by Tony C. Lesesne
I’ve always loved the look and style of this car, but I was curious about the performance it would deliver on the open road. When it came time for the test-drive for this blog, my curiosity was satisfied.
The 2016 Audi TT is a redesigned version which is about 100 pounds lighter. The 2016 Audi TT is a small all-wheel-drive sports car available as a coupe configured with a 2+2 seating arrangement or a two-seat convertible.
The addition of Audi’s virtual cockpit, which utilizes a 12.3-inch TFT screen to display navigation maps and instruments bring a new level of satisfaction to the driver. Three different modes are available, one that emphasizes the navigation map, one that squeezes the map and enlarges the instruments and a Sport-oriented layout with a large central analog tachometer and central speedometer. High-quality materials and a clean, elegant look that’s simple and tasteful make it easy to appreciate. The back seats don’t provide much space for passengers unless you squeeze them in. In the TT coupe, there’s a 10.8-cubic foot cargo area that’s expandable to 25.1 cubic feet with the split-folding rear seats down which is a very good thing.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 is the only engine available and is rated at 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the base model and 292 hp and 280 lb-ft in the TTS. Both the TT and TTS will come exclusively with a six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. The all-wheel drive system in all TT models is able to move 100 percent of torque to the front or rear wheels as determined by a microcomputer. Fuel economy in the TT is class competitive at 23/30 mpg city/highway for the TT coupe and convertible, and 23/27 mpg for the TTS coupe.
Standard safety features on the 2016 TTS include dual-front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. Blind spot warning is available as part of the technology package.
The base TT comes generously equipped with automatic full LED headlights, LED taillights, automatic climate control, leather/Alcantara upholstery, heated front sport seats, 50/50 split-folding rear seatbacks, Audi’s MMI infotainment system with handwriting recognition technology, the slick virtual cockpit, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry and start, rear parking sensors, and Audi Drive Select. Navigation, a rearview camera, blind spot warning, and heated power-folding side mirrors are available as part of the Technology package. Nappa leather upholstery is available as part of the Audi Design Selection package or the S Sport Seat package. A Bang & Olufsen audio system and 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in summer performance tires are available as standalone options.
Driving the TT was lots of fun. It has excellent pick-up for those moments you need to get onto the expressway from the on ramp. It also handles with confidence when taking on curves and moving around tight spots. The low center of gravity provides a clean and exciting view of the road in front, tempting the driver to push the limits of the car, so let this be a warning to those of you with a lead foot. The TT is well-positioned in a very tight and competitive segment which includes the Mercedes-Benz SLK class, the BMW Z4, the Porsche Boxter, Alfa Romeo 4C, and the Nissan 370Z.
Be sure to watch the AutoFOCUS Test drive web tv shows each week at http://www.lesesnemediagroup.com