Examined: 2016 Audi TT Coupe


From the November 2015 problem of Automobile and Driver.

Think about you’re an aluminum ingot sizzling from the smelter, going through all future prospects. You possibly can be a sheet of foil tented loosely over a platter of resting meat, or the can conserving a fistful of beer contained within the griller’s hand. Perhaps you’ll be the kid’s bat pinging a line drive via his window, or a spar within the wing of the Airbus tattooing the blue sky excessive overhead.

Or are you a gearhead? Sorry, you possibly can’t truly be a gear—most of these jobs go to metal. However you’re wanted desperately elsewhere. Engine components, structural parts, and suspension elements have all been solid, extruded, and cast from aluminum for the sake of weight discount. Or possibly you’re an aesthete, and also you’d prefer to be stamped right into a physique panel. When you work your manner into an , you might discover which means in any of those roles. The all-new 2016 TT is the third technology of Audi’s architectural hatchback, and, as earlier than, practically all of its metallic bits—higher physique construction, facet frames, fenders, doorways, hood, roof, hatch, and bumper beams, plus assorted engine and suspension components—are aluminum. The supplies combine shifts round a bit for gen three, although, with metal now used for the engine cradle, floorpan, and firewall. That helps preserve weight to 367 kilos, 25 lower than the earlier automotive and 242 lower than a equally sized , which shares a platform with the TT and equally packs a turbo 2.0 and four-wheel drive.

Audi TTVolkswagen Golf R

Powering the brand new TT is the Volkswagen Group’s redesigned EA888 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which retains the EA888 identify however little else except for bore and stroke. It’s constructed round a 72-pound iron block that’s one in every of heaviest single items of ferrous metallic within the automotive. Integrating the exhaust manifold into the aluminum cylinder head helps the engine rise up to working temperature shortly, lowering startup emissions. In European purposes, this engine will get each direct and port gasoline injectors, the latter to raised combine gasoline and air to hit particular emissions targets. However right here within the U.S., the place our exhaust necessities are completely different, it’s not a priority definitely worth the funding, and our TTs are DI solely.

HIGHS: Glorious steering, roadholding, and braking; spectacular acceleration with simply 220 horsepower.

However it’s nonetheless unmistakably the Wolfsburg turbo 2.0, sounding and responding just like the engine we’ve skilled in a succession of VW merchandise. Flooring it from a cease and there’s a slight delay earlier than its 258 pound-feet of torque peaks at 1600 rpm, after which energy piles on easily till all 220 horsepower manifests at 6200 rpm. For a automotive with such an unremarkable energy score, the TT’s efficiency is spectacular: zero to 60 mph in simply 5.2 seconds, with the quarter-mile taking 13.8 seconds at 99 mph. That’s 0.6 second faster to 60 and 0.6 second extra fleet via the quarter than a GTI. Change the exhaust to dynamic mode, and a sound actuator gives the look of a deeper exhaust rumble.

Shifts from the dual-clutch gearbox are sooner and smoother than these of most ­conventional automatics, and kickdowns are instantaneous. Even in guide mode, flooring the accelerator produces a sixth-to-second downshift as quick as a rifle shot. Presently, the one option to get a TT within the U.S. is with DSG and Quattro.

If the TT’s straight-line figures are on the verge of sports-car pace, its braking and roadholding are legit sports-car performances. And the sensations related to them are practically as spectacular. Brake really feel is superb. The pedal travels a contact an excessive amount of, however strain is constantly agency as soon as the stopping begins. A 70-to-zero braking distance of 151 ft betters the 10Best-winning BMW M235i, in addition to one of many M4s we’ve examined. As does 0.98 g on the skidpad. Audi’s Drive Choose system tweaks steering effort, engine sound, four-wheel-drive engagement, and throttle and transmission mapping. In both consolation or dynamic mode, the steering is linear, progressive, and weights up fantastically. It’s breezy and light-weight in consolation, and barbell heavy in dynamic.

With the shortest wheelbase of any automotive but constructed on Volkswagen’s super-versatile MQB platform, the TT modifications route fairly properly for a four-wheel driver. The Quattro system can direct 100% of engine torque to both the entrance or rear axle, and switching the system into dynamic mode biases that output to the rear. Beneath even mild throttle (cornering), Quattro directs torque aft, relieving strain on the nostril and permitting the TT to rotate readily. One factor we want Drive Choose may alter is suspension response. (Adjustable dampers shall be stand­ard on the forthcoming TTS.) With our automotive’s elective 19-inch wheels ($1000), the journey was pretty harsh, although not unduly so for a automotive with dealing with this direct.

Motor vehicle, Mode of transport, Automotive design, Steering wheel, Steering part, Alloy wheel, Vehicle door, Automotive wheel system, Black, Luxury vehicle, View Photographs

Backside proper: The TT’s intelligent and obsessively detailed HVAC vents could be the yr’s most surprising engineering triumph.

