After weeks of teasers, the third-generation Audi TT has finally come out of its shell. The design-oriented coupe is claimed to hark back to the original TT, whose looks caused a stir when it was launched in 1998.
Measuring 4,180 mm long, the new TT is ever so slightly longer than the previous model (just 2 mm), although the wheelbase has grown by 37 mm to 2,505 mm, granting shorter overhangs. It is also a little narrower at 1,837 mm but is the same height at 1,353 mm (the sportier TTS is 10 mm lower).
The exterior design is an evolution of the current car, but with Audi’s new family face first seen on the Audi Sport Quattro concept. The now-familiar hexagonal grille is broad and flat and is flanked by rectangular headlights, which can be specified with either LED or Matrix LED technology. The Matrix LED headlights in particular feature a world first: dynamic turn signals that swivel according to where the driver is steering.
The TTS gets larger front air intakes, a pronounced kink in the side sills and typical S model details like silver side mirrors and a more aggressive rear diffuser design featuring quad tailpipes.
Inside, much of the design has been streamlined thanks to the removal of the central MMI display; instead, a 12.3-inch TFT LCD display behind the steering wheel called the Audi virtual cockpit relays all the information straight to the driver. The low, flat dashboard houses circular air vents – another classic TT touch – that incorporate the controls for the air-conditioning system.
The steering wheel is now flat-bottomed, and the front seats with integrated headrests are now lower and lighter than before. Sport seats with beefier, pneumatically-adjustable side bolstering is available as an option, but the TTS get these as standard.
Like its predecessor, the new Audi TT features a steel/aluminium hybrid space frame construction, but is further optimised to reduce yet more weight. The 2.0 TFSI variant now sits at just 1,230 kg, 50 kg lighter than the previous model. Suspension is McPherson struts at the front and multi links at the rear, and the new car keeps the optional adaptive magnetic dampers of its predecessor.
At launch, the new TT will be available with three four-cylinder engines, all of them turbocharged and direct-injected. The sole diesel option is a 2.0 litre TDI, available only with front-wheel drive, producing 184 hp and 380 Nm. Moving up the range, the 2.0 litre TFSI engine is available in two tunes. The base engine makes 230 hp and 370 Nm and comes in both front- and four-wheel drive flavours.
At the top of the food chain (at least until the inevitable TT RS arrives) is the four-wheel drive TTS, which uses the same engine but tuned to produce 310 hp and 380 Nm. 0-100 km/h takes 4.7 seconds and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h. A six-speed manual is standard across the range, with a six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission available as an option on the petrol-powered variants.
Live pix by Stefan Baldauf / Robert Kah