Audi TT: The Affordable Sports Car

Affordable and sporty are two words that are rarely used in the same breath when talking about cars. But somehow Audi managed to combine both, with a side order of style, when they introduced the world to the iconic TT in 1998. Fifteen years on and the Audi TT still looks as good as ever. Its curvy, aerodynamic bodywork may have inspired imitators, but Audi’s TT remains one of the best looking motors on the road. Add the fact that technological advances have improved the drive performance immensely, and it’s no wonder that this car is as popular now as when it was first launched.

Audi TT Side View

Audi TT Side View

Great price, fantastic drive

 The Audi TT is available as a four-seater Coupé or a two-seater Roadster. The on-the-road price for a basic Coupé starts at just over £24,000 and the Roadster is just over £26,000. No wonder What Car? described it as “surprisingly affordable to own” in their five star review.

Audi TT Rear View

Audi TT Rear View

So what do you get for your money? In one word – speed. Both versions have a six-speed manual gear box, and most models can be upgraded to the semi-automatic gear box. Choose between four turbo petrol models (1.8 158bhp, 2.0 208bhp, 2.0 TTS 270bhp and five-cylinder TT RS 335 bhp) or the 2.0 168bhp diesel version.

The experts’ opinion

According to What Car? the Roadster offers “sharp handling and plenty of pace”,  whilst Top Gear describes the Coupé as “genuinely a great car”.  The experts’ overall verdict is that it “is as good to drive as it is to look at”.

Audi TT Front View

Audi TT Front View

Can it keep up with the competition? Well it may struggle to match the pace of the pricier sports cars on the market, but then again the Audi TT comes at a fraction of the cost of these models. Need more convincing of its racing prowess? The Audi TT was used as the safety car for the 2009 24 Hours Le Mans race.

Sport versions and limited editions

If you want even more power then hunt down one of the Sport or limited edition models. In 2005 Audi released a coupé-only, limited edition Quattro Sport. Only 800 were sold in the UK, so they’re pretty thin on the ground. As well as upgraded specs, its bodywork boasts a distinctive two-tone paint scheme. So you’ll really stand out from the crowd, if you can manage to get your hands on one.

Other special editions include the S version, which has lowered suspension and larger air intakes, and the TT RS which has a rear spoiler (a retractable option is available) and black leather bucket seats. The TT RS featured alongside the Lotus Exige S and the Porsche 911 Carrera S in Top Gear Magazine’s Speed Week.

Award winning motors

Since its introduction in 2006, the Mark II version of the Audi TT has picked up some impressive awards. These include Top Gear Coupé of the Year 2006, Fifth Gear Car of the Year 2006 and the Autobild Most Beautiful Car award.

In 2007 it won World Design Car of the Year and was a finalist in the World Car of the Year. Most impressively it won What Car? Best Coupé seven years in a row, from 2006 to 2013.

Written by Susan Pinna

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