With its uprated edition and more muscular styling, the 2010 Audi TT edges closer to the border between sporty cars and true sports cars.
TheCarConnection.com has driven the Audi TT / TTS lineup of coupes and convertibles for this review of its safety, performance, styling, comfort, and quality. TheCarConnection.com's editors have also compiled a companion review that brings you a condensed look at opinions from other respected auto Web sites to help you in the research and buying process.
When Audi first introduced the TT coupe and convertible in 1999, its Art Deco-inspired style made a much deeper impression than its less impressive performance. With the 2008 redesign, Audi turned the tables; the TT's exterior style was muted to match more of the cues found on its other cars. The latest TT, basically unchanged for 2010, fits more with the new R8 thanks to its side sculpting, low nose, and LED detailing. The cockpit loses its grabby circular theme, and now faces the driver and passenger with a flight-inspired set of knobs, switches, and LCD screens bearing a distinctly masculine appeal. It's sleeker for sure, though less distinctive. Either as a TT or a TTS, there are two body style choices: coupe and roadster.
The 2010 TT returns with familiar engine, transmission, and drivetrain choices. The 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder comes only with Audi's fantastic six-speed dual-clutch transmission, which eliminates the clutch pedal and lets twin interlocking transmissions handle blink-quick gearchanges. It's only offered with all-wheel drive. The previously available 250-hp V-6 version has been deleted. The four-cylinder engine gets good fuel economy, with EPA ratings of up to 23 mpg city, 31 highway. It's nimbler at handling than before, and the TT has the feel of a speedster-it's low to the ground and corners with flat but eager determination. The high-performance, 265-hp turbo TTS comes only with the dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. It also upgrades to a magnetic ride suspension with standard and Sport settings-Sport mode lowers its ride by 0.39 inch-plus larger vented disc brakes and a tuned exhaust system. Audi claims the TTS can hit 62 mph in just 5.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.
As you might expect, there's no extravagant space to be found inside, but the TT does have adequate foot and shoulder room for two, either in the coupe or the roadster. The console and glove box are on the tiny side, but the trunk space is more than roomy for a car of its size. The tight convertible top of the Audi TT is available with manual or power actuation, and it creates a quiet cruise when raised. The trunk space stays mostly intact, since the Audi's fabric roof doesn't require the folding space of a hardtop convertible. Audi's reputation for high-quality materials and fit and finish is evidenced in the TT's tight panel gaps and well-matched plastics.
Neither the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) nor the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has crash-tested the Audi TT. All models have standard hill-hold assist, anti-lock brakes, side airbags, and electronic stability control.
The Audi TT can be ordered in Premium, Premium Plus, or Prestige trim. All versions come well-equipped with Sirius Satellite Radio, cruise control, power features, and an auxiliary jack for audio players. Prestige models add a navigation system, rear parking assist, LED interior lighting, xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, heated sport seats, a Bose premium sound system, and a trunk pass-through. An S-Line package dresses up the TT's appearance to look a bit like the TTS from a distance; the TTS has a Silk Nappa leather and Alcantara interior with aluminum trim.