Newberg, Oregon – The highly popular and stunningly beautiful Audi TT is all-new for the 2016 model year, and it will come in three versions ? the Audi TT Coupe, an Audi TT Roadster and the flagship Audi TTS which is available only in Coupe form, and at a later date.
The styling is new, without losing the appeal of the original TT models. The new design is characterized by the use of innovative technologies that are focused on the driver. Perhaps the most noteworthy and innovative feature is the all-new Virtual Cockpit, which is an entirely digital instrument cluster that revolutionizes driver interaction with the vehicle, replacing traditional gauges and interfaces with a customizable instrument display in a unique, 12.3-inch TFT screen that combines the functions of a central MMI? system with a traditional-looking panel of gauges featuring crisp, clear 3D graphics, including Google based navigation with turn by turn instructions.
Also featured is Audi Connect?, offering the latest in MIB-2 infotainment features including 4G LTE Wi-Fi? hotspot connectivity for personal devices, streaming audio, social networking, external voice recognition, over-the-air map updates, and INRIX XD? Traffic.
Power for both the Audi TT Coupe and Audi TT Roadster is provided by a 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve, with valve lift system Turbocharged/TFSI? four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower in a range from 4,500 to 6,200 rpm, while also developing 258 pound feet of torque from 1,600 to 4,400 rpm. Motive force from the engine reaches the driving wheels through Audi?s Quattro all-wheel drive system, via a six-speed S tronic DCT automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. A new quattro? all-wheel-drive system varies the delivery percentage of torque from front to rear by measuring the traction coefficient at all four wheels with 150 readings every 10 milliseconds, which for the first time may be controlled by the driver through the Audi Drive Select system. The Quattro system has a rear-wheel power bias when in Dynamic Mode.
The Audi TT Coupe and Roadster are identical in nearly every detail, the only exceptions being the top configuration, curb weight, drag coefficient and 0-60 times.
The digital HVAC controls eliminate the necessity for a conventional dash console, and integrate fan speed, air vent selection and temperature directly into the center of three central vents, along with the respective heated seat controls into each side vent.
Visually, up front, the Audi TT sports a wider and flatter Singleframe? grille, along with sharp contours spanning the hood, where the iconic Audi rings are now placed. Full LED headlights are now featured as standard fare. Aft, the twins, round tailpipes are centrally mounted and the rear spoiler is electrically operated. Taillights are also LED with dynamic turn signals, and there are rear-parking sensors.
The interior offers fine Nappa leather as an available option as well as Audi side assist. Front sport seats provide four-way power lumbar adjustment. Dressing up the cabin, is a three-spoke, flat-bottom, multifunction sport steering wheel with shift paddles, aluminum drift inlays, an aluminum shift knob and a Black leather package for the door armrests and center console.
My preference for open cars is nearly overcome by the classy, aerodynamic design of the new third generation Audi TT Coupe.
During the national press introduction, my production test version 2016 Audi TT Coupe wore a Tango Red Metallic exterior finish, while the interior was done in Black with quilted seating surfaces. The base price was set at $42,900., while the options including the Tango Red Metallic paint, the Technology Package, 19-inch wheel package, S Sport seat Package, Bang & Olufsen Sound System and Destination charge, elevated the final sticker to $50,600.
SUMMARY: The Audi TT Coupe and Roadster are not just sporty cars, they are true sports cars, capable of delivering stellar performance in virtually any driving scenario. The TTs may be comfortably driven in urban surroundings or securely in race conditions.
The car performs beautifully in the normal or comfort mode, but is most enjoyable when placed in dynamic sport mode with Quattro engaged. Steering is spot on and instantly responsive, the ride quality is firm, but not punishing and best of all, the TT sticks like glue to the road when pushed vigorously, with nary a peep from the Bridgestone Potenza tires. The car?s lightweight thanks to its all aluminum body construction, allows it to be tossed about with abandon.
The new virtual cockpit is a revelation that allows the driver to focus on the road, rather than searching around for important desired information. Switchgear is simplified and intuitive, enhancing the pure pleasure of driving. Seats are highly supportive as well as comfortable.
In the final analysis, one would be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable sports car than the 2016 Audi TT in either Coupe or Roadster form. that embodies sexy, appealing styling and confidence building handling at a reasonable price point. The 2016 Audi TT is the best yet, but if a higher performance level is desired, the Audi TTS Coupe is sure to satisfy when it becomes available soon.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Audi TT Coupe & Roadster
Base Price: $42,900. Coupe / $46,400. Roadster
Price as Tested: $50,600. Coupe / $54,700. Roadster
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve, with valve lift system Turbocharged/TFSI? four-cylinder
Horsepower (bhp): 220 @ 4,500-6,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 258 @ 1,600-4,400 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed S tronic DCT with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / quattro all-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with aluminum subframe and dynamic axle kinematics.
Rear – Four-link.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel ventilated discs with ABS.
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza 5001 245/35 R19 93Y mounted on 5-arm-star design alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 98.6 inches
Length Overall: 164.7 inches
Width: 72.1 inches ? excluding mirrors
Height: 61.9 inches
Curb Weight: 3,186 lbs. Coupe / 3,384 lbs.Roadster
Turning Circle: 34.78 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 14.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 23 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.30 Coupe / 0.32 Roadster
0 – 60 mph: 5.3 seconds Coupe / 5.6 seconds Roadster – Top track speed ? 130 mph
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.