SPORTS CAR REVIEW:
Audiís little two-seat sports car created a big impression when it
arrived along with the 21st century. Strikingly clean and modern inside
and out, it made the most of its modest Volkswagen platform and won a
whole new set of fans for Audi. After years of minimal change, the TT
has been redone.
Although it is still a
diminutive two seater, the new TT now stretches 5.4 inches longer on a
1.8-inch longer wheelbase. Itís just over three inches wider too and a
fraction of an inch taller. That means more comfort for driver and
passenger, but still keeps the quick, tight handling that a compact car
Weight, at 3,131
pounds, is kept in check by clever use of Audi Space Frame technology.
The carís body utilizes 58 percent aluminum and 42 percent steel. The
steel parts are distributed for weight balance and also to provide
rigidity in this open-roof vehicle.
Audiís engineers passed
on a hard folding top and chose to stick with the old-fashioned cloth
top for the TT. Although it permits more sound to enter the cabin, the
cloth top is lighter and gives the car a low center of gravity. It drops
in just 12 seconds. A hydraulically operated top is standard on upper
level models and is available on the base 2.0-liter model, which uses a
manual top with a central catch.
Regardless of how it
drops, the top folds in a Z shape, with the topmost section taking the
place of a tonneau cover. Itís quick, easy and lightweight. And if you
feel at all enclosed by the top, once itís down the TTís interior is as
big as the whole outdoors.
You can get a 2.0-liter
turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 3.2-liter V6. Horsepower ratings
are 200 for the four and 250 for the six. The four-cylinder version,
with the only transmission you can get on it, a six-speed automanual,
gets from zero to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. The V6 will do it in 5.6
I, however, have a
problem. I want my TT Roadster with the 2.0-liter engine mated with a
six-speed manual. Sorry, you canít have that in the U.S. If you want to
shift for yourself you have to order up the 3.2-liter 6. Thatís hardly
bad news, except for the higher price and lower fuel economy.
My Sahara Silver
Metallic tester averaged 25.4 miles per gallon, excellent for a sports
car. The EPA numbers are 22 City, 29 Highway, so it hit pretty much in
the middle. The EPAís Green Vehicle ratings are 7 for Air Pollution and
7 for Greenhouse Gas, good enough to earn the Smartway classification.
Despite its close
accommodations, the interior is welcoming, and, as an Audi, exquisitely
rendered. Gleaming accents on door grips, latch, steering wheel,
transmission housing and vents are set perfectly into the satiny plastic
panels. The steering wheel features an unusual flat bottom, which
increases thigh room but can feel a little odd as you turn it into a
sharp curve. The seats are deeply bolstered, and in my tester, wore a
rich Saddle Brown leather.
The first generation TT,
particularly with its 1.8-liter turbo engine, was sometimes maligned as
not being a serious sports car. I didnít buy that, considering how many
modestly powered two-seaters have delivered more than satisfactory
performance over the years. But todayís 2.0-liter engine has plenty of
extra oomph, and with the 3.2-liter V6, thereís nothing to cry about.
My testerís optional
Magnetic Ride Suspension gave me a choice of how I wanted the car to
handle. This high-tech damping technology employs shock absorber struts
with a special fluid in them that contains magnetic particles. With the
touch of a button you can apply voltage to the fluid, altering its
viscosity, thereby changing the suspension in a split second.
Options can help you
build the perfect TT for you. My tester, with its four-cylinder engine
and front wheel drive, started at $36,800 plus a $775 destination
On top of that was
$12,900 worth of options. The long list included the Premium Package,
with the power top, leather steering wheel, and ten-way power seats with
heat. There was fine leather on those seats, and a navigation system,
including an iPod interface tucked away in the glove compartment.
The Bose premium sound
system included a six-disc changer and Sirius satellite radio. The
wheels were bumped up to 18-inchers. That beautiful silver paint cost
$475 extra. All of this put the TTís price at just under $50,000.
Suddenly, that seems like a lot for this car, as good as it is.
Audis are meant to be
premium vehicles, and the new TT is that and more. Youíll need to drive
one to see if it does the right thing for you.
By Steve Schaefer
Byline: CAR Review provided by Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Audi Home Page
Column Name: Audis are
meant to be premium vehicles
Topic: The 2008 Audi TT
Word Count: 867
Photo Caption: The
2008 Audi TT Roadster
Photo Credits: Audi TT
Series #: 2008 - 37
the Microsoft Word version here:
2008 Audi TT Roadster
Download the Original Image File here:
2008 Audi TT Roadster