In-depth reviews

Audi TT review - Engines, performance and drive

Punchy petrol models offer strong ability, especially with quattro four-wheel drive

The Audi TT has always been a coupe that’s blended driving enjoyment with everyday usability and ease of driving. The latest car is lighter, faster and more efficient than ever. In short, it's the first TT that feels like a proper sports car. Based on VW Group’s MQB platform, the latest TT uses a short wheelbase version of these adaptable underpinnings, yet compared to the Mk2 TT, there’s still an extra 37mm between the axles, which helps handling and ride comfort.

With steel used low down in the chassis and aluminium extensively featuring in the body construction, Audi’s Space Frame technology has been refined to ensure the 2.0-litre TFSI is 50kg lighter than its predecessor – and it feels it.

As a result the driving experience is sharper and more engaging than TTs of old. The 2.0-litre TFSI engine is punchy and smooth, delivering enough performance for the front-wheel drive 194bhp 40 TFSI model to hit 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. Opt for the 242bhp 45 TFSI and this drops to 5.9 seconds for the (now discontinued) manual, with the S tronic a tenth quicker. Adding quattro four-wheel drive reduces this further, to just 5.2 seconds.

We tested the TT 45 TFSI quattro in S Line trim, which boasts impressive off-the-line performance thanks to its standard four-wheel drive system. This makes light work of putting the engine’s 242bhp and 370Nm of torque to the ground and gives the TT great reserves of grip and traction. The engine has loads of mid-range punch in this guise, but feels a little breathless at the upper reaches of the rev range.

In this configuration, the TT is very easy to drive quickly, though it’s not particularly entertaining. The suspension feels slightly firm on UK roads, but the car still flows nicely down a B-road. Steering is sharp but too light, with very little feedback offered through the wheel. All models are fitted with Audi’s progressive steering system, which has a rack that becomes more direct as the wheel is turned.

Audi’s Drive Select system is also standard across the range, and for the first time it adjusts the all-wheel-drive on quattro models to give a sportier set-up in Dynamic Mode. It also modifies the throttle response, steering weighting and air-conditioning load, plus the shift speeds on S tronic automatic cars, while petrol versions get a racier exhaust note in Dynamic mode.

As with other Audi models, the Drive Select gives owners a choice of Comfort, Dynamic, Efficiency and Auto modes, plus you can set up your favourite mix of modes in the Individual setting.

All Sport versions come with 18-inch wheels, while the S line upgrades to 19-inch alloys. Firmer sport suspension is standard, so although the 20-inch wheels found on Black Edition and Vorsprung variants look great, they do make the ride more unsettled on bad surfaces, and increase road noise in the otherwise refined cabin.

Generally, ride quality is better than in the Mk2 TT, particularly on the smaller wheels, and Audi again offers its Magnetic Ride dampers as an option. On the plus side, wind and road noise are well isolated from the cabin, and across the range the TT strikes an even better balance between sports car fun and coupe comfort.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The TFSI petrol engines are punchy and smooth, and the 40 TFSI – which comes only with front-wheel drive and S tronic transmission – delivers 194bhp and 320Nm of torque. That allows it to cover 0-62mph in just 6.6 seconds.

The 45 TFSI makes 242bhp and 370Nm, which cuts the 0-62mph time to 5.8 seconds in the automatic front-wheel-drive version. But, if you add quattro four-wheel drive to the S tronic twin-clutch box, it promises to complete the sprint in 5.2 seconds. 

Sitting at the top-of-the-range, the 394bhp TT RS model is capable of a 3.7-second 0-62mph time and a 155mph maximum.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    40 TFSI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,190

Most Economical

  • Name
    40 TFSI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,190

Fastest

  • Name
    50 TFSI 320 Quattro TTS 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £46,615

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