Audi cleans up with hi-tech and ‘virtual’ TT
It might be hard to believe that the current generation Audi TT was launched way back in 2006. So, at eight years old, Audi has decided that now is the time to launch a new MkIII.
From launch, just two engines will be offered: one petrol and one diesel. The petrol engine is a 230bhp 2.0-litre TFSI whilst the diesel is a 184bhp 2.0-litre unit.
The power from both engines is transmitted to the front wheels, but on the petrol model, Audi’s famous Quattro all-wheel drive is also available. The Quattro model can only be bought with a DSG S-Tronic automated gearbox whilst the two-wheel drive cars can only be had with a 6-speed manual. We can’t help feeling that failing to include the DSG on the diesel is a mistake by Audi since this is likely to be the biggest-seller.
Mechanicals aside, would-be customers also have a choice of just two trim levels: Sport and S-Line. Every model comes with a 12.3-inch display that dominates the interior. This creates a ‘virtual cockpit’ that has attracted a lot of attention since it seems to ape a Lamborghini Huracan’s. Audi’s MMI (Multi-Media Interface) Touch offers finger-tip data entry, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, adaptive dampers and keyless go. ‘Even more potential … can be unlocked’, according to Audi, through a Technology Pack which utilises a hard disc-based navigation system and access to Audi’s connect internet services. The company’s ‘drive select’ together with progressive steering is also standard on every MkIII TT too. The ESC is able to be disabled partially or completely and allows the front-wheel drive model to improve its traction out of bends.
The entry-level Sport trim starts at £29,770 for the diesel ultra with a manual transmission. The FWD Sport with a petrol engine and manual transmission costs £29,860 whilst a Quattro DSG Sport will cost from £32,785. Standard equipment includes Alcantara-trimmed sports seats and air conditioning. Externally, it gets 18-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension and LED daytime running lights.
The premium for an S-Line trimmed car over a Sport trimmed one is £2,550. The extra cash brings you larger 19-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights and tail lights and a 10mm drop in ride to go with the body kit. The S-Line trim also entitles you to Daytona Grey paint scheme. Whilst the firmer S-Line suspension is available as a no-cost option, we would suggest that it is a box that is left unticked since Audi themselves concede that it is aimed at ‘particularly committed drivers’. The S-Line diesel FWD manual costs £32,320 whilst the petrol will set you back £32,410. A range-topping Quattro S-Line DSG 4WD will cost from £35,335.
The lightest model in the range is the 2.0 TFSI Sport manual, which weighs 1,230kg. That’s 50kg lighter than a similarly equipped outgoing car. It will help you to 62mph from a standing start in 6.0 seconds flat before going on to top out at 155mph. It will return 47.9mpg and emit 137g/km CO2. If it is outright efficiency you are after, then the diesel is the one to go for. It is still capable of accelerating to 62mph in a very respectable 7.1 seconds before going on to reach its maximum of 150mph, but in the process will be capable of return 67.3mpg whilst emitting 110g/km of CO2. Top speed is unchanged at 155mph. A dual-clutch Quattro is the fastest, achieving the 62mph sprint in 5.3 seconds. However, the four-wheel drive system takes its toll on efficiency, since it returns 44.1mpg whilst emitting 149g/km of CO2 with the same 155mph top speed.
The initial models outlined above will be available to order with immediate effect and deliveries are expected to start in December.
Beyond that, the Ingolstadt company will release its 306bhp TT S in October which will arrive on British shores in March.