More Than Just a Beautiful Design?
We Like: Its superb styling, great powertrain, virtual cockpit.
We Don’t Like: The price, the noise on certain roads.
The Audi TT has always been all about style. And the third-generation model, built on VW Group’s versatile MQB architecture, delivers, inside and out. The exterior is a beautifully executed evolution of TT form and graphics. And as guest judge Tom Gale pointed out during our design walk-around, the unbelievably crisp and sophisticated surfacing is as much an object lesson in VW Group’s metal stamping capability as it is design.
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The interior is superbly minimalist. The integration of the HVAC controls into the vents themselves will become a widely copied feature. Audi‘s virtual cockpit is a virtuoso display of user interface software and hardware that drew mixed reviews from the judges. “My favorite part is the Google Maps feature,” enthused Christian Seabaugh. “I love being able to see a satellite view of the road ahead by doing no more than glancing down a couple degrees.” There is so much information offered, and so many pathways with which to access it, however, that it can be a touch overwhelming to deal with at first. “Not a lot of it is intuitive,” grumbled Ed Loh.
The powertrain and driveline hardware is familiar VW Group fare, shared across various VW, Audi, Skoda, and Seat models, but such is the sophistication of the MQB toolset that the TT feels quite different than, say, the seventh-generation Golf. The AWD chassis generously rewards corner entry precision on the winding track. Said Jonny Lieberman: “I could own that car and never have a bad thing to say about it. Very well done. I can see owners of these absolutely loving them. Great handling, feel, performance, and pretty good looks, too. A wonderful variant of last year’s winner, the MQB-based Golf.”
Audi would like you to think the TT is a Porsche Boxster rival. It isn’t, but that’s perfectly OK. It is a beautifully styled, well-equipped, pleasant-to-drive compact personal coupe or convertible that straddles the line between sports car and luxury car.
|2016 Audi TT||Coupe||Roadster|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$50,600||$54,125|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe||Front-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door convertible|
|ENGINE||2.0L/217-hp/258-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4||2.0L/217-hp/258-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed twin-clutch automatic||6-speed twin-clutch automatic|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||164.7 x 72.1 x 53.2 in||164.7 x 72.1 x 53.2 in|
|WHEELBASE||98.6 in||98.6 in|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,181 lb (59/41%)||3,357 lb (58/42%)|
|ACCELERATION, 0-60 MPH||5.2 sec||5.6 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||13.8 sec @ 99.4 mph||14.2 sec @ 97.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||103 ft||103 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.99 g (avg)||0.99 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.6 sec @ 0.79 g (avg)||24.7 sec @ 0.77 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||23/30/26 mpg||23/30/26 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||147/112 kW-hrs/100 miles||147/112 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.75 lb/mile||0.75 lb/mile|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||20/30/23|