That’s what today’s customers expect from a super-sporty car,” shouts Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s technical development chief, as he performs a full-throttle upshift accompanied by a noise like a champagne cork popping.
Today we’re riding shotgun in the TTS – the fastest member of the new Audi TT family – although Audi has hinted there’s more to come with the 414bhp TT quattro sport concept it displayed at the recent Geneva Motor Show.
Our TTS has a 2.0-litre TFSI engine, with 306bhp and 380Nm of torque, paired with a six-speed S tronic twin-clutch box, and can cover 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds – two-tenths faster than a Porsche Cayman S with a PDK box.
In Dr Hackenberg’s opinion, this third-generation, MQB-based TT is “more aggressive in its appearance, as well as in its driving behaviour”. We’ll let you decide about the evolutionary styling – revealed in full at Geneva but hidden under a swirly disguise for our ride – but from where we’re sitting there are major changes to the way it drives.
A wider track, 37mm longer wheelbase and electronically adjustable adaptive sports suspension – which lowers the body by 10mm – all contribute to this new character.
New electronics software, developed exclusively for this latest Audi TT, also plays its part, helping the car stay amazingly stable while accelerating at full throttle out of tight corners.
Audi says the steering is sharper, and when you turn the wheel at high speed it sends a small pulse of power to the rear axle to push you into the corner. Unlike its predecessor, understeer has been all but erased. “Deactivate the stability control, and the new TT can even be driven sideways,” says Dr Hackenberg.
A more sophisticated mix of metals, including an aluminium spaceframe on top of a high-strength steel chassis, means the TT is now stiffer, but weighs 50kg less than its predecessor and 140kg less than the iconic original.
Inside, there are also changes. The windscreen is more angled, but provides excellent visibility, and the dash is much slimmer and tilted towards the driver. A central infotainment screen is replaced by a 12.3-inch TFT monitor right in the driver’s line of sight. The concept isn’t original, but the brilliant resolution sets new standards, as do the climate controls integrated into the vents.
If you can’t stretch to this TTS, Audi will also offer 227bhp 2.0-litre TFSI and 181bhp 2.0 TDI versions when the TT hits dealers in the autumn – the latter combines a 7.2-second 0-62mph time with impressive 67.2mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions of only 110g/km.
The new Audi TT goes on sale this autumn and a TT Roadster arrives in spring 2015. Those cars will be followed by a new TT-RS powered by a 365bhp version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine. We'll bring you all the latest on the new Audi TT range as it happens.
|Audi TTS S tronic|
|Engine||2.0-litre 4cyl turbo|
|Transmission||Six-speed, twin-clutch DSG, four-wheel-drive|