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Car reviews - Audi - TT - S Coupe and Roadster range

Launch Story

Audi logo4 Aug 2008

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

AUDI has given its stylish TT sports car a harder edge with the potent new TTS Coupe and Roadster models, which pack a 200kW turbocharged engine and a raft of other upgrades.

At $92,900 for the coupe and $97,100 for the roadster, the hot new models sit at the top of the TT range, carrying a $7100 premium over the 3.2 V6 TT models.

While several other models have been given the S treatment, this is the first time the TT has been released with a tuned S variant.

The most important part of the TT upgrade has taken place under the bonnet.

Audi has installed the high-performance version of its 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injection FSI engine with generates 200kW of power and 350Nm of torque from 2500rpm all the way through to 5000rpm.

This is enough to send the TTS Coupe to 100km/h in just 5.2 seconds, with the TTS Roadster taking an extra 0.2 seconds to complete the sprint.

The engine is similar to the base 2.0 turbo TT engines, which produce 147kW, but has been given an extensive overhaul to lift its performance.

These changes include a hot camshaft, reinforced block, new piston pins, revised rods and rings, special injectors, a re-worked turbo, an all-alloy intercooler and a new cylinder-head made from silicon alloy.

Getting that power down to the road would have been a problem if the TTS fed the torque through the front wheels like the entry-level TT models, but the performance versions are fitted with Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

It uses an electronically-controlled and hydraulically-actuated multi-plate clutch located in front of the rear differential to manage the front/rear power distribution.

When cruising, the quattro system will feed all the torque to the front wheels, but can shoot almost all of it to the rear wheels if required.

The system has been upgraded with a five-piston pump that generates enough oil pressure to allow the system's clutches to send a greater amount of power to the rear wheels faster.

The TTS models weigh around 140kg more than the standard models, but the coupe weight still comes in at 1395kg and the convertible tips the scales at 1455kg.

This relatively low weight can be attributed to extensive use of aluminium.

For this generation TT, Audi came up with a body that is mostly aluminium at the front and steel at the rear. All up the body is 69 per cent aluminium and 39 per cent steel.

The placement of lightweight material at the front of the car enabled Audi to give the TT an optimum front/rear weight distribution.

The TTS models come standard with a six-speed manual, while the dual-clutch S tronic automatic transmission is a $3600 option.

The fuel consumption of the TTS models comes in at eight litres per 100km for the manual Coupe (7.9L/100km for the auto) and 8.2L/100km for the manual Roadster (8.0L/100km for the auto).

They come standard with Audi's magnetic ride adaptive damping system, which is familiar to many HSV customers.

This system runs electric charges though its damper fluid which contains magnetic particles. This alters the flow rate of the fluid and therefore changes the damping characteristics. Drivers can choose from Normal or Sport damping modes.

TTS models run high-performance brakes with ventilated discs measuring 340mm at the front and solid 310mm discs at the rear. The brake callipers have not been altered and maintain a single-piston set-up at both the front and the rear.

The electronic stability control system has been modified to allow for sportier driving. If you press and hold the ESC button, it allows for "controlled sideslip angles" but remains in the background and will intervene if things go pear shaped.

Pressing the ESC button at low speeds allows for slightly increased wheel-spin which could be useful such as driving on snow chains.

TTS models gain 18-inch alloy wheels as standard as well as new-look bi-Xenon headlights, which include LED daytime running lights.

You can pick the TTS from a distance thanks to the quad exhaust pipes in the custom rear bumper. There is also a unique rear diffuser, a different front bumper and alumimium wing mirrors with LED indicators.

The TTS models also have a hunkered-down look, thanks to special suspension that sits 10mm lower than the standard car.

All TT models feature a rear spoiler that automatically pops up at 120km/h, but owners of the TTS cars can press a button and have the wing pop up at any speed.

There is custom seat trim for the interior, including standard black seats or black seats that can be ordered with orange, red or silver inserts.

TTS models also come with a lap timer as standard, which can be operated by pressing a button on the end of the indicator stalk.

As is the case with all TT models, the TTS comes with a full suite of safety gear including front side and head airbags, electronic stability control, traction control and anti-skid brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

Standard TTS equipment not previously mentioned includes rear parking sensors, metallic paint, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-vision mirror, climate-control air-conditioning, cruise control, CD sound with auxilliary input and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The TTS Roadster, a two-seater with an automatic fabric roof, also comes standard with a wind diffuser.

The TTS Coupe, which has a two-plus-two seating arrangement, also features split/folding rear seats.

Audi expects to easily sell its allocation of 125 TTS examples for the remainder of this year and then aims to sell 200 or more a year.

Of these cars, Audi expects 75 per cent of customers to take up the S tronic automatic option.

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