When the first-generation Audi TT made its debut in 1998 its design was seen as nothing short of revolutionary – with its strictly geometrical lines it struck out in a new stylistic direction that arguably changed the course of modern day car design, and it has gone on to achieve iconic status. For the third TT generation, the Audi designers have returned to many of these ideas and placed them in a new context that is as dynamic as it is diverse.
The front of the new TT is dominated by horizontal lines. The Singleframe grille is much broader and flatter than that of the previous model, with a powerful line dividing it into two zones. Starting in the top corners of the grille, sharp contours run in a V across the bonnet, which bears the four Audi rings – as on the Audi R8 high-performance sports car.** The air intakes feature struts that direct part of the flow away from the front to the flanks.
The flat headlights give the new TT’s face a determined look. Xenon plus units are standard, with LED headlights or units using the pioneering Audi Matrix LED technology first seen in the A8 luxury saloon available as optional extras. In both versions, there is a clearly defined contour created by the separating strip in the headlights, which is illuminated by light guides.
The Matrix LED units each incorporate 12 separate controllable LEDs which form the high beam and can be individually shut off when sensors detect traffic ahead or approaching to ‘divert’ the beam around other road users without diminishing its effectiveness. These innovative units also integrate dynamic indicators that light up sequentially in the direction in which the driver is steering, and predictive cornering lights that use navigation data to move the cone of light into a bend before the steering wheel is turned.
Depending on the version or options chosen, the new TT sits on wheels ranging from 17 inches to 20 inches in size, helping to convey an impression of lean muscularity from the side. At 4.18 metres long, the Coupé is almost exactly the same length as its predecessor, though its wheelbase has grown by 37 mm to 2,505 mm, making for especially short overhangs. It is 1,832 mm wide, and has the same height as the previous model at 1,353 mm.
A lot of the details of the new Audi TT’s profile are reminiscent of the first-generation of the modern classic. The contour of the sills creates a striking refracting edge, while the broad wheel arches form their own geometric bodies. The front wheel arch breaches the line of the bonnet, which continues over the door as a tornado line and runs almost horizontally through to the tail as a strong body shoulder.
The flat glasshouse gives the impression of being an independent unit and the slight kink in the rear side window gives it additional tension. The fuel flap on the right side panel is the classic circle surrounded by socket screws. This shape is again reminiscent of the first-generation TT, although here there is no filler cap beneath the flap. This means that there is nothing to be unscrewed and the pump nozzle slots straight into the tank neck, as in motor racing.
At the rear, horizontal lines give the TT real presence. When the optional LED and Audi Matrix LED headlights are specified, the tail lights also have dynamic indicators. In parallel with the headlights, a strip in each tail light also forms a daytime running light contour – another Audi innovation. The third brake light is an extremely narrow strip positioned under the edge of the rear spoiler. It plays an essential part in defining the tail light silhouette.
All ‘standard’ models have two large round exhaust tailpipes which are again reminiscent of the original TT. Like all Audi S models, the TTS exhales through four oval tailpipes. At Autobahn-legal speeds of in excess of 74mph, a spoiler extends from the boot lid to improve both air resistance and downforce.
As in the outgoing model, S line specification will bring its own exclusive design for the bumpers, air intakes, Singleframe grille, sills and rear diffuser, plus even sharper handling courtesy of larger wheels and the no-cost option of 10 mm lower S line sports suspension.
The interior of the new Audi TT is the embodiment of its pure sports car character. As in the exterior, flowing curves, notably in the centre tunnel console and door panels, are combined with horizontal lines and surfaces that emphasise width.
In the cabin the designers worked on the basis of “less is more”, just as they did externally. Pure, clean lines underscore both the lightness and the uncompromising focus of the car. They are particularly evident in the impressively slender instrument panel, which has been made possible by combining the instrument cluster and MMI screen in a central, digital unit – the so-called Audi virtual cockpit and by repositioning the controls for the air conditioning system in the air vents.
Seen from above, the instrument panel resembles the wing of an aircraft; the round air vents – a classic TT feature – are reminiscent of jet engines with their turbine-like design. The vents also contain all the controls for the air conditioning system, including seat heating where applicable, temperature, direction, air distribution and air flow strength; as an option they can also house small digital displays which show the chosen setting. The horizontal control panel is located under the central air vents. The 3D-designed toggle switches activate the hazard warning lights, control the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system and operate other assistance functions, where specified.
The standard sports seats in the new Audi TT have integrated head restraints and are positioned lower than their predecessors in the outgoing model. They are also more than five kilograms lighter. As an option – and as standard in the TTS – there are newly developed S sport seats with highly contoured and pneumatically adjustable side sections that are exceptionally comfortable and provide excellent support.
The new multifunction steering wheel has a flattened rim, and aluminium-look clasps encompass the spokes. It also has a driver airbag that takes up 40 percent less space without compromising safety, and hence emphasizes the sense of visual lightness.
Countless details demonstrate the considerable emphasis which Audi places on interior design and craftsmanship. They include the newly designed, split gear lever, the very precisely engaging MMI rotary pushbutton and the finely finished loudspeaker covers with light guides in the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system.
As a 2+2 seater, the new Audi TT is a sports car that is suitable for everyday use. The load area has a capacity of 305 litres, which is 13 litres more than before, and can be extended by folding the rear seat backrests forwards.
