2014 Audi TT

With crisp, Bauhaus-inspired styling, the second-generation Audi TT coupe 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.

Audi also offers the TT in Roadster and 265-horsepower TTS forms.

Recent Changes
For the latest model year, Audi has eliminated the TT's multi-tier trim level system and now offers the coupe as a single model with available options. The S-Line exterior appearance package is newly standard, as is a Bose premium audio system and interior LED lighting.

Overview
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 coupe that, like the original TT, incorporates arches and flowing elements 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.

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 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.

With 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space, the TT is better-suited to cargo hauling than most other coupes. Additionally, its hatchback makes it easy to load bulkier items, and folding down the rear seats increases stowage space to 24.7 cubes. All in all, the TT is more practical than one might expect.

The TT 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 5.3 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 into a genuine sports car.

Standard and Optional Features
The TT 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.

S-Line Competition Package
Those looking to add a bit of show and go to their TT can now opt for the S-Line Competition Package.

Spicing up the exterior are a number of modifications, including a lower fascia modeled after the TTS, more aggressive side sills and unique tailpipes set in an imitation rear diffuser. Black trim adorns the front splitter, grille frame, rear diffuser, tailpipe finishers, and side-mirror caps, and the stygian theme continues with matte black finishes on the grille insert, lower grille and license-plate holder.

The package adds S-line Sport suspension that sits 10 millimeters lower than the standard model, while new 19-inch, five-spoke "Rotor" wheels and a rear wing cribbed from the TT RS (both rendered in black) are also part of the package. Xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights provide a counterpoint to copious amounts of dark trim.

Inside, the standard tiller is swapped out for a flat-bottom, leather-wrapped unit, with other interior changes including nappa leather-wrapped S-line Sport seats, S-line doorsill trim, and imitation brushed aluminum trim.

Occupant Safety
Every TT model is outfitted with dual front, side and knee airbags along with traction and stability control systems and electronic brake-pressure distribution.

Key Competitors
While there are many other two-door models available at the same price as the TT Coupe, the Audi is something of a unique proposition as a luxurious, style-conscious 2+2 without overt sporting pretensions. The Ford Mustang GT provides far higher levels of power and handling but can't match the TT's interior sophistication, while the Infiniti G37 and the slightly ungainly-looking BMW 1-Series are closer matches but are still more athletic.