TT has sold 515 000 units globally. 4 811 were sold right here in South Africa.
I have to be a bit honest here for a moment, I was never a massive TT fan, well certainly not of the second generation. For some reason it became a bit of a nowhere car for me. It just didn’t do anything for me. I wasn’t overly excited by the design and it just never caught my eye. Enter the third generation! Wow! This car has gone back to being cool again! And stylish! And hot! And no where near a no where car. It will certainly catch your eye. It of course shares some of its design elements with the R8, which is one of my favourite cars, so it makes sense that I would love the look of this car. It has many sharp lines in its design, making it appear very aggressive. Of course it is distinctly TT with its short front and rear overhangs. The redesigned headlights are what make this car really stand out with the square daytime running lights. Seeing this guy come up behind you in the rearview mirror is a sight to behold. It is one good looking car!
There is a definite evolution from an exterior point of view but it is the interior where you will see the biggest change. It has to be one of the classiest cabins on the market. I loved the simplicity that has been adopted although I did hear a couple of grumbles from the, dare I say, older motoring journalists. But this is where Audi is really going to get the youngsters talking and in fact it is in line with Audi’s design language going forward. Its interface is called a Virtual Cockpit, everything is digital, and I mean every, single, thing. Two things that really stood out for me where the controls integrated in to the air vents. Genious! And the wide screen which sits in the dashboard and houses the satnav, rev counter, speedometer and infotainment. It is flipping awesome! I know that sounds rather juvenile but it is exactly what I thought when I sat in that driver’s seat and saw the screen. So already, Audi is appealing to the ‘younger’ market (do not comment, I may not be young but I am certainly youthful!).
The drive was, well, it’s hard to say really. We were taken on a route through White River, Hazyview, Graskop and Sabie in Mpumalanga. To say there were a few put holes would be an understatement. These buggery things came out of nowhere. There were too many to count. It made driving a firm sports coupe a bit tricky. We couldn’t really open it up the way we would have liked for fear of offing ourselves amongst the beautiful scenery. What I can say is the TT handles beautifully. This was tested many a time when swerving to miss yet another pothole.
Both the front-wheel drive and quattro models come with a 2,0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 169 kW of power and 370 N.m of torque. Basically you will have no trouble overtaking on a hill to put it modestly. Had I not feared for my life I would have been able to open this bad boy up and seen what it could do, but alas, I opted to take it slow and steady (how lame do I sound now?). Both models are fitted to a six-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission. The car is responsive and the steering direct. The exhaust creates a bit of excitement with the odd cackle and pop on the over run as you head in to a corner.
The Driver Select system allows you to choose between comfort, auto and dynamic. In and around town I would leave it in auto and let the car adjust to the driving conditions, but for a bit of fun, switch to dynamic and the driver enthusiast within you will come out to play.
At this point it is only these two models available. The 2,0T FSI S tronic comes in at R558 000 and the quattro at R642 000, although I would opt for the front-wheel version, I don’t see the point in spending an extra R84 000 when the cheaper model is just as capable and comes standard with a list that includes 17″ alloy wheels, xenon headlights, keyless entry, Drive select, USB port (finally Audi!), bluetooth, leather interior, light/rain sensor, front sport seats, cruise control, digital aircon and LED interior lighting. The quattro adds the all-wheel drive of course, 18″ alloy wheels, and the quattro badges. Both models come with a five-year/100 000 km Audi Freeway Plan.
And if neither of these models are exciting enough for you, you can wait until the end of July for the Audi TTS.