TT's distinctive anti-roll bars have been remodelled on the new car
These latest spy pictures show Audi's TT Roadster has entered the final stages of testing
The new third-generation Audi TT Roadster, seen here at the Paris motor show, is due to arrive in the UK in March.
The initial entry-level model, the TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI, is on sale for £31,995.
As with previous models, the new TT roadster adopts the styling seen on the latest TT coupé, receiving a fresh appearance that boasts subtle hints of the Bauhaus design lineage that inspired the 1999 original in combination with a contemporary fabric hood that automatically stows in a dedicated well behind the cabin in just 10 seconds at the press of a button.
Among the new car’s prominent design elements is a more angular grille, new trapezoidal-shaped headlights with complex LED internal graphics, a more heavily contoured clamshell-style bonnet and added structure to the lower section of the front bumper.
In a move that brings it into line with the soon-to-be-replaced first-generation R8, the four-ring Audi emblem has also been moved from the grille to the leading edge of the bonnet.
Further back, the new Audi retains the prominent wheelarch flares of the old TT Roadster but gains larger wheel housings capable of accepting wheels ranging from 17 to 20-inches in diameter.
A defined shoulder line, referred to by Audi as the Tornado line, runs the entire length of the flanks, from the trailing edge of the headlights through to the tail lights.
Holding true to the two-door layout of earlier models, the new TT Roadster continues with a notchback style boot within a rear end boasting a more a defined lip to the end of the body, an automatic spoiler that deploys at speeds above 75mph and more angular tail lights that flaunt distinctive LED graphics.
As with the second-generation TT roadster, the body of the new model uses a combination of aluminium and steel construction, leading to a claimed kerb weight for the TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI of 1320kg. By comparison, the previous model weighed a claimed 1315kg.
The basis for the new car is parent company Volkswagen’s flexible MQB platform. Despite a 37mm increase in the wheelbase at 2505mm, it is 21mm shorter than its predecessor owing to slightly shorter overhangs. Width has also been reined in by 10mm at 1832mm and height has been reduced by a scant 3mm at 1355mm.
With its traditional fabric hood in place, the new car is claimed to boast a drag coefficient of 0.30, which Audi claims is best in class.
Audi says the moderate increase in wheelbase has led to improved interior packaging and greater accommodation. The multi-layer hood – supported on a frame consisting of aluminium, composite plastic, magnesium and steel components – weighs 39kg, some three kilogrammes less than the structure used by the second-generation TT Roadster.
The hood can open and close at speeds up to 31mph. With the hood up, the nominal boot capacity is put at 280 litres, which is 55 litres less than the newly unveiled BMW 2-series convertible, but an improvement of 30 litres on the outgoing TT Roadster.
The engine line-up for the new TT Roadster mirrors that of the recently introduced TT coupé, with a four-cylinder petrol and diesel in differing outputs. They are mated to either a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed S tronic gearbox. Buyers can choose between front- or four-wheel drive depending on the model.
Included from the outset of UK sales will be a turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection petrol unit that develops 227bhp and 273lb ft in the TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI, and a more potent 306bhp and 280lb ft in the initial TTS Roadster, which is the initial range-topper.
This provides the new TTS Roadster with 38bhp and 22lb ft more than its predecessor. In combination with detailed enhancements to its multi-plate-clutched four-wheel-drive system and optional six-speed S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox, the boost in reserves is sufficient to help the new car accelerate from 0-62mph in a claimed 4.9sec, which is 0.6sec faster than before. Top speed remains limited to 155mph.
Also available from the start of UK sales will be a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder common-rail diesel engine. It provides the TT Roadster 2.0 TDI with 181bhp and 280lb ft of torque along with claimed combined fuel consumption on the European test cycle of 65.7mpg and average CO2 emissions of 114g/km, in standard six-speed manual form.
The roadster is just one of a number of spin-off models from the new TT. As well as established coupé and convertible models, Audi is also looking into more high-performance variants along the lines of the TT Ultra and TT Quattro Sport concepts, as well as an extended family car.
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