- Published: Monday, 22 September 2014 06:29
Marbella, Spain –
iPhones and cars? Are you delusional?
Consider that smartphones and automobiles are two of the most important consumer products in modern life and it’s not so weird. In both worlds you have huge audiences, dedicated and sometimes opposing fan-bases, a constantly improving product cycle and high visibility. Or at least the impression of one.
Go on, we’re listening…
Audi itself says the key criteria for TT buyers is: tech-savviness, an interest in design and youth (or its appearance). Sound familiar? Like the iPhone, Audi’s tried to keep the core appeal of the product the same – a practical sports car with strong design image – while refining and updating it. A bit like Mazda's MX-5 then, but more German.
Does that mean the new TT is huge?
Thankfully, no. The car’s no bigger than before, but has a larger wheelbase for more space and stability. Everything else follows the iPhone 6 trend with a more sharply realised and executed design. From afar it looks the same, but get hands on with the car and you’ll see lots of details (like the super defined bonnet creases and new lights) that make the car a lot more modern than before. It's quite literally sharper looking too, since a lot of the rounded surfaces are now replaced with straighter edges.
What else is different?
Everything, really. Like an Apple product, the TT makes use of lots of aluminium. As was the case with previous TTs, it has a hybrid Audi Space Frame based on VW’s mainstream platform (in this case MQB) but with significant use aluminium in the frame and the entire body. The familiar 1,984cc turbo engine sees duty in the TT once again, but with everything but the basic block heavily updated for more power, efficiency and less weight.
Oh that’s good…
And it shows too, with the taut suspension and stronger engine, the lack of mass (the car’s up to 50kg lighter, depending on spec) is palpable in the way the TT accelerates and corners actively, almost rabidly. In our short first drive of the car we couldn't find much to complain about, although the ride quality seems very stiff and could be a problem on bumpier tracts. But that aside, it helps that the OS is radically different too.
Uh…a car has an OS?
What made the iPhone great was its integration of stuff into an easy to use device. Cars are also things that let you do stuff – go from A to B, haul things, have fun driving. Audi’s newest Multimedia Interface (MMI) system aims to help you do that more easily. There’s no longer a central display, but the driver gets complete control with a 12.3-inch, 1,440 x 540 pixel active instrument screen, powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor (as found in a Nexus 7 tablet). There’s still an MMI rotary controller, but now you also have complete control of all the functions with a steering wheel remote.
It sounds complex…
It’s actually quite simple to get to grips with and with the razor-sharp, lag-free graphics, very easy on the eye. Check out our video to get an idea. With the elevated ability, performance and looks, the new TT has enough to be qualified as good. But with its snazzy new driver interface – and a beautifully made interior - it's quite a smart-looking, and smart drvigin coupe.
Audi TT 2.0
Engine 1,984cc, 16V, inline 4, turbocharged
Power 230bhp at 4500-6200rpm
Torque 370Nm at 1600-4300rpm
Gearbox 6-speed dual-clutch
Top Speed 250km/h
0-100kmh 5.9 seconds
Fuel efficiency 6.3L/100km
Price $TBA (2015)
Check out CarBuyer 227 out on newsstands in mid-October for a full run-down of the new Audi TT on what’s new, improved and wholly different on the coupe. Also don’t miss our drive of the 340bhp TTS model both on road and on track at Ascari Circuit!