With crisp, Bauhaus-inspired styling, the second-generation Audi TT Roadster looks like nothing else on the road. Its performance and handling don't quite match up to the competition, but a typical Audi interior (read: gorgeous) and a comfortable ride mean the TT Roadster is well worth checking out for those who dig its design.
Audi also offers the TT in coupe and 265-horsepower TTS forms.
For its last year on the market, the second-gen TT gains standard heated seats, new five-spoke alloy wheels and an optional carbon appearance package.
Some cars are defined by their engines, others by the way they attack curves - in the TT Roadster case, styling is its raison d'etre. Using the progressive, modern ethos of Germany's Bauhaus art movement as a starting point, Audi's designers created a coupe that, like the original TT, incorporates arches and flowing lines to create a unique, timeless form.
For the latest model year, the look gets slightly more aggressive due to newly standard S-Line cues, including sport-design front and rear bumpers, side sills and grille surround.
Instead of the fashionable but heavy retractable hardtop used by some rivals, the TT Roadster utilizes a folding soft top that saves weight and can power itself down in just 15 seconds.
Inside, the TT Roadster upholds Audi's reputation for finely crafted cabins with a simple yet elegant dashboard and high-quality materials throughout. The coupe's vestigal rear-seats were lost in the transition between hardtop and convertible - no big deal there, as few would volunteer to sit in such a cramped space. More importantly, the ragtop eats up a significant amount of cargo space, although a respectable 8.8 cubic feet remain.
The TT Roadster is beginning to fall slightly behind the times in terms of technology, doing without Audi's nifty connect suite and its in-car WiFi, Google Earth nav system and real-time localized weather, news and live fuel prices.
Under the Hood
The TT Roadster was once available with a choice of four- or a six-cylinder engines, but the powertrain lineup has been paired down to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is rated at 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a standard six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive, the TT coupe can sprint from a stop to 60 in 5.6 seconds.
Fuel economy is rated at 22 city and 31 highway miles per gallon.
The high-tech Audi magnetic ride damper system is available as an option. In this system, tiny magnetic particles circulate in the oil inside the shock absorbers. When voltage is applied to them, they alter the damping characteristics within milliseconds.
This adaptive system promises enhanced levels of ride comfort and handling, although it doesn't quite turn the TT Roadster into a genuine sports car.
Standard and Optional Features
The TT Roadster comes standard with power-adjustable leather/alcantara sports seats, a 12-speaker, 255-watt AM/FM/CD/Sirius XM Bose sound system with AUX and USB inputs, single-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, LED interior lighting and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Options include heated Nappa leather sports seats,, a navigation system with real-time traffic updates, a six-disc CD changer and an ultrasonic rear parking assist system.
The carbon package brings a front splitter and rear diffuser.
Every TT Roadster model is outfitted with dual front, side and knee airbags along with traction and stability control systems and electronic brake-pressure distribution.
While there are many other two-door convertibles available at the same price as the TT Roadster, the Audi is something of a unique proposition as a luxurious, style-conscious 2+2 without overt sporting pretensions. The Ford Mustang GT Convertible provides far higher levels of power and handling but can't match the TT's interior sophistication, while the Infiniti Q60 convertible and the BMW 2-Series Convertible are closer matches but are still more athletic.