The new Audi TT offers a far more distinct and vivid range of colours than its predecessor. There are 11 exterior colours, one of which is exclusively reserved for S line models. Seven of the colours in the range are new for the TT, and two of these are completely new for Audi: Nano Grey and Tango Red. There are also two additional paints available for the TTS – crystal-effect Panther Black and the highly expressive Sepang Blue.
There is a completely new range of colours for the interior, too – the Audi TT and the TTS each offer a choice of three interior colours. For the first time, Audi is offering a two-tone interior including contrasting stitching for S line models.
The equipment for the new Audi TTS includes extended interior elements that add individually selectable colour accents to the S sport seats clasps, the sides of the centre console and the rings of the air vents. There are numerous options for customisation, including upholstery in various cloths and leather grades, as well as three leather packages. The S sport seats have characteristic diamond quilting in the centre section.
One special highlight is the exclusive design selection which comprises a combination of two fine leather colours: dark murillo brown on the seats and a slightly metallic shimmering stone-grey pearl on the armrests, knee supports and cowl. Alternating contrasting stitching, dark aluminium, matching paint for the extended interior elements and a special woven floor mat are further features of this elegant upholstery and trim.
For the TTS, the Audi designers have created an innovative technical laser texture for the wings of the instrument panel: It has a honeycomb-patterned, slightly raised surface that gives the Audi TTS a unique feel.
At launch the new TT and TTS will be available with three four-cylinder engines featuring turbocharging and direct injection. Their power outputs range from 184PS to 310PS. The two TFSI petrol engines and the TDI combine plentiful power with trailblazing efficiency, and all feature a start-stop system as standard.
The 2.0 TDI is equipped with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. Helped by a strong torque peak of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft), this new sports car can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 7.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 146mph, yet is also good for up to 67.2mpg according to the combined cycle test, which translates into CO2 emissions of 110 g/km, a new record low level in the sports car world.
The 2.0 TDI features two balancer shafts in the crankcase, adjustable camshafts and a common rail injection system delivering maximum pressure of 2,000 bar. The Audi TT 2.0 TDI meets the Euro 6 standard and, thanks to its high efficiency, is classified as one of the new range of Audi ‘ultra’ models, which also includes A4, A5 and A6 variants.
The 2.0 TFSI is available in two versions – a 230PS version for the TT and a 310PS version for the TTS. In both it unites various ultramodern technologies – the additional indirect injection supplementing the direct injection of the FSI, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) to adjust the valve stroke on the exhaust side and thermal management, which uses a rotary valve module and an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head.
In time-honoured fashion, quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers additional high speed composure and traction in the new Audi TT. Featuring an electro-hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch mounted on the rear axle, the system has been further refined for use in the latest iteration of the sports car.
A newly designed hydraulic pump reduces weight by around 1.5 kg compared with the previous model, and the software that determines the level of torque distribution between the front and rear axles in fractions of a second has been completely redeveloped. The innovative control system continuously senses the ambient conditions, driving status and the driver’s wishes. This means that the ideal distribution of torque is calculated and the TT’s dynamic drive characteristics enhanced in every situation.
By networking quattro drive with Audi drive select, the driver of the new Audi TT can adjust the operating parameters of the all-wheel-drive system to suit his or her individual requirements. In “auto” mode, optimum traction and balanced driving dynamics are given priority. In “dynamic” mode, torque is distributed to the rear axle earlier and to a higher degree.
Efficiency was also given high priority during the optimisation process for the quattro system. In the drive select “efficiency” mode the torque distribution is adjusted to optimize the level of efficiency. The system can precisely determine driving conditions and driver type and can temporarily shut down the quattro system if conditions suit this. In this operating state, the intelligent software carefully monitors the driving situation and reactivates the all-wheel drive before torque is once again required at all four wheels. In this way, quattro drive provides optimum efficiency along with a level of traction and dynamic handling that is typically quattro.
All versions of the new Audi TT Coupé come with a generous range of standard equipment, including the MMI radio and the electromechanical parking brake. Alongside the S sports seat with numerous leather and trim variants, options include the advanced key for effortless unlocking and starting, hill hold assist, high-beam assist, the LED interior lighting package, front seat heating, and the storage and luggage compartment package.
On the infotainment front, customers can choose from a wide range of options. The connectivity package features the touchpad-based MMI touch system. At the top of the modular range is the MMI Navigation plus with its large flash memory, two card readers, DVD drive, Bluetooth interface and voice control system. The Audi connect system complements the MMI Navigation plus perfectly – it connects the new TT to the internet using the fast LTE transmission standard. The integrated Wi-Fi hotspot means passengers can surf the internet and e-mail as they please, while the driver can rely on the customized Audi connect services.
The infotainment package is rounded out by attractive components. The Audi Phone Box conveniently links mobile phones phone to the car. Its centrepiece is a universal planar antenna which is integrated into the storage tray in the centre armrest. Thanks to close-range coupling, the phone communicates with the flat planar antenna, which uses an amplifier to transmit the signals to the car antenna.
The Bang & Olufsen Sound System features a 14-channel amplifier and 12 loudspeakers; the woofers in the doors are illuminated by an adjustable, discrete light conductor.
Highly intelligent assistance systems make driving the new TT an even more pleasurable experience. As an option the car can be equipped with Audi side assist, which uses rear-mounted radar sensors to help drivers change lane more safely; camera-based traffic sign recognition; Audi active lane assist, which helps the driver if required by steadily correcting steering or warning him or her if there is a danger of unintentionally drifting out of lane; the park assist system with display of surroundings, which independently guides the car into suitable spaces; and the Audi pre sense basic safety system.