Car Models
Audi TT 2014

Audi TT (2014) in detail: news, prices, specs

First Official Pictures

08 August 2014 10:39

Could the third-generation Audi TT finally be about to live up to the mini-me Porsche 911 billing that its looks have always promised but its dynamics never delivered? As tech development boss Oscar Da Silva Martins talks CAR round a cutaway of the car’s monocoque ahead of its launch in November, it seems a tantalising possibility. With a clever mixture of aluminium and steel, the new TT’s kerbweight is not only some 140kg shy of the iconic Mk1 of 1998 but also 50kg lighter than its steel-and-aluminium-based predecessor, despite extra equipment that boosts both safety and convenience. ‘We’re confident that the 2.0-litre TFSI model with front-wheel drive and manual transmission will be the best in class,’ says Da Silva Martins.

Torsional stiffness ramps up by 25% compared with the Mk2, the centre of gravity is lowered by 10mm, and a revised Quattro system switches the dopey pressure accumulator for an electric pump to fast-track the optional all-wheel-drive system’s responses. Clearly, we’re counting eggs and not chickens here ahead of our crucial first drive, but these are quantifiable facts that can only make the TT a sharper, stiffer, more responsive car to drive.

Being based on the VW Group’s new modular MQB platform, the TT remains the Alan Sugar of the coupe world, the boy-done-good that hails from humble beginnings. But to overplay the Volkswagen-Golf-in-fancy-dress commonality that this suggests – and was certainly true of the Mk1 TT – is to both mislead the layman and do a disservice to Audi’s engineers.

So while the TT’s front end is MQB-based, the suspension pick-up points are altered due to the TT’s wider track; at the rear, MQB’s longitudinal supports make an appearance and the suspension pick-up points are unchanged, but the rest is bespoke, including the boot floor, which uniquely among MQB models houses the battery; at 2505mm, the TT’s wheelbase is 37mm longer than before – despite overall length barely changing at 4180mm – but it’s also some 132mm shorter than the Golf’s. This is not a Golf wearing a fancy top hat.

Marko Weigel, project manager of the body and interior, explains that the monocoque is a mix of hot-shaped steel (17%), aluminium panels (15%, including all hinged panels and the roof), extruded aluminium section (6%) and aluminium castings (6%), the remaining components produced from cold-formed steel. The TT makes leaps over even the current 991-generation Porsche 911 with its aluminium/steel hybrid; the 911’s A-pillars, for instance, are high-strength steel to ensure sufficient rigidity; the TT’s glasshouse structure is aluminium, reducing weight and therefore keeping kilos concentrated closer to the ground for better handling without compromising safety.

While the TT’s weight has fallen, its power outputs have blossomed. A range of four-cylinder engines, with either six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, are on average 14% more powerful than their predecessors. The entry-level 2.0-litre TFSI manages 227bhp, 273lb ft, 42mpg and 158g/km, while the range-topping TTS achieves 306bhp, 280lb ft, 40mpg and 164g/km – 306bhp and 40mpg! The 2.0-litre TDI – which has previously accounted for a sixth of all TT sales – gets 181bhp and 280lb ft along with a wallet-pleasing 67mpg and best-in-class 110g/km.

There’s Progressive Steering as standard, which speeds up the ratio the more you wind on lock; third-generation magneto-rheological adaptive dampers are standard on the TTS and optional on other models to ensure compliance and help keep the tyres – from 17 to 20 inches! – in contact with the road better than their rather hit-and-miss predecessors; the stability control also doubles as a torque-vectoring system, channelling torque from the inside wheel to the outer wheel for more incisive cornering. Chassis engineer Michael Bar even makes claims of Quattro models ‘drifting’, a term only applicable to its predecessor when an especially hot latte misted up an owner’s designer glasses and prompted a surprise lane-change.


By Ben Barry
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