Audi TTS quattro S

tronic

Audi TTS, front static
Audi TTS, side static
Audi TTS, rear static 2
Audi TTS, full front static
Audi TTS, front static 2
Audi TTS, front seats
Audi TTS, dashboard
Audi TTS, boot 3
Audi TTS, dash detail 1
Audi TTS, dash detail 2
Audi TTS, dash detail 3
Audi TTS, boot 1

THE smiling lady looking after traffic management had been guiding some impressive looking cars on an off site all day as motoring pundits met for their annual thrash round a test track.

But her eyes weren't on the Aston Martins or the Porsches. She wanted this Audi TTS in its 'gorgeous' Turbo Blue paintwork. She even promised to start saving towards its not inconsiderable purchase price.

This eyeball candy effect has been an Audi TT staple since the first ones appeared in 1998 based, like today's third generation, on the underpinnings of the current VW Golf.

That fact makes its relatively small production numbers easier to square with the Audi moneymen and, perhaps, adds strength to the idea that a TT is first about looks before we delve deeper.

Dig below the surface of the car you see here, though, and you'll discover there is more than style to play with.

Your £44,610 brings with it a potent 2.0-litre engine capable of pulling this TTS along at properly impressive Porsche-taunting pace. The seven-speed auto gearbox only adds to the feeling of horizon approaching pace this car provides at the twitch of your right foot.

And with its quattro all-wheel drive system as standard, it will outrun just about anything when the going gets slippery.

Same goes on dry roads - as long as they're smoothly surfaced. For the optional (£1,050) 20ins alloy wheels of the test car turn anything less than billiard table flatness into a hard riding test of spine and nerve.

You can order the suspension to stick in its comfort setting, but that makes little difference. Better to stay with the smaller alloys that come as standard and save some cash - and put £575 of the saving towards that striking blue paint.

Or drive more slowly, which has the added benefit of allowing more time to appreciate the TT's finest feature - the interior. With its quilted leather seats and gorgeous TV-screen style instrument panel this is an environment to relish.

Why, even the heating controls - set jewel-like into the centre of the dashboard's five circular air outlets - are smart enough to feature in the sort of high end magazine you'll find dotted about a trendy hotel foyer.

It's a comfortable place to spend time too, especially with an extra £995 found for electrical adjustment of the front seats, leaving you as relaxed at journey's end as when you began the trip several hundred miles earlier.

You wouldn't say the same for back seat travellers, where a severe lack of legroom (and restricted head space too) mean the rear quarters are reserved for youngsters and short journeys only.

The big rear hatch does add a practical touch to the TT and is easily big enough for the sort of squashy cases you'd need on a romantic holiday for two... for instance.

FAST FACTS

Audi TTS quattro S tronic

Price: £44,610

Mechanical: 302bhp, 1,984cc, 4-cyl petrol engine driving all four wheels via 7-spd automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 4.5secs

Combined MPG: 39.8

Insurance Group: 42

C02 emissions: 161g/km

Bik rating: 36%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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