What is it?
The hottest version of Audi’s fabric-roofed TT. Like its coupe sister, the roadster S gets a highly tuned version of the familiar Volkswagen group 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, with drive supplied to all four wheels via a Haldex clutch on the back axle. Suspension has also been uprated and the Roadster S gets a unique bodykit.
The headline figures are 269bhp and 5.6-second 0-62mph time. That’s better than the standard, 2.7-litre version of the Porsche Boxster – but the Audi is also more expensive than its ultra-desirable rival. That’s a brave – or possibly foolish - decision on Audi’s part.
What’s it like?
A curious combination of the brilliant and underwhelming. The engine is the highlight of the experience – torquey, happy to rev and almost completely free of the sort of lag you might expect to afflict a turbocharged engine with this sort of per-litre output.
The optional quick-shift gearbox of our test car was a pleasure to use too, swapping ratios with a precision and speed to make the extra investment required for the full-spec twin-clutch DSG look like relatively poor value.
And nobody would deny that the S looks good – the combination of low stance, well-judged bodykit and chunky alloy wheels giving it the sort of visual purpose that the rest of the TT range struggles to deliver. Nobody is going to accuse this one of looking girly.