So let’s get one thing clear about this comparison before we go a single yard further. The Audi TT that we are testing here is not, and never will be, a direct dynamic rival for the faster, more powerful and more expensive BMW M235i.
Anyone so much as considering a TT in place of an M235i would, surely, never go for the 227bhp, £31,635 version of the car you see here. Instead, they would much more likely opt for the new 306bhp TT S model that we drove and were so impressed by earlier this year, were they thinking about spending £34,250 on a 321bhp M235i.
But here’s the thing: the most potent S version of the TT won’t be available until the spring of next year at the earliest.
So given that the new TT is now upon us in the UK, with a slightly higher than expected price (the test car that you see above actually costs £36,150 including all of its various options) we sat back for a moment and wondered: why don’t we just shine a light into its eyes and see how good the new TT really is? Why not give it both barrels right from the word go, in other words, and find out how it gets on?
Our justification for such thinking went something like this: if the new TT can get anywhere close to the excellent M235i with a mere 227bhp and costing £2615 less, then it will be more than good enough to succeed no matter what kind of engine it is powered by, and not only commercially but also, this time round, dynamically, too. And if not, well, it will be business as usual for the new TT.
To put it another way, when push comes to shove, the engine output and price inequality shouldn’t matter that much, because if the latest TT can cut it where it counts, then there’s no risk of it being trounced by the M235i.