With crisp, Bauhaus-inspired styling, the third-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 is well worth checking out for those who dig its design.
The TT is also offered as a coupe, and buyers after more power should look at the 292-horsepower TTS Roadster model.
Some cars are defined by their engines, others by the way they attack curves - in the TT's 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 convertible that, like the original TT that was introduced in 1998, incorporates arches and flowing elements to create a unique, timeless form.
Relatively compact, the TT stretches 164 inches long, 53 inches tall and 72 inches wide.
Inside, the TT upholds Audi's reputation for finely crafted cabins with a simple yet elegant dashboard and high-quality materials throughout. There's plenty of room up front, but the rear seats are occasional use units best suited for the short of limb.
The TT comes with a Virtual Cockpit, which is Audi-speak for a 12.3-inch configurable screen that replaces the conventional analog instrument cluster. It also boasts Audi's MMI touch infotainment system, and a handwriting recognition function capable of interpreting handwritten inputs.
The soft top weighs 86 pounds thanks to a frame built using lightweight materials such as magnesium, aluminum and plastic. When down, the top sits on an aluminum tray mounted above the cargo compartment, meaning trunk space checks in at 9.9 cubic feet regardless of whether or not the sun is shining. It can be opened or closed in ten seconds, even at speeds of up to 31 mph.
Under the Hood
The only engine available is a turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder that makes 220 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm. It's more powerful than the outgoing model, but it's still down on power compared to the TT sold in Europe.
Bolted to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the TFSI mill sends the 3,186-pound TT from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds -- 0.3 seconds slower than the coupe -- and on to a top speed of 130 mph. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system comes standard.
Fuel economy is rated at 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Standard and Optional Features
The Audi TT ships with automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, an adaptive rear spoiler, automatic A/C, a multi-function steering wheel, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather and Alcantara upholstery, twelve-way adjustable heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a Homelink transceiver, keyless entry and start, automatic wipers, a nine-speaker stereo and a digital instrument cluster.
The list of standalone options includes 18-inch wheels, full leather upholstery, an upgraded sound system, and a host of paint colors. Buyers can order one of several option packages. The Technology package adds Audi side assist, Audi connect, MMI navigation, parking sensors, a rear-view camera and heated door mirrors.
Every TT Roadster is outfitted with dual front, side, and knee airbags along with traction and stability control systems and electronic brake-pressure distribution.
Buyers in the market for an Audi TT Roadster can also look at the Ford Mustang GT Convertible, which provides far higher levels of power and handling but can't match the TT's interior sophistication, and the BMW 2-Series Convertible, which is a closer match but still a lot more athletic.