Audi TT Ultra diesel review
We’re impressed by stylish Audi TT diesel in this new Ultra model
The new Audi TT diesel (Ultra) model is a very worthy addition to the TT line-up. Emissions of just 110g/km mean a £20 tax disc and an 18 per cent Benefit in Kind rating for company drivers. Factor in the stunning cabin, sharp handling and smart looks and it’s hard to ignore this stylish and efficient diesel coupé – especially as the 2.0-litre TDI is punchy and refined.
The new Audi TT is cleaner and more fuel efficient than ever, and now the diesel model wears the Ultra badge that Audi applies to its most efficient models. Combining near 70mpg claimed economy with CO2 emissions of only 110g/km, the 2.0-litre TDI Ultra promises to deliver an attractive blend of style, driver appeal and low running costs. Even better, while the car in our pictures is an S line, the £29,770 Sport car we drove is the cheapest TT you can buy.
It’s every bit as stylish as petrol models, too. In fact, subtle Ultra badges are the only giveaway to this sports car’s unconventional powertrain. In common with iconic models like the Porsche 911 and MINI, the TT’s unique shape has evolved subtly over time. Some people may want a more radical update to the exterior, but anyone left disappointed by the conservative evolutionary changes will be blown away by the interior. Without question, it’s the most beautifully designed and superbly executed cabin in this class.
Focused around Audi’s superb Virtual Cockpit system. This 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD driver display replaces both the conventional dials and centre stack screen, allowing for a sleek and minimalist dash design. The crystal clear screen places all information in front of the driver and can be switched between Classic View – with prominent speedo and rev counter or Infotainment View, which brings functions like the optional navigation map to the fore. Handily, everything can be controlled using both the touch sensitive MMI controller or the multifunction wheel.
Circular air vents which feature integrated control functions and displays for the air conditioning are another highlight. The central trio house the temperature, airflow and fan speed control, while the outer pair by the doors have the control for the optional heated seats. On top of that, the driving position is excellent, while first-rate materials and quality switchgear ensure the TT’s cabin makes you feel special every time you get behind the wheel.
Fortunately, the 2.0-litre TDI engine doesn’t upset this sense of being in an upmarket and sporty coupe. Diesel rattle is isolated from the cabin at start up, while on the move, the common-rail engine is punchy and smooth.
With 380Nm of torque available from just 1,750rpm, there’s plenty of low-down urge, which translates into a real sense of effortless performance. Audi’s new Progressive steering delivers a sharp turn-in, while excellent body control and good traction mean the front-wheel-drive Ultra handles with the same composure as petrol models.
And it’s only when you really start to push-on that you might notice the extra weight of the diesel engine in the nose.
As with other models in the range, the standard Drive Select system allows you to sharpen throttle response in the Dynamic mode, while the Efficiency setting is a good fit for the fuel-sipping Ultra. Start-stop is standard across the range and it works smoothly alongside the six-speed manual gearbox.
Sport models come with 18-inch wheels and they deliver the best ride quality in a new TT. In this set-up the suspension is compliant for a sporty coupé and ride comfort is improved compared to the outgoing model.
Step up to S line trim, and even if you take the no-cost option of foregoing the 10mm lower S line suspension, the bigger 19-inch alloys add a firmer edge to ride. Still, that isn’t enough to take the shine off a stylish, great to drive and beautifully built car. It’s made all the more attractive by low-running costs and cheap tax bills, too, both of which go some way to compensating for the near-£30,000 price tag.