Audi TTS

Turbo engine pumps up the power on roadster version of two-door.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The TTS is a great looking car, and its impressive tuned turbocharged engine provides strong performance. The neat interior and surprisingly roomy boot are carried over from lesser models, too. But the package is not without flaws – and the £41,125 price is high when you look at the driver-pleasing models you could get for a similar amount.

Fans of the Audi TT have never had it so good. Not only has the two-door been redesigned in spectacular style, but there are now more performance editions and specials than ever before.

The latest model to hit the UK is this: the TTS. Launched at January’s Detroit Motor Show, it’s powered by a tuned 2.0-litre T FSI turbo engine with 268bhp.

We tried the roadster version, which costs £34,550. It covers 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds – only the tin-top TTS is faster in the range, with a 5.4-second time.

Both cars are electronically limited to a 155mph top speed, but to ensure maximum stability and grip, they get aerodynamic updates. The changes comprise a distinctive rear spoiler and new ground-hugging bumpers.

In addition, there are quad exhausts, 18-inch alloys and unique badging, while new LED daytime running lights help the car turn heads. The changes under the skin go further. As well as a tuned engine, the TTS features revised power-steering and larger brakes.

The firm’s magnetic ride adaptive damping system is also fitted – although on the road, the reworked engine is the best part of the package. Performance is extremely impressive, especially in third and fourth gears. The power is delivered smoothly and evenly up to the 7,200rpm red line. The steering is accurate, and there is no shortage of grip from the 245/40-section tyres.

But those large wheels mean that the ride is firm even with the dampers in comfort mode, while there’s no escaping the cabriolet layout. Drive hard on twisty roads, and the open-topped body flexes and shakes. It’s never a serious issue, but is a constant reminder that the TTS is as much about show as it is go…

It’s expensive, too: with all the options on our car, it cost £41,125. And while the styling is sensational, if driving fun is all that matters, there are better ways of spending your money.

Rival: Porsche Boxster With its fine handling and sweet six-cylinder engine, the Porsche is the better driver’s car. It’s cheaper, too. But it’s not as stylish as the Audi and, in 2.7-litre guise, not as fast, either.

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