Tested: Audi TTS Coupe is a barrel of fun
Johannesburg - It's a pity that the world is turning its back on nippy little sports cars in favour of SUVs, crossovers and non offensive transport.
It means that a lot of the pleasure of driving is going to be lost so when the time inevitably comes that everything's electric and autonomous driving turns what we grew up with as being fun, into fuddy-duddy drive by instruction, I hope that the quickest thing I'm allowed to be in charge of is my zimmer frame.
One such little barrel of fun is Audi's TT and especially in the form of the TTS Coupé TFSI quattro S tronic which we got to drive a week or so before Covid-19 shut the shop.
When the TT was first revealed back in 1998 it copped a lot of flack for being a bit of a, well, in this PC world of today probably unprintable because the woke may be offended.
Not so much this third generation. It stands low and squat with curves in all the right places, bold bumpers, three dimensional single frame radiator grille and large side air inlets adding to its overall width finished off with 19 inch black alloys.
Under the hood is Audi's delightful 2.0 litre turbo-charged petrol unit pushing out 228kW and 400Nm of torque that drives all four wheels via the quattro all-wheel-drive system.
It's all connected to a a six speed S tronic gearbox that will see it get to 100km/h in just under five seconds and level out at 250km/h.
That's a whole lot of fun in a compact car with a cockpit that's focused very much on the driver with a display mode that shows the digital rev counter and the speed inside for those times when you're having fun switching between gears with the paddles in its go-fast setting, concerned only about the red line and the delightful noise coming from the tail pipes.
And you want to be gripping the flat bottomed steering wheel on a road with as many twists and turns as possible.
With its adaptive suspension the TT revels in its natural habitat. There's much to be said about sporty SUVs but few things beat the thrill of a low-slung car designed to screech through the corners pushing the boundaries of grip and speed.
It's comfortable too, with very little wind or road noise even at speed and seats with adjustable lumbar support fitting snugly while you're either pushing the envelope or taking a leisurely cruise for a weekend getaway.
You'll have to pack carefully though because at 305 litres of boot space it's not really blessed with an abundance of room for holiday luggage. Oh, and a standard sized coolbox is too high so there's one item on the list you'll have to measure before purchasing.
You can though fold the back seats down in a 50;50 split to provide more room. Talking of which, it's very much a 2+2 car as we found out with a strapping 16 year old mumbling not so softly about the lack of head and legroom in the back.
The car we had on test had a rather eye-watering extras list of R108 500 including, lane assist, matrix LED headlights, Audi side assist, B&O sound system and park assist to name a few that pushed the price to R890 439. Not cheap in any language.
However there are people who would pay that kind of motoring money and word is that Audi will pull the plug on the TT in the not too distant future, so if you're able go get yourself one before the spoilers cut off our dose of smoking rubber and petrol, do so.