ANDREW TRAHAN

We’ll now change gears and rant till we’re blue in regards to the TT’s fancy new infotainment system. Cleverly designed to chop the passenger out of the equation totally, it does away with the central show display screen, changing it with three air vents and one giant, reconfigurable panel in entrance of the motive force. There aren’t any mechanical gauges anymore, only a digital tach and speedometer that may shrink as obligatory to permit different shows—radio, media, navigation, automobile settings, and phone—to take up an inordinate quantity of house and driver consideration.

The driving force manipulates these varied capabilities utilizing steering-wheel controls. The passenger can handle them utilizing the central MMI knob and a few buttons however can’t see the display screen, so there’s little level. Proving how a lot Audi needs the motive force to maintain palms on the wheel and use the controls there, the redundant quantity knob is positioned simply out of attain, in entrance and to the suitable of the shifter. Right here, although, it’s optimally, patronizingly positioned for the passenger. (You need one thing to do, Bradley? Superb. Management the amount.)

LOWS: Infotainment betrayal of the best order, timid styling, GTI’s engine is much less endearing at 50 grand.

On Audi’s web site, we got here throughout a plug for the system, promising that it might permit the motive force to “learn, not over-whelmed.” Placing 4 gauges and greater than a dozen completely different icons on one display screen, giving the motive force some 20 separate issues to have a look at, doesn’t look like the easiest way to perform that. Simply two years in the past, we known as Audi’s MMI the least irritating, most user-friendly infotainment system in your entire business [“Doing IT Right,” Janu ary 2014]. As a lot buzzword momen-tum because the phrase “distracted driving” has amassed, it appears few automakers are literally doing something to fight it. And by assigning sole duty for these secondary techniques to the motive force, Audi appears to be asking the chain-saw juggler if he can’t additionally tune the carburetors whereas he’s at it.

At the very least the air vents that exchange the infotainment display screen are beautiful, though they, too, are wildly advanced. Some corporations publish exploded imagery to indicate the varied elements of their physique buildings or engines. Audi launched a rendering of an air vent exploded to indicate the 20 or so completely different components in every. All of the HVAC controls are nested contained in the vents. You modify temperature by turning the knob in the midst of the middle vent, and also you push it to have interaction the automated setting. The knob on the leftmost of the three vents controls fan pace. The knob on the suitable vent selects air distribution. Each driver and passenger have an outboard vent on the sprint close to the door deal with. Pushing the button in these prompts the seat heater. It’s a sophisticated however intelligent and tidy option to package deal HVAC controls, and the vents and knobs are satisfyingly graduated and hefty (not in contrast to our nephew, who mercifully bought that wrestling scholarship to Central).

In any other case, the TT’s ethereal inside is restrained, bordering on the tasteless—a specific disappointment contemplating that the first-generation TT touched off a cabin-design renaissance, going as far as to supply baseball-glove stitching on its seats. With a row of toggle switches low on the sprint and its intelligent round vents, the TT’s inside reminds us of a German Ford Mustang. It’s rendered virtually solely in a black rubbery materials that may be nice to plant your face into throughout a vigorous front-end influence however isn’t in any other case noteworthy. At the very least the game seats (one other $1000 possibility) are supremely snug.

We’re equally lukewarm on the automotive’s exterior. The primary TT was groundbreaking, in contrast to something we’d seen earlier than besides possibly in futurist sketches of a reborn Porsche 356. Then the second was, properly, form of like the primary one, however not as shock-ing. This third technology simply seems as if Audi changed some radiused curves with kinks and known as it a day. Until you park it subsequent to its predecessor, telling them aside is difficult. The TT was once automotive sculpture; now it’s a small, chunky R8 clone. It’s nonetheless fairly and sports activities some good detailing however now not invitations the kind of stares the unique did.

Certainly, we discovered ourselves feeling considerably indifferent from the TT as a complete. It’s a cushty and succesful sports activities coupe, but it surely doesn’t provide holistic driver engagement. An instance: We’re accustomed to this engine impressing in more-affordable vehicles, the place it appears like an overachiever. On this context, although, it lacks the persona and immediacy of a suitably premium engine, say BMW’s straight-six and even Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8—simply two options out there close to the TT’s base value of $43,825. With choices, our tester climbed to $50,600, at which level consumers in search of one thing thrilling may very well be tempted to stretch one other few grand for a Corvette.

And whereas the TT’s chassis enhancements are spectacular, with this base automotive outcornering and outbraking even the outdated TT RS, the automotive itself feels aloof. Regardless of wonderful steering and physique management, the information broadcast to the motive force’s bottom is dominated by reverb from the stiff suspension and huge wheels. It’s so steady and planted that it wants extra energy to return alive and dance. The TTS’s further 72 horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque ought to obtain that, however, regardless of its seems, a mini R8 this isn’t. In reality, we’re not fairly certain what the TT needs to be.

THE VERDICT: A sporty coupe that falls quick on the sensations that make a sports activities automotive.

Someday, this aluminum ingot could also be floor up, melted down, and re-formed into different stuff—possibly a number of hundred very good-looking soup ladles. In the meantime, it’s now not serving as the style accent it as soon as was, nor, on this configuration no less than, as a real, premium sports activities automotive. For now, it’s only a fastidious aluminum dump-ling—one rife with chance.

Specs

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