Audi TTS vs Mercedes SLK
Audi’s new TTS promises even more wind-in-the-hair thrills. But is it a better buy than the ultra-desirable Mercedes SLK?
Style, desirability, performance – the Audi TT has earned its status as a cut-price supercar by sticking to a classic recipe for success. But what would happen if the balance was tipped further in favour of pace rather than posing?
With its improved handling, the second-generation model can now match the sharpest sports cars. And to show how good the TT is – as well as prove once and for all it can compete with the most dynamic rivals – Audi has launched a new flagship S variant.
The TTS comes in coupé and Roadster bodystyles, and has reworked suspension and meaner looks. Audi’s 2.0-litre turbo engine also gets a power boost, to 268bhp – so this should be the most exciting TT yet.
What’s more, the three-pointed star model recently benefited from a makeover that incorporated around 650 new components. So it’s this car we put up against the TTS. Which of these high-quality German roadsters offers the better blend of value, performance and driver enjoyment?
On paper these two cars look evenly matched. But take a test drive, and you will see they are chalk and cheese. The latest SLK gets updated styling and improved cabin materials – and although the changes seem minor, it remains a well designed and relaxed cruiser. The folding metal roof is a great selling point as well.
The trouble is, even though the Merc engine is smooth and refined, the optional 7G-TRONIC auto box will frustrate keen drivers. On a twisty road, the SLK isn’t as involving as its rival.
Not only is the TTS more exciting, it’s also very desirable – and so it takes a comfortable victory. With the R8, Audi has proved that it can build drivers’ cars to rival the best in the business. And its mainstream models are now just as capable – if not more so – than many class competitors. The TTS’s feelgood factor moves the stylish roadster to the next level.
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingAudi’s new TTS promises even more wind-in-the-hair thrills. But is it a better buy than the ultra-desirable Mercedes SLK?
- 21st Audi TTS RoadsterWith extra power and uprated styling, drop-top looks tempting
- 32nd Mercedes SLK 280 autoMetal-top roadster scores on refinement. But is it driver’s choice?
- 4Facts and figures