All New Audi TT Coupe Now On UK Sale | Part Three

The New Audi TT

A cult car, an icon - the Audi TT, launched in Germany in 1998 and in the UK in 1999 - took the sports coupé segment by storm and sharpened the brand profile. Now the second generation of this successful model is making its debut. The new TT Coupé is even more dynamic than its predecessor - in terms of its design, its drivetrain, and its running gear.

The very architecture of the new Audi TT Coupé embodies the style, stability and power of a pure driving machine. The bullish stance of the base body and the low, narrow styling of the greenhouse together form a sculpture of simple, unfussy lines. The Audi design team has lovingly adopted and enhanced the visual code - the motif of circles and domes - of the predecessor model. The new TT appears more stretched, and even at a standstill seems to be striving to move forward; taut panels emphasise the impression of dynamic movement. The new TT is 137 mm longer than its predecessor at 4,178 mm, and 78 mm wider at 1,842 mm.

The body is constructed in the ASF Space Frame design developed by Audi and consists of aluminium and steel. This is the first time that it has combined different materials alongside each other. 69 per cent of the superstructure is made of aluminium. The steel components making up the remaining 31 per cent are to be found at the rear end, so as to ensure balanced distribution of the axle loads. To improve downforce, a spoiler is extended from the tailgate when the vehicle reaches a speed of over 74 mph.

The new Audi TT, like its predecessor, is initially available as a 2 + 2-seater coupé; the separate roadster model is scheduled for later launch. The basic luggage capacity of the easily accessible boot, under its large-format lid, is 290 litres. This capacity can be increased to 700 litres by folding down the rear seat backs. The sports seats provide outstanding side restraint. There is a choice of three different leathers for the covers.

The cockpit is oriented strictly to the driver and is perfectly ergonomic in design. It embodies the classic circles motif of the TT in a number of ways, such as in the three centre air vents.

Two powerful petrol engines are available to power the car. The 2.0l turbocharged four-cylinder TFSI unit featuring FSI direct injection develops 147 kW (200 bhp). With a six-speed manual gearbox, it accelerates the TT to 62 mph in just 6.4 seconds, reaching a top speed of 149 mph. The sonorous-sounding, naturally aspirated 3.2-litre V6 engine develops 184 kW (250 bhp), accelerating from zero to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and reaching a top speed of 155 mph (electronically governed).

continues... | Part Four

Published : 08/04/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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