Talk to engineers across the wider industry and, while you’ll find admiration for what Audi has done with its brand, you’ll come across a certain sense of frustration.
Most Audis are uninteresting to drive, with understeer-biased dynamics and, worse still, remarkably inconsistent steering. The frustrating bit is that most buyers don’t seem to mind.
There is hope, however, that Audi is turning a corner. That the TT is based on the aluminium-intensive MQB platform means it is blessed with a relatively healthy 1320kg kerb weight, which is good for agility.
Our test car came on 235/35 R19 tyres, so the low-speed ride suffered as you’d imagine. The TT isn’t brittle, but it’s less compliant than everyday buyers might want. Or perhaps they’ll mistake it for sporty.
Still, the standard-fit Hankook tyres and damping control provide decent grip and traction – the TT held 0.93g even in the damp conditions of our test – so there’s the basis here of a decent sports coupé.
And this generation of TT gets closer to being that than the previous one, no question. As well as selectable modes for the dampers - an optional extra - you can select different settings for the engine/gearbox calibration, steering weight and ESC intervention: you can choose pre-set modes or pick and choose your set-up.
Thankfully it seems more than just a marketing gimmick, too. I imagine mostly I’d leave the button in Auto, but Dynamic has a lot going for it when you’re in the right mood.
It steers with lightness but precision and even the odd bit of feel. An inconsistency to the weight is still present, as Audi battles with the multiple wants of lightness around town, meatiness at speed and solidity on the motorway, but it’s better than its usual efforts.
The ride, meanwhile, settles at speed. And while the handling won’t worry the most sporting of coupés, most buyers will think it just dynamic enough.