Audi's new TTS is something pre-tt-y Special
Audi TTS Coupe S Tronic
The third-generation Audi TT took centre stage when it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show back in 2014.
Apart from its much sharper new looks and award-winning ‘Virtual Cockpit’, it now had an engine to match its sleek design – and drove far better than either of the previous two generations.
The 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, which produced 230bhp, was now powerful enough to give the performance to match the TT’s iconic looks.
Not content with that power however, Audi sent the engine off to its ‘Sports’ department to give the 2.0-litre petrol a few tweaks here and there.
In return, the engineers did some fine-tuning to it and sent it back with a whopping 310bhp, which is now fitted in the super-fast TTS model.
This means that the new TTS is up there alongside the Holy Grail of sports cars in the Volkswagen group – the Golf R.
However, there is a massive price difference between the two, which we will go into a little later on.
On the road, the TTS is definitely right up there with its Golf R sibling in terms of handling.
Like the R, the TTS features four-wheel drive, although it has the ability to send all the torque to either the front or rear wheels.
This means the TTS can sprint from 0-100kph in just 4.6 seconds – not that far off a car with much bigger powerplants.
However, if you are going to put the pedal to the metal and hit the red line, there is no way you will achieve the claimed fuel figure of 4.3l/100km, and we both found this was the case.
That is all forgiven, though, when you actually put the TTS through its paces and you realise just how good the handling really is – even on damp or wet roads.
The grip and traction is just phenomenal.
The TTS doesn’t look much different to the standard model. It has a slightly more athletic look with the lowered ride height.
The front and rear bumpers are unique to the TTS, as is the 19-inch alloys.
The Audi interior is one of our favourites and the virtual cockpit, a 12.3-inch digital screen that shows all information directly in front of the driver, is superb.
It can be operated via the MMI Touch button, voice control and the multi-function steering wheel.
You can choose to have the speed and revs prominent or switch to the sat nav with smaller insets of the speedometer and rev counter. Either way, it looks awesome.
The turbine-like design of the air vents really helps set off the interior of the TTS and the clean lines really make Audi’s interior stand out from the rest.
We found the interior a little too compact; being six footers meant room was at a premium and we wouldn’t fancy sitting in the back for long – or at all.
The TTS is a 2+2 coupe, and the luggage area has a capacity of 305 litres, which is 13 litres more than before, and can be extended by folding the rear seat backrests forwards.
Now, back to the price. Although we are both huge fans of the Audi TTS, we feel its sibling, the RS3, is a better option.
It is much more spacious, more powerful and costs just a little more than €2k for a proper RS badge.
However, it all comes down to your own taste. Personally, we would have the full-blooded Audi RS3 if we were forking out that sort of cash.
Meanwhile, there was even better news recently for serious TT fans, when Audi unveiled its TT RS coupe and TT RS roadster at the Beijing Motor Show.
Both models, which will go on sale in Europe later this autumn, will feature a 2.5-litre TFSI petrol engine which produces 400bhp.
The TT RS Coupe will accelerate from 0-100kph in 3.7 seconds and the Roadster in 3.9 seconds – this corresponds to the level of a supercar.
Audi regulates the top speed at 250 kph, or at 280 kph upon request.
Pricing for the Irish market will be announced closer to the launch date.
Model: Audi TTS S Tronic
Price: From €45,350 (€66,550 test model)
Road Tax: Band D (€570 per year)
0-100kph: 4.6 sec
Top Speed: 250kph
Fuel Consumption: 6.9l/100km (claimed).
Boot Space: 305-712 litres.
Robbie Farrell & Paul Keown