Singapore – We’ve driven the new Audi TT at its international debut in Spain, the go-faster TT S model on track in Ascari and also the TT Roadster as well. But how does the expected mainstay of the range, the normal 2.0 TT, fare in Singapore?
It still looks good: Car design has gone the opposite way of smartphone design, which is good since you wouldn’t really want to put something angular and sharp, like the new TT is, in your pocket near your soft bits.
Under that bonnet is the latest 2.0-litre engine – it now incorporates dual injection (both direct and indirect, a recent tech trend for better performance) and valve lift on the exhaust cams. With 230bhp and 370Nm of torque, it has a uniquely hollow rort that’s just about exciting in a small-capacity, modern turbo engine.
Even better, with the TT weighing only 1,410kg with a driver, the engine doesn’t have much work to do and the whole car feels it. There’s a sense of lightness and lack of inertia that few cars, even other sports cars, have and as we noted in our international test drive of the TT, this means you’re going faster everywhere and have to watch the speedo carefully.
Its lack of mass allows you to drive with speed and precision easily, when you wish, and also to be efficient and saintly when the mood strikes. It’s decently quiet for a small sports car and the ride is on the sporty and stiff side of things but not jittery or unsettled.
So as a small 2+2 it’s a brilliant drive, and you won’t feel the need for extra power or handling farkles to keep you happy. But speaking of ‘hands on the wheel’, that’s part of what makes the new TT stand out.
A generous equipment load means the price of around $250k isn’t unreasonable – there’s navigation, sport seats, keyless entry and start, the wonderfully trick Matrix LEDs and so on.
It also debuts Audi’s latest Multimedia Interface (MMI) system which is entirely, selfishly, directed towards the driver – as is the rest of the cabin. A sharp 12.3-inch 1440×540 pixel active display replaces the instrument cluster. The MMI rotary controller is retained, but now you can also have full control via a rotary switch on the steering wheel. Sounds complex, but you’ll get used to it since there’s an actual logic to the whole thing – check out our video for a better idea.
It’s something we think the heart of the new TT experience lies at. Audi started something new and unique with the first TT, and this continues the experience. The new third-gen car is a bit like having an OS update, except it’s on a car not a phone. More importantly, it’s not just cleverness for the mere sake of it, but with real, tangible usefulness behind the slick presentation.
Audi TT 2.0 quattro
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 5.3 seconds
Fuel efficiency 6.4L/100km
Price $260,600 with COE.