TT has been around since 1999, but it still looks good
Ageing cabin design still feels special
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
First DriveIn most powerful S form the third-generation Audi TT possesses real dynamic capability – and plenty of appeal as a classy premium coupé
First DriveEntry-level engine option means Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Sport adds value to the hard-top TT range
The new TT is due late next year, so Audi has slimmed-down the current range and given the venerable 1.8-litre turbocharged engine a small power boost.
The rationalised line-up dumps the 222bhp 1.8, leaving coupé customers with the 3.2-litre V6 and two versions of the 1.8-litre four-cylinder unit: the 237bhp TT Quattro Sport and this TT 190, available in front-drive or Quattro four-wheel-drive form. The TT Roadster comes with a 161bhp or this 187bhp version of the 1.8, or the V6.
With power increased from 178bhp to 187bhp, the TT 190 coupé takes 7.4 seconds to sprint to 62mph, 0.4 seconds quicker than the TT 180 it replaces. In reality, however, difference is hard to tell.
The turbo provides meaningful shove from as low as 2200rpm but, although smooth, the engine has precious little character. The only interesting noise comes from the muted whoosh of the turbo’s wastegate as you lift off the throttle.
Wind noise is well suppressed at motorway speeds, although there is too much road roar, despite this TT wearing high-profile 205/55 16-inch rubber. If the TT was an engaging drive we could forgive the unyielding ride, but it isn’t so we can’t. The firm suspension proves especially irritating on long journeys.
While the steering is accurate, it isn’t the most talkative, so tyre scrub from the front wheels is often heard before it is felt. The 190 is capable of brisk progress, but a series of sweeping bends can soon unsettle the torsion-beam rear suspension.
Prices remain unchanged from the 180’s, as does the styling. The cabin reeks of quality, with delicious aluminium touches that still feel remarkably fresh over six years after the TT was launched. Which is why, although not a serious driver’s tool, the TT is still a compelling choice in the sub-£25k coupé market.