This car’s visual idiom is now truly iconic and untouchable. That’s why this third-generation TT is almost exactly as long and as tall as the previous model, with styling that is predictably reverential. For its owners, this is a fashion statement as much as a sports car, so it’s vital that it looks fresh and compelling.
Audi walks that tightrope well. The car’s surfaces have a little more tension in them and its details sport more modern technical intrigue, but its size and proportions are as they have always been and the silhouette is unmistakable. Students of design wouldn’t call the car classically elegant, but the geometrical symmetry of the overall aesthetic means it remains a paragon of visual strength if not conventional beauty.
The mixed steel and aluminium construction survives, as does all-independent suspension. As before, the TT offers a range of transverse, front-mounted engines and front or quattro four-wheel drive. If the dynamic purity of rear-wheel drive is what you’re after in a sports coupé, look elsewhere.
A choice of 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines is available, and it’s the 227bhp, 273lb ft front-drive TFSI manual we’re testing, resident at the lower end of the model hierarchy but expected to account for a majority share of the sales mix. There is also an 181bhp diesel engine and the entry-level 178bhp 1.8 TFSI engine to choose from, while those aching for more power can opt for the 2.0 TFSI TTS which puts out 305bhp. Later this year a 394bhp 2.5-litre TFSI engine will be added to the range solely for the TT RS.