I was a bit disappointed with the new Audi TT. Disappointed that I didn’t get more time in it, thanks to a nasty bug that’s doing the rounds.
Never mind, the time that I had was well spent exploring the new car’s capabilities and technologies.
Still clearly a TT, the new coupe has been completely and cleverly re-designed. To my mind for the better and, dare I say, it was about time as the first TT was launched last millennium. Well, 1999 to be exact. There is nothing ’hairdresser’ about the new car so maybe the denigrators can drop that epithet now.
The new bodystyle features strong design-lines that run the length of the body, at shoulder-height and curve over the pronounced wheel-arches. At the rear end, there’s now an electrically retractable spoiler, which automatically activates at 75mph to increase downforce.
Up front, the bonnet creases frame the large grille, while on the outer edges, the side design-lines continue down into the low front spoiler, creating an area that neatly houses the headlight cluster and air-intakes.
It isn’t just the outside that has changed. Underneath the sleek, elegant body, the engineers have been hard at work in their efforts to reduce weight, while retaining body rigidity and dynamics. To this end they’ve done away with the all-steel construction and opted for an aluminium and steel hybrid ASF (Audi Space Frame).
ASF itself is not new - it was first introduced in the A8 back in 1990 - but this is the first time it has been used in hybrid form. Without going into too much detail, 69 per cent of the TT’s bodyweight is aluminium (140kg) and 31 per cent is steel (66kg). From that you can work out that the whole body-shell tips the scales at just 206kg. Those Audi people get so intense about weight loss, that even the weight, size and strength of the punch rivets are calculated by computer and we should thank them for their dedication.
Most of the steel is in the doors, boot lid and the rear floor panel. This isn’t just for the purpose of structural stiffness, it also serves to counterbalance the weight of the engine, evening up the axle loads and improving stability on the road. As well as lightening the load, the TT is made even more slippery through the air by the addition of a smooth underbody for better aerodynamics and the rear silencer is angled to act as a diffuser.
This is a 15-year+ news article, from our Audi archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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