The New Audi TT Coupe - The Interior and Body | Part Two

Audi TT Coupe

The Interior

The original TT was itself one of the few coupés on the market to offer genuine sports car design in its interior. In the new model, too, the fluid dynamism of the exterior is echoed in the interior.

A sweeping line provides a transition between the interior trim of the door and the instrument panel. It embodies the classic circles motif of the TT in a number of ways, such as in the three centre air vents. All lines converge in the instrument cluster, with its two large scales for speed and revs. New features include a large digital speedometer in the display of the driver information system.

The new standard-spec sports steering wheel fits snugly in the hands. Its solid rim, trimmed in high-grade Nappa leather, is flattened at the bottom, similarly to the Audi RS 4 and the Le Mans quattro sports car study. The driver's and front passenger's sports seats are fitted even lower down than in the predecessor model, providing a truly sporty seating position allied to firm side restraint. Like the steering column, they can of course be adjusted longitudinally and in height, offering a perfect sporty seated position for every driver.

The Body

The new Audi TT, like its predecessor, is initially available as a 2 + 2-seater coupé; a roadster model is scheduled for later launch. The dynamic impression that it creates stems from its modified proportions. The coupé is 137 mm longer and 78 mm wider than its predecessor, but only 6 mm higher. It is now 4,178 mm long, 1,842 mm wide and 1,352 mm high. The TT's wheelbase is 2,468 mm.

The interior, too, has benefited from this increase in size: it has grown by 75 mm in length to 1,577 mm, by 29 mm in front shoulder width to 1,352 mm and by 23 mm in rear shoulder width to 1,206 mm. In the basic configuration, the luggage compartment beneath the large lid accommodates 290 litres of luggage. It grows to 700 litres when the rear seat backs are folded down, and its length of 1.70 metres is ample for two golf bags. With these practical characteristics, the TT Coupé sets standards in its class.

The body of the new TT is constructed in lightweight ASF design. The three letters stand for Audi Space Frame - the ground-breaking aluminium technology developed by the company in the early 1990s for the first A8 series. The ASF combines aluminium and steel for the first time. Aluminium accounts for 69 per cent of the weight of the body. Fully galvanised steel components are located principally at the rear of the floor panel. The doors and luggage compartment lid are also made of steel. This ensures that the axle loads are distributed evenly, thus considerably improving the handling of the vehicle.

The bodyshell of the TT weighs 206 kg, 140 kg of which is aluminium and 66 kg steel; were it built entirely of steel, it would be 48 per cent heavier. Its low weight is one of the key factors behind the impressive road behaviour of the new TT Coupé. The unladen weight of the TT 2.0 TFSI is just 1,260 kilograms - placing it at the forefront of this performance class. And the 3.2 quattro weighs only 1,410 kg.

The new-style ASF on the Audi TT features properties that are truly worthy of a genuine sports car. Its static torsional rigidity has been improved by around 50 per cent over its predecessor. In terms of crash safety, too, the new TT is utterly uncompromising.

continues... | Part Three

Published : 07/06/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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