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Paris show: Audi's drop-top TT uncovered

Raise the roof: Audi's TT Roadster will be available with a turbo-diesel engine as well as a turbo-petrol in two states of tune.

Audi TT Roadster detailed ahead of Paris show and mid-2015 showroom arrival

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Audi logo24 Sep 2014

AUDI has ripped the sheets off its faster and more fuel-efficient third-generation TT Roadster ahead of its Paris motor show debut next week.

Set to roll into local Audi dealerships from the middle of next year, the drop-top TT debut follows the unveiling of the coupe at the Geneva motor show in March, becoming the latest addition to a wider TT plan that is expected to include a crossover in the not-too-distant future.

The Roadster continues the evolutionary styling theme set by the new-gen coupe, incorporating Audi's new sharper front-end design with more angular slim-line headlights while maintaining the bulging wheel arches and rounded body of the earlier generations of the TT rag-top.

In the press images, the TT appears more compact than the current cabrio, and official dimensions confirm that it is indeed 21mm shorter (4177mm), 10mm narrower (1832mm) and 3mm lower (1355mm) than the model it replaces, while riding on a 37mm longer wheelbase (2505mm) for increased cabin space. Weight is up 5kg to 1320kg.

Audi will offer two powertrains, including a Euro 6-compliant turbo-diesel “ultra” that pumps out 135kW/380Nm and drinks 4.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the European combined cycle A 2.0-litre TFSI turbo-petrol four-cylinder unit will be available in Europe in two states of tune, kicking off with the 169kW/370Nm unit for the standard TT. That model sips 6.1L/100km in six-speed manual guise or 6.7-6.8L when matched with Audi's S-tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The more potent TT S ramps up the output to 228kW/380Nm, pushing the roofless sportscar from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds before reaching its electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

Those figures eclipse the current-gen TT S Roadster that reaches 100km/h in 5.4 seconds.

One of the Audi TT's closest rivals, the 250kW/450Nm BMW Z4 sDrive35i, does the sprint in 5.4 seconds.

The TT S is also quicker to 100km/h than the 225kW/370Nm V6-powered Mercedes-Benz SLK350 roadster that reaches 100km/h in 5.6 seconds.

Audi says the fabric roof, which is available in black, titanium grey and 'jive' colours, is 3kg lighter than the lid of the outgoing model, impacting overall weight and the vehicle's centre of gravity.

The roof can be dropped and raised in 10 seconds at up to 50km/h, and it is stowed in an aluminium tray that the company says does not impinge on the 280-litre luggage compartment. That boot space might be less than the BMW Z4's 310 litres with the roof up, but once lowered, the Z4's capacity drops to 180 litres.

Audi also says the standard acoustic roof, which features a thick fleece layer on the headliner for added comfort, has cut noise level in the cabin by 6dB over the outgoing model.

The new TT Roadster will feature similar or identical specification to its coupe twin, which includes Audi's Drive Select modes, the option of the quattro all-wheel drive system, 17-inch wheels on lower grade variants and 18-inch hoops on the TT S.

Driver assistance systems such as lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and park assist will also be available as options on some variants.

Local deliveries of the TT Roadster will start mid next year, while the TT S will arrive a little later. Pricing and specifications will be confirmed by Audi Australia closer to launch, but some reports are suggesting that the roadster will command a $5000 premium over the expected price of the coupe.

The existing TT Roadster retails from $72,800, excluding on-road costs for the 1.8 TFSI and tops out at $139,900 for the hardcore TT RS Plus.

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All future models

TT pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.