Audi TT Coupe 2.0

TFSI quattro S line

S tronic

Audi TT Coupe, front
Audi TT Coupe, front
Audi TT Coupe, front
Audi TT Coupe, side
Audi TT Coupe, rear
Audi TT Coupe, boot
Audi TT Coupe, interior
Audi TT Coupe, interior
Audi TT Coupe, detail

EVERY now and again a car comes along that is so ubiquitous it almost becomes synonymous for an entire brand.

Volkswagen can arguably lay claim to two of these universally identifiable motors with the original Beetle and, more recently, the Golf.

It might be considered somewhat greedy, then, that the wider VW Group should have another such model on its hands.

Certainly here in the United Kingdom, though, if you mention Audi to anyone the picture that instantly pops into their heads is almost certainly going to be one of the TT Coupe.

In less than 20 years, since its 1998 launch, this compact sports car has swept to the top of its class and is one of the most instantly recognisable sights on our roads.

Now in its third generation the TT's appeal shows no signs of waning and, in typical Audi fashion, progress from the Mk I version has been a matter of evolution rather than revolution.

The design has been morphed slowly and carefully, so as not to lose that familiarity, but at the same time created an increasingly athletic and purposeful look - successfully shedding the ‘hairdresser's car' label the original was briefly dubbed with.

Smooth curves have become sharp, angular lines; the grille is more imposing; the slanted headlights narrower and the roofline gradually extended, fastback style, rearwards along the tailgate.

The latest TT has an undeniably muscular look - and offers muscular performance to match.

The 230 horsepower 2.0-litre petrol model I drove delivers 380Nm of torque from 1,800 right up to 5,700 revs and, equipped with the incredibly slick six-speed automatic S tronic transmission, will rocket the TT from 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph.

The delivery of that explosive acceleration and power is smooth and effortless while the steering is sharp, responsive and well weighted. And with Audi's renowned quattro four-wheel-drive system offering immense grip this is a hugely entertaining car to drive.

Opening up the throttle is great fun - and accompanied by a hugely satisfying growl - and the TT would certainly not be out of place on track days. Even nipping in and out of town traffic is a joy, while motorway cruising is relaxed and refined.

A drive select system allows the driver to alter the set-up of the car at the flick of a switch with comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency modes while if you select the optional technology package with satnav (£1,795) that my car had there's also an individual mode which is largely freely configurable.

This flexibility, plus an automatic start/stop system, means that, despite its performance prowess, this model can still deliver 44 miles per gallon on average, so running costs are reasonable.

If economy is a prime consideration there's a 2.0-litre diesel version which offers more than 60mpg for a little compromise in performance.

Inside, the TT cockpit is a masterpiece of minimalist high-tech design with just a few clearly labelled and easy to use toggle switches and a rotary dial to contend with.

The customisable multi-media display screen is positioned behind the steering wheel to also include the speedo and rev counter while the heating controls are cleverly incorporated into the circular vents.

Fixtures and fittings are of the highest quality and standard kit includes 19-inch alloys, automatic lights and wipers, climate control, DAB radio and Bluetooth.

Sports seats offer great support and there's plenty of room to get comfortable in the front but the back seats are only really suitable for kids, although the boot is a decent size for a compact sports car and can be extended by folding the rear seats flat.

FAST FACTS

Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic

Price: £34,545

Mechanical: 230bhp, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving all wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 44.1

Insurance Group: 37

C02 emissions: 151g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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