BEHIND THE WHEEL: Audi TT
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
Audi arguably is the company that makes the prettiest cars in the last decade. Well that stopped when they came out with the latest TT followed by Q7 and R8. It was a great step backwards in term of exterior design but they should know better in terms of moving forward. The local dealer was nice enough to present me with the only TT available here which only powers the front wheels. Fortunately I wasn’t having plans on that weekend so why not spend some time in one.
Beautifully crafted interior
Still no sportscar
6-speed S tronic
0-100 km/h: 5.9s
Top speed: 250 km/h
First thing that struck me was that, I could barely decipher if it were the new one from the rear quarter view. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite a car bore but the sides of Mark III Audi TT are quite identical to its predecessor. Maybe the looks of the latest TT will grow on me as times goes by though the last one with LEDs does look good. It was sleek, curvaceous and even better looking in S line trim however the interior was very much from the past decade.
Once inside, things are much better where one will always be wishing it look just as good on the outside. The amusing virtual cockpit, integrated AC controls on jet turbine vents along with a clean centre stack are genuinely neat. Everything is nicely made, very Audi but materials get economical on window switches and things around the elbow was quite anticlimactic. Those apart, Audi MMI is rather excellent, controls are logically laid out making it a nice place to be.
I am relatively excited to drive the new TT since it’s been said to be the best driving one yet so it better not be a let down. Shortly after setting off, I noticed that the ride is surprisingly taut despite having active dampers. The MQB platform made the seventh instalment of the Golf GTI sporty yet very comfortable while things are busier in the TT. I’m guessing it is packing a lot in the driving department and I couldn’t wait to get to less busy familiar roads.
There was some turbo lag when the so-called launch control was performed on the TT then came traction control to keep me out of trouble in a front driven car, no thank you. Pretty much the same when it was shown some corners. No matter how you drive, it just doesn’t thrill and I can imagine how bad the Mk II TT drives. The steering can be accurate but the lack of feedback together with indecisive weightage does not reward the person behind its flat-bottomed steering wheel.
On the flip side, the S tronic gearbox is no less than one of the best double clutch systems in the business. I dare say it is just as good as a PDK found in the 991 Carrera. Plus the engine sounds healthy on the limit while exhaust noise could be heard, both are very good traits indeed. The car being small in proportions coupled with a steering that is light and precise on low speeds makes the TT easy to maneuverer about.
The TT to me is a great everyday car, ideal for those who would like an alternative the conventional German sedans say, the 3 series, C class or an A4. Starting from 285 grand, it is pretty much unrivalled if you could keep your hands off the cooker jar of optional extras. Both Bang & Olufsen and full LED headlamps at 3 and 5 thousand respectively are necessities while Matrix lights is tempting at 9, navigation for another 9.5. Just forget the expensive S line package and 19 inch alloys.