Ingolstadt’s treating us to three new TTs before 2010, and we’ve got the proof

The Audi TT has always been a bit of an anticlimax for performance car fans; it’s a car that’s never been quite as great to drive as it is to behold. But Audi’s got a sea change in store for its smallest coupe and cabrio siblings. Three new sporting models arriving before the end of decade will inject a massive dose of driving appeal into the TT’s mix – a Cayman-rivalling TTS, a BMW M3-chasing TTRS, and an all new twin turbo TT diesel – and we’ve got the documents to prove it.

Coming in Summer 2008: TTS

The first of Audi’s new TT performance trio to arrive will be a new four-cylinder turbo model running a version of the Audi S3’s four-cylinder turbo engine, and with a UK price tag of around £33,000 – the 266bhp TTS.The arrival of this car has been leaked via the internet this week, in a product planning document intended to be kept secret by Audi’s German dealers. In it are contained the release schedule, the power output, the transmission options and the name of the new car.The TTS will be launched in Germany in the second quarter of 2008. It’ll be identifiable by its quad tail pipes and its extended front bumper and more aggressive air dam (see our spy pictures). It’ll be available with either a six speed manual gearbox or an ‘S-tronic’ DSG automatic transmission, and as either a coupe or a roadster. All versions will get Quattro four-wheel drive.Audi will aim for the budget end of the performance coupe market with this car; it’s their answer to the Nissan 350Z, the standard Porsche Cayman and the new BMW 135i, leaving the likes of the new BMW M3 coupe and the Porsche Cayman S to it’s faster five-pot brother, the TTRS.

Here in early 2009: TT TDi

Joining the growing ranks of sporting diesel coupes in early 2009 – and coming as a direct rival to the new BMW 123d coupe – will be a twin-turbo diesel version of the TT. Our spies have only this week caught the first development prototype of this car doing cold weather testing. It looks like an ordinary TT from the outside, but don’t be fooled; it’s the label on the car’s dashboard that gives its origins away.Under the bonnet of this new sporting oil-burner is the VW Group’s new twin-turbo version of its 2.0-litre common rail diesel engine. This engine has yet to appear in any VW Group product – it’s likely to find an application next year, possibly under the bonnet of the new VW Coupe – but it’ll certainly be a big draw for potential buyers of the TT, as it packs 202bhp, almost 300lb ft of torque, and should also make for a TT capable of a 40mpg average fuel economy, and less than 150g/km of CO2.Likely to be offered in Quattro guise only, the new diesel-powered TT’s excess of torque should ensure performance on par with its petrol-engined 2.0-litre sibling. Nothing’s official but 0-62mph should be possible in under 6.5secs, as should a top speed around 150mph. At the same time, improved fuel consumption will give the new car a greater range on its 55-litre tank.One drawback of the new engine’s heady torque reserve, however, is the inability of Audi’s existing six-speed S-tronic double clutch gearbox to handle it. While the prototype pictured here runs a six-speed manual, Audi has admitted it is already working on a newer seven-speed S-tronic gearbox that can be mated with engines producing up to 370lb ft.The TT TDi should be priced from around £27,000.

The hottest TT of all: TTRS

Before the end of the decade we’ll see the ultimate performance version of the Audi TT – a car that many expect to revive the spirit of the short-wheelbase Audi Sport Quattro S1 in more ways than one – the TTRS.This car will be a TT like we’ve never seen before. It’ll be priced at around £45,000 in order to undercut the new BMW M3, and to put plenty of clear air between it and the forthcoming, £55,000, 414bhp Audi RS5. And it’ll earn that price tag with a cleverly set-up, rear-biased Quattro four-wheel drive system, with twice as much driver involvement as any other TT, and with a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine producing a generous 343bhp – enough to crack 62mph in under 5.0secs and to show a clean set of heels to a Porsche Cayman S.Quattro GmbH has been given the task of developing this rocketship TT, and although nothing’s set in stone yet, it’s likely to throw out Audi’s ‘Magnaride’ dampers for more performance-oriented alternatives, to discard the car’s rear seats in order to save weight, and to do a major overhaul of the TT’s four-wheel Quattro drivetrain. The TTRS’ will have wider tracks than the standard car, run 20in alloy wheels and will borrow the RS4’s carbon ceramic brake discs too.And then there’s the TTRS’ engine. As part of the same leak that exposed the TTS came a technical drawing from Audi that gives us more information on the RS’s 2.5-litre motor. It’ll be both supercharged and turbocharged, becoming the second motor in the VW Group’s line up to wear the TSI ‘twincharger’ badge. And Audi sources say it sounds every bit the modern successor to the original Quattro’s warbling five-pot.For a guide to the finished TTRS’ looks, see the TT Clubsport concept. That concept car, however, was a roadster (the road car should be coupe-only), and only had 300bhp. Here, then, is an example of production car reality outstripping show car largesse. And that doesn’t happen very often.

Matt Saunders and Greg Kable

Our Verdict

The Audi TT remains a design icon, and is now a car that’s genuinely fun to drive no matter what engine or trim you choose

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Comments
4

5 December 2007

Great! New TT models....

Umm... I think the TDi is a good addition, although I think the 123d will still trounce it - I can imagine that diesel 4 being very loud, not sure about the TTRS, I personally think that it's too close to the R8 and I really think it needs real-wheel-drive. TTS - good, but we all know it'll be nowhere near the Cayman dynamically...

Note to Audi, how about a high revving 1.8 FSI 4? With about 180bhp @7500rpm and maybe 160lb/ft@ about 3500 rpm?? If they want a "motorsport" feel, this is the only way to go. Keep it simple.

5 December 2007

Funny you should mention the 4 pot TDi being very loud - Audi (VW) have introduced a new version of the 2.0 litre which is now common rail as opposed to the traditional PD. This must have made a sea of change to the refinement, although i havn't tested one as of yet.

And dont make judgements on the TTRS with regards to the Cayman just yet, remember when people didnt hold the R8 and the 911 in the same league before it came out? With the RS4, Audi have shown what can be done with their standard chassis and I believe this will also be the case for the future TTRS, RS6 and RSR8. It's just a matter of time before we find out.....

5 December 2007

Yes very true...although I am an advocate of simple, uncomplicated ranges - so I guess my bias showed. Nothing is proven positive or negative as yet - but thats an opinion I would loved to be proved wrong on....

19 December 2007

[quote Aston Parkes]

Yes very true...although I am an advocate of simple, uncomplicated ranges - so I guess my bias showed. Nothing is proven positive or negative as yet - but thats an opinion I would loved to be proved wrong on....

[/quote]

I fail to see how the BMW 123d will come within a country mile of the TT tdi. For starters the TT is 69% aluminium so it will be much lighter than the porker. Both cars have almost identical power outputs at 202 bhp and 295 ib/ft of torque. The TT will be quattro so it will be able to use all its power and torque come rain or shine unlike the BMW.

Also, in the looks department the Audi has the BMW in a Full Nelson hold, slapping the canvas in submission. Considering the TT's weight, traction and design advantages I can't see the BMW holding a candle to it and the sales of this awkward looking ageing BMW will surely only be contributed to by those blinded by the badge and satisfied with mediocrity!


Frawls

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