SAN FRANCISCO: The new TT Coupe is the rebirth of an Audi sports car tradition.
Brilliant. Simple. Genuine. Outrageous! These are the words that come to mind at the first
exterior glance. Controlling, exciting and shameful thoughts quickly follow as I peek in
at the interior of this baby that I am completely Ga-Ga about.
I first laid eyes on the TT months ago. Journalists from around the states had an
invitation to an unveiling of the Nieman Marcus Limited Edition, and at that instant I
knew I was a true believer. Was it possible I had found my dream car?
Automotive architecture is my expression for the TT's styling. Straight out of the
Bauhaus School, the rule is simple - form follows function. The TT is a mini-course in
geometry. Circles and cylinders are the details, and they leave me spinning. The overall
shape of the TT is an awesome sight to behold, strongly influenced by the Auto Union Type
B record car of the Thirties, a streamlined racer with a small canopy on top. Visions of a
fast moving torpedo, with its shell stretched so tight it might rip at the seams. The
16" alloy wheels dominate the car. The aluminum fuel-filler hatch is just one of the
many details that scream ever so quietly "Look at me", and looks are what you
get. People could not seem to get enough. I understand this because after a week with my
TT, I still wanted more.
A very funny comment I heard at a stop light - "It looks like a Beetle that
someone stepped on!" "Of course it does," I replied, "it's by the same
designer, Freeman Thomas, who created the New VW." The family resemblance is
striking, but the TT's identity is very much on its own.
The interior is a clean, very industrial-looking, extremely satisfying place to sit.
Polished aluminum adorns beautifully crafted foot pedals, ringed air vents, various
buttons and temperature controls. Window switches hide in cute, little aluminum cylinders
on the door pulls. Not a sliver of wood to be seen. There is comfort to a "T" in
the surprisingly roomy cockpit. The woven cloth, leather and rubber version of upholstery
not only looks great, but has a function as well - it helps to hold you in the seat.
Simple leather is also available. As a sports car, the TT gets double bonus points for the
large trunk (13.8 cubic feet), and storage can be nearly doubled by folding down the
baby-size rear seats.
The TT is named after the legendary Tourist Trophy races. Held from 1905 until 1922 on
Great Britain's Isle of Man, the TT was a particularly challenging road race due to the
sheer difficulty of the circuit, fashioned from narrow public thoroughfares. To avoid
tragic accidents, a driver needed to have absolute confidence in his car.
The TT is perfectly suited for traveling fast down a twisty country road, a choice
candidate for the Tourist Trophy. It combines complete responsibility with total
entertainment. In the engine bay is a five-speed, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder
engine that produces 180 horsepower and 173 ft lb of torque. The optional Quattro
all-wheel drive is well worth the extra price.
This year we will be seeing the Audi TT Roadster, which I hear is love at first drive.
Also new will be greater performance from a more powerful engine with 225-horsepower and
producing 206 lb-ft of torque, and a 6-speed manual transmission.
Here are some interesting TT tid-bits in regards to Audi Teutonic Technology:
The TT is manufactured as a joint operation between plants in Ingolstadt, Germany and
Gyor, Hungary. Painted body shells are assembled in Ingolstadt and travel overnight by
railway to Hungary. The next morning in Gyor, the mechanicals are installed, then the TTs
are transferred back to Ingostadt by rail overnight. Quite an operation!
Pricing is surprisingly good. The base model starts at $30,500 and even fully loaded,
it won't go much higher than $35,000. Option packages include the Comfort package - with
heated front seats and trip computer; an Audio package - which has a 175-watt Bose sound
system with four speakers in the doors, dual two-way rear speakers, a center speaker, and
a six-disc CD changer; and the Performance package - with Xenon high-intensity headlights
and 17" alloy wheels.
For now I'll just dial up the volume on my Kraftwerk CD and contemplate the TT for a
while. This just might be my "have-to-have" set of wheels to cruise thru the new
millennium. By Carol Green © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
P.S. I'd like to know what you think. Email me at: email@example.com
Audi Home Page
Byline: By Carol Green © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Column Name: "Carol's Corner"
Topic: 2000 Audi TT Quattro Coupe
Word Count: 784
Photo Caption: 2000 Audi TT Quattro Coupe
Photo Credits: Audi PR
Series #: 2000 - 6
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