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First Drive

First Drive: Audi TT

The story:
Audi has celebrated its iconic TT’s 20th birthday by facelifting the current third-generation model. It’s fairly subtle, but gives fresh impetus to the coupe and convertible models.
Key rival:BMW Z4
Audi TT 45 TFSI quattro S-Line S-tronic
On sale:Now

An Audi TT is still one of the most distinctive styles on the road, even as the car hits 20 years old.

Now that the model is half-way through its third generation, Audi has given it a refresh that takes in subtle design tweaks, power upgrades and extra equipment.

The styling tweaks comprise a new singleframe grille, as well as larger inlets and a range of new colour and wheel options, while the S-Line model gets extra bodywork differentiation.

The low-slung and pleasantly cosy cabin now gets heated seats as standard, along with folding door mirrors, while the S-Line now has upgraded Super Sports seats.

First Drive-April 2019-Audi TT-Image 3There’s no central display screen in a TT, so everything runs through the Audi Virtual Cockpit display, which now has a sports function, offering information on engine output and g-force figures.

But under the bonnet is where the biggest changes occur; the long-standing 1.8-litre 180hp engine has been replaced by a 197hp 2.0-litre, while the 230hp 2.0-litre option has now been boosted to 245hp, and is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. The diesel has been dropped, which means the most efficient model is now the 197hp petrol at 138g/km, with the more powerful alternative ranging from 147-161g/km, depending on model.

The TT will house a small person in the tiny rear seats that are mainly just for storage, and the 305-litre boot is practical enough for this type of car. An RV of more than 40% helps the numbers add up, too.

The new engine drops the 0-62mph time by a tenth of a second, and the TT handles well, while the lower emissions of the 197hp version compensate for the marginal performance shortfall.



Paul Barker

The verdict

The peerless TT is slightly improved, and still as stylish and appealing, inside and out, as ever.