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Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

Audi's TT Roadster is available in five states of tune. The range kicks off with the 177bhp 1.8-litre TFSI engine, followed by the diesel powered 2.0-litre TDI Ultra, which develops 182bhp at 3500-4000rpm and 280lb ft at 1750-3250rpm.

Traditionalists might still wince at the prospect of diesel power in a two-seat roadster, but those who keep an open mind to such things will discover that this new, more powerful TDI variant is a pretty decent substitute for petrol power.

The 2.0 TFSI is a wondrously flexible engine and delivers vigorous thrust from low revs

Okay, there’s some diesel clatter at times, particularly at lower speeds, and the car’s sporting credentials are hampered slightly by the engine’s typically low rev limit. However, it spins up to that limiter freely, and in doing so will deliver 0-62mph in a respectable 7.3sec.

Alternatively, relax and use the motor’s effortless torque – which is available from just above idle - and it’ll still manage a decent pace, with the sweetener of (potentially) averaging 65.7mpg.

Next up in the range is the 2.0 TFSI petrol, which is expected to be the biggest seller in the drop-top TT line-up. The blown four-pot motor produces 227bhp at 4500-6200rpm, accompanied by 273lb ft of torque from 1600-4300rpm.

This wondrously flexible engine delivers vigorous thrust from low revs, accompanied by a reverberant, hollow thrum from the exhaust that entices you to stretch through the rasping tones of the upper revs. The 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in 6.1sec and in this guise, the TT Roadster won't let up until it tops out at 155mph.

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If you're inclined to go for the TTS version, then you'll be treated to a 306bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot motor. In essence, it's scorchingly rapid. Offering up the same 280lb ft torque as the TDI but with 124bhp extra from 5800-6200rpm, the TTS shoots from 0-62mph in 4.9sec and has its top speed limited to 155mph. While those wanting more can opt for the 394bhp TT RS Roadster, which can blast to 62mph in a mere 3.9 secs before powering on to its electronic limit of 155mph.

Like their Volkswagen Golf R cousin, they can also temptingly send up to 100 percent of torque to either axle. Coupled with an angrier exhaust notes, in these state of tune they're bonafide sports cars.