First off, the way the new TT looks, especially with the RS alloy wheels on my test unit, is just sublime. Never before has the small Audi emulated the big R8 so well with the gorgeous Matrix LED headlamps and sharp lines, which allows it to maintain the signature silhouette and maintain a new outward appearance. There’s also the exquisite fuel filler cap finished in brushed aluminum, surrounded by screws; filling up has never been less annoying.
Then there’s the interior which, if you’re simple like me, is seriously impressive. There are hardly any buttons thanks to the new virtual cockpit lifted from the Lamborghini Huracan and all-new R8.
This means that all the cars settings, infotainment and even navigation, are visible through the driver’s 12.3-inch TFT instrument binnacle. It takes some getting used to but once you’ve seen that SatNav map behind the speedometer and the rev counter, there’s no going back. Then there’s that beautiful climate control system, which is integrated into the vents in the centre console.
Driving the TT around is quite a pleasant experience with one engine currently being deployed in both the front and quattro all-wheel-drive models. The quattro model that I had on test produces 169kW/370Nm for a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.3 seconds and a combined consumption of 8.3 litres/100km. The acceleration is brisk and effortless while the six-speed S tronic provides those satisfying burps when changing gears in Sport model.
The handling isn’t what you’d call razor sharp however, it is very capable of tackling a pass or even a track with a reasonable amount of grip before the inevitable understeer associated with all-wheel-drive comes in.
What kit should I expect?
The unit that I had a go in had options such as the Matrix LED headlamps, 19-inch RS wheels, Park Assist (I let the TT park itself at the mall) and the superb Bang + Olufsen sound system. Brace yourselves because my test unit was a whopping R708 610 and for a TT that’s a bit steep.
The standard car will set you back closer to R650 000 and for that sort of money you get leather, Xenon lights, 18-inch wheels, USB compatibility (big step for Audi), sport seats, cruise control and LED interior lights.
After a week with the TT I have to concede that it is a brilliant vehicle in just about every measureable way. It’s fast, efficient and comfortable, handles well, looks great and has an innovative interior. But as with most great things there’s a price and the TT just so happens to carry quite a significant one. I recommend the front-wheel-drive version, which is close to R100 000 cheaper an offers similar thrills.
Audi TT Coupé 2.0T FSI quattro S tronic: R 642 000