While the new TT roadster still has the same body on the outside, that’s where the similarities end. The Audi engineers have worked tirelessly to improve the new TT roadster in all aspects, embracing weight-saving, a virtual cockpit and advanced new chassis with upgraded Quattro drive. It offers the capabilities of a sports car with the option of added open-top exhilaration, but without the compromises that this blend of attributes often demands.
The new roadsters will provide a wide range of 2.0-litre engines from a TDI producing 135kW and producing 114g/km of CO2 to a TFSI Quattro sport with a six-speed S-tronic gearbox producing 170kW of power and only 150g/km of CO2, which takes you from 0-100kph in just 4.9 seconds and on to an electronically top speed of 250kp/h.
Audi has been obsessed with improving the driving experience in comfort and pleasure. The new TT has small changes, which overall will make a huge difference, such as decreasing the noise level inside the cockpit by six decibels as well as the snug fabric top, which has been reduced by three kilograms affecting the centre of gravity, decreasing the overall weight of the new roadster to only 1 320kg.
The new roadster is also the first to have permanent all-wheel-drive and allows the driver to select from five different driving experiences such as: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual modes. This choice will not only change the engine characteristics but also the suspension, using Audi’s magnetic coil system which hardens at the press of a button.
The new steering system, which comes as standard for all new roadsters, provides electromechanically driven steering, which adapts its assistance to speed and forms the basis for the Audi active lane assist system, which is standard for the TT roadster 2.0 TFSI and for the various park assist options.
On the inside, the new roadster has a 12.3-inch, high resolution LCD display that completely fills the driver’s instrument binnacle and replaces the traditional analogue dials. Its brilliantly sharp images are courtesy of a powerful Tegra 30 graphics processor from Nvidia Tegra’s 3 series. Audi also offers a Technology Package, which provides hard disk-based navigation mapping, completely filling the 12.3-inch TFT monitor, and also beams the Internet to the car via Audi connect using the latest high-speed Long Term Evolution (LTE) communication. This brings features such as Google Maps, Google Street View and Audi traffic information online, price-graded refueling locations in the vicinity and the latest news, flight and train information to streamline every journey. It also adds Audi music stream and access to social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. For sound that is as attention-grabbing as the cabin’s visuals, a 680W, twelve-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system can be specified.
The Audi side assist system ensures safe lane changes with a radar measurement towards the rear and the Audi active lane assist keeps it in its lane with minor steering interventions.
The park assist system which displays surroundings, automatically pilots the car into and out of parking spaces. Traffic sign recognition is another optional system.
The roadster’s top can be removed in just 10 seconds whilst driving at 50km/h and resides into an aluminium tray at the back, which doesn’t take any space away from the 280-litre boot, with an optional extra of an electrically powered mesh wind deflector.
The new roadster is an extreme leap forward in what is technologically possible. Audi has done wonders with the interior - I just hope the driving experience will be the same and that the spectacle of driving a turbocharged open top roadster won’t be taken away by a screen on the dashboard.