Audi TT

tt_mk1_ext_001The Audi TT is a small two-door sports car that has a timeless design inside and out. This peppy little 2+2 & roadster has been offered in a number of drivetrain, engine and roof style combinations.

The Audi TT takes its name from the successful motor racing tradition of NSU in the British Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race. NSU began competing in the TT in 1911, and later merged into the company now known as Audi.

In 1998, the first TT generation was started. Based off of Volkswagen’s 4th gen. Golf/Jetta platform, it was offered with the front-mounted transversely orientated 1.8 Liter Turbocharged engine and either front-wheel drive, or Audi’s Haldex four-wheel drive, dubbed ‘Quattro’.

There were two engines offered initially. The lower end model had 180hp and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive. While the premium model had Quattro all-wheel-drive standard, came with a slightly larger K04 turbocharger and an additional intercooler that brought the performance to 225hp. The latter also had forged connecting rods, a dual tailpipe exhaust and a few other internals – designed to accommodate the increase in turbo boost.

In 2003 the four-cylinder engine range was complemented with a 247hp 3.2 Liter VR6 engine that comes standard with Quattro. Then in July of 2003 a new six-speed dual clutch transmission was offered along with a stiffer suspension.

The second generation TT was offered in 2006 and built until 2014. The engine was enlarged slightly to a 2.0L TFSI (Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection) and also can be found in the 3.2L VR6. Again with front-wheel-drive and Quattro drivetrains available. There are a few special editions available with increased power. The TTS features the S-tronic gearbox and all-wheel-drive, along with redesigned bumpers, larger intakes, side sill extensions and four exhaust tips. The TT RS with an inline 5-cylinder turbo and 335hp, or RS plus with 355hp and 342ft/lb torque to bring you up to 60 mph in only 4.3 seconds. Unfortunately, Audi was reported to stop offering the 3.2L VR6 models in North America from the 2010 model year.

August 2014 was the dawn of Audi’s completely revised edition of a modern classic coupe, with the Roadster availability following a few months later. The third generation of the compact sports car is again captivating, with its emotional design and dynamic qualities. The new Coupé is characterized by the use of innovative technologies in its engine and in its control and display concept, including the Audi virtual cockpit. Still using the robust 2.0L TSFI with Quattro and adding the 2.0L TDI (Turbo-diesel) in a front-wheel-drive configuration as an option, the 6-speed rocket continues to please drivers around the globe.

“The Audi TT is the epitome of an authentic design icon and a top-performance driving machine,” explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development. “With the new generation, we are making this technology even easier for the driver to experience – just as they would expect from a real sports car.”

When the first-generation Audi TT came on the market in 1998 it was a design revolution – its strictly geometrical, formally coherent design language made it an icon with huge charisma. For the third TT generation, the Audi designers have returned to many of these ideas and placed them in a new context that is as dynamic as it is diverse.

As with any Audi vehicle, you can expect to have some standard creature comforts that you have come to expect from a high-end German sports-car. One touch up and down windows, heated leather seats, navigation and infotainment systems, as well as traction control and HID lighting. The newest TT’s are fitted with state of the art Matrix LED headlamps and MMI-Navigation with Google Earth.

Of course the more electronics you put in a vehicle, the more likely you will have some quirks and the TT is not without its electronic gremlins.

One thing to look for when purchasing a first generation Audi TT is the main gauge cluster. They have been known to have problems with the fuel gauge, tachometer and speedometer, as well as missing pixels from the info-center located in the middle of the cluster. There are some companies that will repair these clusters, but it isn’t cheap.

Another large failure point with the first generation TT was the timing belt. Be sure that you have records of it being done every 60k miles or less. If not, that should be one of the first things you tackle on your new-to-you TT, once you get it home.

Audi is an innovator and although it’s cool to have the latest and greatest electronics, this can also mean they are going to have some unexpected failure points. Just be aware that the electronic bugs are part of the package when buying an Audi.

No matter whether you choose a 2+2 Coupé, or a 2 seater Roadster, this fun machine will put a smile on your face, and with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine pulling you along, it won’t guzzle gas either!