David Khoo doesn’t feel like a big softie driving the new Audi TT Roadster in sunny Mallorca
Is this a girlie version of the new TT then?
Well, not quite, since the emasculating slurs that come from those who fancy themselves as ‘enthusiasts’ often arise from ignorance, rather than real knowledge. Unlike its two other rivals, the Z4 and SLK with their retractable hard-tops, the TT boasts the soft silhouette of a soft-top, like the two generations before that. This saves weight (roof is 39kg) for better dynamics, frees up cargo space (280litres), and helps with the rear-design, which tends to get fudged-up in cars with a retractable hard-top.
The roof will operate at vehicle speeds of up to 50km/h and takes just 10 seconds to deploy either way. Although it draws some inspiration from the original, the new model looks grittier and ready-to-rumble, especially with its muscular sculpting and angry eyes – some considered last generation’s to be too ‘dainty’.
The weather was perfect for top-down motoring, as the temperature ranged from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, but even with the sun shining bright, we never arrived at the destination sweat-soaked thanks to the lack of humidity. If it gets too chilly, it even has neck-warmers in the seats to keep your upper bits toasty, which we last enjoyed in the 4 Series Convertible.
What versions will Singapore get?
We’re unlikely to get the ‘TT ultra’ turbodiesel, but both the 2.0-litre petrol derivatives (TT and TTS) bound for our sunny island will feature quattro all-wheel drive and S tronic, Audi’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission. We’re told Singapore cars will be shod in a minimum of 18-inch footwear, although there are 19- and 20-inch options as well, as well as the snugly supportive S sport seats, which include pneumatically-adjustable side-bolsters.
Wait, the same 2.0-litre engine?
Yes and no, since the driving characters are different between the TT and TTS. However, we felt that the 2.0 TFSI that is the subject of this review returned better-rounded performance as far as fast-road real-world use is concerned.
Bear in mind, the TTS sees power boosted from the TT’s 230bhp to 310bhp, and torque from 370Nm to 380Nm, albeit between 1800-5700rpm for the TTS, which makes for peakier performance more suited on a race-track than the sinuous mountain roads that we encountered in Mallorca. It’s fast off the mark, as the S tronic goes through the gears in quick succession, and there’s an agility to its drive that doesn’t give the feeling of a boulevard cruiser.
Design meets Technology
The TT has always been an icon of avantgarde design, but in this generation, this design is married to technology and a decidedly driver-oriented concept. In a car as compact as the TT, the clutter of controls found in Audi’s larger offerings can be overwhelming, but with the climate controls now integrated into the turbine air-vents, the centre console no longer looks like mission control.
Like we already saw in the Coupe, the roadster features the same 12.3-inch TFT Virtual Cockpit concept, although in this case, it features a luminous intensity of 800 candelas, because of the contrast issues that could arise when driving with the top-down. Also, to stave off any problems associated with reflections, the upper edge of this is tilted towards the driver. – PHOTOS: AUDI
NEED TO KNOW: Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI
Engine 1,984cc, 16V, turbocharged inline-four
Power 230bhp at 4500-6200rpm
Torque 370Nm at 1600-4300rpm
Gearbox 6-speed S tronic dual-clutch
Top Speed 250km/h
0-100kmh 5.6 seconds
Fuel Efficiency 6.7L/100km
Availability H2 2015