From £23,845
A car of many talents, although entertainment isn't one of them

What is it?

The replacement for the latest victim of Audi’s engine downsizing program. You may recently have read that the petrol-powered Q7 V8 is no more, replaced by a supercharged V6 model. Now, we’re driving the ‘downsized’ replacement for the Audi TT V6: it’s the new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder TFSI.

Using the VW Group’s ‘EA888’ turbocharged petrol engine as a basis, Audi has added an intelligent alternator, some low-friction internals, a new water jacket and a varible valvelift system on the exhaust camshaft. Resulting is 208bhp, but a rather more spectacular 258lb ft of torque available all the way from 1600- to 4200rpm.

There are some other revisions to the car too – new interior trim options, chrome-ringed fog lamps, updated head- and taillights – the usual facelift fayre.

What’s it like?

That extra torque has a more pronounced effect on the TT’s performance than you may think. According to the official figures, it makes a new 2.0-litre TT with a manual gearbox half a second quicker to 62mph than the last one.

But when you dive into this car’s performance reserves on real roads, you’ll swear the difference is bigger. This car accelerates with real urgency; enough to run with a Porsche Cayman or Nissan 370Z in a straight line, no question.

Despite a few other tweaks, however – a stiffer ‘Sport’ setting for the magnetorhelogical dampers, less power assistance for the steering and a rortier exhaust note – the TT remains an odd, remote and unengaging kind of sports car.

It’s agile enough up to a point, but as the driver, you seem a long way from both the front-mounted engine and the front wheels, and powerless to interact with the car on any deeper or more entertaining level. The Quattro drivetrain remains a bit of a disappointment too, taking too long to shuffle power rearwards, and clashing with the car’s ESP and ASR systems when it should be working in tandem with them.

Still, as an ownership proposition, few of its rivals can measure up to the TT. Cabin ambience, material quality and levels of fit and finish are excellent, the driving position likewise.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Back to top

In ‘Normal’ mode, those adjustable dampers provide a handling and ride compromise that’s a little more compliant than before, and perfect for covering distance. 40mpg is possible on long runs, according to the official economy claim.

There’s lots of room in the boot, particularly if you fold the rear seatbacks down. And because it’s a TT, you can bank on better-than-class-average residuals.

Should I buy one?

If you’re a true enthusiast driver, probably not. Despite that excellent new engine, this TT represents the same old prospect: the same triumph of style over substance, of surface shimmer over sporting integrity.

It’s a car that has many merits, and will doubtless appeal to those who recognise the TT’s status as design icon and status symbol. But if you want real entertainment for your £30k, shop elsewhere.

Join the debate

Comments
19
Add a comment…
Frawls 4 September 2010

Re: Audi TT 2.0 TFSI

It never fails to amuse me how some people proclaim themselves to be petrolheads and yet 4 years after its launch still haven't copped on to the fact that unlike the previous TT the current model has a bespoke aluminium/steel chassis, only sharing its engines with the Golf and some interior parts with the R8.

Its also laughable how anyone who considers the TT an excellent car is either a fanboy or hairdresser. Having owned and driven modified Imprezas for 7 years I took the plunge in 2007 and bought the new TT 2.0 TFSi fwd. After a simple generic remap the car is fast enough to outpace both my Imprezas in-gear as they both had old school turbos which needed lots fo rpms before you got the hand of God up the backside shove they are famous for. By that time my humble hairdresser's car had long since waived (body-wave!) both my 300 bhp Imprezas goodbye.

In my experience the TT haters also tend to be Audi haters so have little knowledge of the cars as demonstrated by uninformed comments like "golf in drag". My firends in the Irish Subaru Driving Club (ISDC) have all been very impressed with my car despite some of the usual anti TT/Audi bias common among the Jap perfomance car community and they envy the fuel economy and residuals.

Just as the "Golf in Drag" comments undermine the credibility of those commentators, it is almost as riseable to suggest the enetry level TT is a true competitor to the Cayman. It may be close in terms of straight line performance but its does not have anything like the Porsche's tactile steering feel or handling prowess. Nevertheless the when TT viewed as a sweet handling, fast, stylish car makes a lot of sense and with this new engine it can only make caveman comments sound even more riducilous than they already do.

blasos1983 20 May 2010

Re: Audi TT 2.0 TFSI

nicksheele wrote:

nimmler wrote:
Dear Autocar- are you high or on the VAG payroll? There is no way a 208bhp £26,475 FWD <4wd £3000 extra> hairdressers car can keep up with the engineering perfection that is the cayman or the mega bargain £27K 331 PS Nissan 370Z.

nimmler, the hairdresser's car out-accelerates the base £37k Cayman, 5.6s for 0-62 mph compared to 5.8s. The risible Datsun can't better either of them - official 0-60 mph 5.3s (0-100 kp/h ~ 5.5-5.8s). Best you pipe down and learn to read.

Yes, apparently true:

"The 2.0 TFSI is quite quick—it doesn’t feel much slower than the 332-hp, V-6–toting Nissan 370Z, which we’ve tested"

-Car and Driver

The TT has a mass advantage of circa 175kg over the 370Z - although the Cayman is a similar mass- combined with 4WD this would keep it in touch with its more powerful rivals, whether it could outpace them is doubtful, maybe in-gear performance times would be interesting with the instant torque of the TT, I would think the TTS and TT RS are better suited for racinf 370s or Caymans. This model TT can obviously punch above its weight though.

nicksheele 18 May 2010

Re: Audi TT 2.0 TFSI

nimmler wrote:
Dear Autocar- are you high or on the VAG payroll? There is no way a 208bhp £26,475 FWD <4wd £3000 extra> hairdressers car can keep up with the engineering perfection that is the cayman or the mega bargain £27K 331 PS Nissan 370Z.

nimmler, the hairdresser's car out-accelerates the base £37k Cayman, 5.6s for 0-62 mph compared to 5.8s. The risible Datsun can't better either of them - official 0-60 mph 5.3s (0-100 kp/h ~ 5.5-5.8s). Best you pipe down and learn to read.

Find an Autocar car review