1 Dec 2006
AN unprecedented success from the moment the 1995 TT concept car was displayed, the original TT, based on the Golf IV platform, set a style and quality standard which has since been much mimicked.
Understandably then, Audi took an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, design path with the second-generation version.
Much of the old TT’s stylistic flourishes have been retained, but the shape is a little more streamlined, with a nose boasting Audi’s ‘frame grille’ radiator design.
Unlike the old car, which gained a rear spoiler after a spate of high-speed crashes in 1999, the TT Mk2 scores a Porsche Boxster-style retractable unit.
Two TT Coupe models arrived initially – a front drive 2.0-litre FSI turbo four-cylinder and 3.2-litre V6 with Haldex part-time all-wheel drive – with the Roadster models launched in June 2007.
Compared to the original, the TT Mk2 features an aluminium space frame body that is stronger and lighter than the old car. The wheelbase, along with the car's size, has grown, freeing up cabin space. And an independent four-link set-up replaces the old TT’s Golf-derived torsion beam rear suspension.
Aluminium accounts for 69 per cent of the body structure while the doors and rear hatch are steel. Consequently, some models are up to 80kg lighter than their Mk1 equivalents.
Inside, some original TT cues have carried over, like the aluminium-look air vent bezels and deep console.
At launch, two transverse engines, a 147kW/280Nm 2.0-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder unit and a 184kW/320Nm 3.2-litre V6, were offered, mated to either a six-speed manual for the former, or a dual-clutch automatic gearbox as standard in the V6 ‘quattro.’THE second-generation TT Roadster released in 2007, has the same impossible task as its hard-topped donor car, the MkII TT coupe launched in 2006: how to emulate the success of one of the world's most lauded vehicle designs in the modern era.
So far it has met with resounding acceptance, thanks to a familiar evolution of the classic Bauhaus design philosophy, improved dynamics and upgraded versions of the same basic drivetrain configurations: a 147kW/280Nm 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that powers only the front wheels, or a 184kW/320Nm 3.2-litre V6 that drives all four wheels.
Both engines are matched to Audi's superb dual-clutch S-tronic automated manual transmission, with the 2.0 TFSI priced at $77,500 and the 3.2 V6 quattro priced at $92,900.
In mid 2009 Audi expanded the TT range with Australia’s first diesel-powered sports car, as part of a model expansion that also saw quattro versions of the popular 2.0 TFSI as well as a base front-wheel drive 1.8 TFSI.
Driving all four wheels via a rear-mounted Haldex multi-plate clutch is a 2.0-litre common-rail direct-injection twin-cam four-cylinder turbo-diesel delivering 125kW of power at 4200rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1750 to 2500rpm. The only gearbox on offer is a six-speed manual transmission.
Meanwhile, the 1.8 TFSI, producing 118kW from 4500 to 6200rpm and 250Nm from 1500 to 4500rpm, drives the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, which is also the only one on offer.
Finally, the TT 2.0 TFSI quattro, with S-tronic, delivers 147kW between 5100 and 6000rpm and 280Nm from 1800 to 5000rpm.
This drivetrain was also fitted to the TT Roadster at the end of 2009.
Audi topped the TT line-up with the RS model in late 2009.
Under the bonnet is a transversely mounted (rather than longitudinally as in the Ur-Quattro) Volkswagen-derived 2480cc 2.5-litre twin-cam 20-valve five-cylinder common-rail direct-injection petrol TFSI engine delivering 250kW of power between 5400 and 6500rpm and 450Nm of torque from 1600 to 5300rpm.
Fuel consumption is rated at 9.2 litres per 100 kilometres – a fine result, crows Audi, for the amount of oomph on offer. The 0-100km/h time is a Porsche Cayman S-slaying 4.6 seconds (versus 4.9s for the Zuffenhausen sports car) while top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.
Like the Quattro, the TT RS sends power to all four wheels via a manual gearbox, but the modern-day sports car’s is a six-speeder unit (from the Volkswagen T5 Transporter range) rather than a five-speed manual transmission.
Another big difference is that the TT RS’s transverse engine application means it cannot employ the Torsen Differential four-wheel drive hardware that helped the Ur-Quattro dominate motorsport and change the way sports cars are configured.
Instead there is a derivation of the Swedish Haldex electronically controlled and hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch system that Audi says still provides permanent four-wheel drive “in milliseconds” if the front wheels begin to slip. Like all TTs, the RS is built off a version of the PQ35 platform that underpins the Mk5/6 Volkswagen Golf and current Audi A3, among a whole host of other Volkswagen Group products.
Audi fits newly developed springs and dampers, and after exhaustive testing at the Nürburgring, has slammed the RS down 10mm compared to regular TTs.
Aussie-bound cars are equipped with Audi’s lauded magnetic ride system that uses synthetic hydrocarbon containing tiny magnetic particles to help stiffen (Sport setting) or soften (in Comfort) the pressures as needed. Audi reckons there is virtually no lateral roll in the former mode.
Brakes are via 370mm front and 312mm rear discs, using a set of aluminium four-piston callipers, and include perforated front friction rings for maximum heat dissipation. Specially recalibrated ESC stability control software results in no engine traction intervention in Sport mode as well as later than usual brake interference.