By: IOL Motoring Staff
Geneva Motor Show - After starting life as a head-turner of note in 1998 then evolving into a somewhat conservative form last decade, Audi's TT now enters its third generation.
While its elegantly geometric lines make it instantly recognisable as a TT, its lines are more muscular, particularly at the front end where it recalls some of Audi's recent concept cars with its flatter headlights and broader grille lending it a more predatory look. Xenon plus headlights are standard and Audi's snazzy new Matrix LED lights have made it onto the options list.
Despite being roughly the same length as its predecessor, Audi has shaved about 50kg off the new TT by taking the Audi Space Frame body (featuring a combo of aluminium steel) a step further. As a result the lightest version of the TT weighs just 1230kg.
This bodes well for performance, but of course Audi has also aided this cause with a relatively potent range of 2-litre engines. The most enticing engine can be found under the bonnet of the new TTS. Pushing 228kW and 380Nm, and available with manual or S tronic gearboxes, the flagship TTS sprints from 0-100km/h in a claimed 4.7 seconds. Of course quattro all-wheel drive is standard on the TTS and in this case it's a heavily revised version capable of temporarily deactivating to reduce fuel consumption.
Audi will also offer a tamer 2.0 TFSI, which pushes 169kW and 370Nm. In front-wheel drive manual form it hits 100km/h in 6.0 seconds and when mated to S tronic and quattro all-wheel drive, it'll get there in 5.3s.
Diesel-heads haven't been neglected, with Audi offering a 135kW/380Nm front-driven, six-speed manual 2.0 TDI that runs to 100 in 7.2s and sips a claimed 4.2 litres per 100km.
An improved Audi 'magnetic ride' adaptive damper control system is standard on the TTS and optional on other models. The system lets the driver choose between three modes: 'Auto', 'Comfort' and 'Dynamic'.
A particular interesting feature inside the new TT is what Audi calls its “virtual cockpit.” Here a large screen inside the instrument cluster replaces the traditional instruments and the MMI interface. This, and the positioning the aircon controls in the air vents, helped create an uncluttered dashboard that was ultimately designed to resemble the wing of an aircraft. Buyers can choose between three interior colour schemes.
As before, the TT is classified as a 2+2 seater and the new one does offer a tad more luggage space, with capacity rising by 13 litres to 305 litres.
South Africans can look forward to seeing the new TT in local showrooms during the fourth quarter of this year.