There’s no Quattro all-wheel drive option with the TDI and it comes with a manual gearbox only, but neither feels like much of a loss. There’s enough traction for all but the most greasy situations and the six-speed ‘box is slick enough to remind us of the pleasures we’re missing when opting for modern paddle-shift dual-clutch automatics.
To counter the roof chop the Roadster naturally has extra strengthening - in the A-pillars and across the floorpan to be precise. However, thanks to a composite aluminium and steel chassis it’s still a relative featherweight, and it feels it to drive. Agile and happy to change direction, the body always stays well controlled, even as we pressed on through the challenging B-roads of our Cotswolds test route.
As the miles pile on one word keeps cropping up: effortless. Whether you’re contemplating the engine, gearbox or chassis, everything about the TT Roadster is simply effortless and undemanding, right down to the light but direct variable-rack steering and well assisted, progressive brakes.
Is there a catch; a sting in the tail? No, not really. Push on too much and you’ll find some understeer, but that’s about it. Perhaps sometimes you might wish it had some edge to it, to make things more exciting, but we suspect the majority of buyers will be happy with it as it is.
The extra bracing keeps the body free from shimmy, even in S line trim with 10mm taken out of the ride height and on 19in wheels. In this guise you get the odd thump over large potholes, but otherwise it’s firm but compliant. The Sport model on standard suspension and 18in rims offers the best comfort. Neither set-up felt hugely bettered with the optional adaptive dampers added.