Striking new generation TT
Audi has adopted a less retro look for the second generation version of its TT Coupe sports car.The new car – due here around Christmas – is bigger than the the original TT which was launched in 1998.
The new car retains a purposeful look – Audi terms it a car with “a bullish stance (that) embodies the style, stability and power of a pure driving machine.” The design team adapted and enhanced the motif of circles and domes of the original car. The new TT appears more stretched, with taut panel lines intended to emphasise the impression of dynamic movement. The new TT is 137mm longer than its predecessor at 4178mm, and 78mm wider at 1842mm. The aluminium and steel body is constructed using the ASF Space Frame design developed by Audi. This is the first time that ASF has combined different materials alongside each other: 69 percent of the superstructure is aluminium. The steel components making up the remaining 31 percent are to be found at the rear end, so as to ensure balanced distribution of the axle loads. To improve downforce, a spoiler is extended from the tailgate when the vehicle reaches a speed of 120km/h.
The new Audi TT, like its predecessor, is initially available as a two-plus-two-seater coupe; a roadster model will be launched later. The basic luggage capacity of the easily accessible boot, under its large-format lid, is 290 litres. That can be increased to 700 litres by folding down the rear seat backs. The sports seats have been designed to provide outstanding side restraint. There is a choice of three different leathers for the upholstery. The cockpit is oriented to the driver. It embodies the classic circles motif of the TT in several ways, such as in the three centre air vents.
Two powerful petrol engines are available to power the car. The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder TFSI unit featuring FSI direct injection develops 147kW. With a six-speed manual gearbox, it accelerates the TT to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds, and on to a top speed of 240km/h. The naturally aspirated 3.2-litre V6 engine develops 184kW, and will take the car from 0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds and on to an electronically-governed top speed of 250km/h.
Both engines are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. An S tronic dual-clutch gearbox is optional. The four-cylinder engine comes with front-wheel drive, but the V6 has a quattro permanent four-wheel drive system.
The Audi dynamic suspension was newly developed and tuned for the TT Coupe. One of its hallmarks is its self-steering behaviour right up to the handling limits, which ranges from neutral to light understeer. Audi says this “sporty orientation produces driving fun, agility and supreme handling characteristics”.
The car has a new-design multi-link rear suspension. The high-tech Audi magnetic ride damper system is available as an option. In this system, tiny magnetic particles circulate in the oil inside the shock absorbers. When a voltage is applied to them, they alter the damping characteristics within milliseconds. This adaptive system simultaneously ensures high levels of ride comfort and thoroughly sporty dynamism, according to the specific driving scenario and the preferences of the driver.
Standard features of the new Audi TT include an automatic air conditioning system and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel. The air vents, steering wheel spokes and many of the controls are finished in an aluminium look.
Options include the adaptive light dynamic cornering light system and the Audi parking system which aids parking. The new TT marks the premiere of a new generation of audio systems. It is characterised by state-of-the-art reception and playback technology and intuitive user control. Six so-called softkeys control a variety of functions depending on which menu is selected. The chorus radio system with single CD drive comes as standard. A Bluetooth interface is available for mobile phones. The telephone function can be operated via the MMI, the multifunction steering wheel and by speech control.
Specification and equipment listed above are for European market TTs: NZ versions of the cars may differ from the Euro spec.