Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI quattro S-tronic: The Game Changer
Truth be told, we’ve never been fans of Audi’s TT Coupe. The predecessors’ always appear too rounded for our liking, and we thought it exuded more femininity rather than aggressiveness and muscularity.
It also doesn’t help that for about seven out of ten TTs we spot cruising around tropical Singapore, there’d be a female face behind the wheel. Now don’t get us wrong – this is not leading to anything sexist, but the old TT was indeed a better car sculpted for the gentle, womanly image, rather than something brazen and rough of a man.
But move forward to today and Audi’s game changer now appears more male-friendly, while at the same time, preserving its sleek looks for ladies who yearn for the aesthetically-friendly marque. Launched at the Singapore Motorshow 2015, the TT Coupe caught the attention of the industry, being one that embodies next-generation designs and technology, blending it so well we thought it appeared flawless.
But does it perform as well as it looks? We took a drive a while back in the base model 2.0 TFSI quattro to find out.
Audi’s are sleek. Period. Think Christian Grey from “Fifty Shades of Grey” and you’ll have an idea how appealing the German marque stands. Compared to its predecessor, the new TT appears more angular, housing sharper edges and profiles to exude both a futuristic blend as well as aggressiveness.
The TT’s headlamps have been shaped with Audi’s new signature LED strips to boost its sexiness. The quad rings of the brand no longer rests on the grille, but up on the bonnet, the same way its big R8 brother would have it.
But a change in looks doesn’t necessarily mean its identity is lost. While the car appears more appealing than before, one look and you’d easily identify this as a TT Coupe. And mind you, it doesn’t appear any smaller than it looks – we dare say this car still possesses the road presences especially when you pull up behind another sedan.
This, is where, we fell in love with the TT Coupe.
Audi has always been well-known for the inclusion of cutting-edge technology and features into their sedans. The TT plays host to their new array of wonderful gadgets that would leave the tech geek swooning in awe.
Sliding into the driving cabin, the first thing we noticed was – hey, it’s plain, simple, yet complex. No more MMI screen for you in the centre. Rather, Audi incorporated it smack in the middle of the instrument cluster. You could toggle your MMI settings, choose between media outputs, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Audi Drive Select, and the works – all from the comfort of the buttons on the steering wheel, and the screen wrapping your speedo and rev counter.
But that, despite it being extremely cool, proved to be a small setback for the passenger. Gone are the days where the passenger could double up as your co-driver, toggling your sat-nav destinations or even changing tracks on your paired-iPhone. Now, a touch of the MMI control might just leave the driver grumbling because of the screen change on his dash.
Of course, a two-door coupe simply means minimal legroom for passengers at the rear. With our fleet Scirocco facing the same issue (we shouldn’t say problem here, should we?), we totally empathise with the constraints we faced in the TT. Let’s just say that while we could still fit two slightly-below average adults in the Scirocco, the TT proves a little bit too difficult for that.
We usually take a while to warm up to Audis whenever we take over a new car from the friendly folks at headquarters. But the TT needed no such warming up. In fact, we were impressed by the responsiveness and handling the minute we turned out of the office boulevard and headed onto the main freeway.
For a moment when we blipped the pedal, we thought Audi made a mistake by giving us a higher-end model, but we did realise that this was the 2.0 base model. And hey-ho, it doesn’t feel anything like a base model would!
In fact, lying just under the hood is just a 1,984 cc turbocharged plant, capable of putting out 227 horses and 370 Nm of torque. On days when you’re pretty much relaxed and want a comfortable ride, the TT provides you just that – with its insulation and cruising comfort set to impress despite it being so road hugging.
But on days when you feel a little more vexed or adventurous, the seamless marriage of the turbo plant with the six-speed dual clutch transmission will give you the adrenaline rush, bringing you to the century mark in just above 5 seconds. Even better still, flick the Driving Select to Dynamic and enjoy the exhaust pops when you plant your pedal to the metal.
Yes, the car handles impressively well even around corners, thanks to its low profile, standing only at 1,353 mm tall. However, in all honesty, would you require such aggressiveness in a country like Singapore? Exhaust pops are all fancy and stuff, but we thought the TT made for the most comfortable drive even in your ordinary Comfort mode.
We handed over the Audi TT Coupe with a sad tinge in our hearts, knowing that this particular coupe has made an impression that we will never forget. It’s indeed hard to believe that what we drove was just the base model.
It drove adequately, performed remarkably, and possesses all the gadgets and equipment you might just need for the young technologically-savvy adult. Its looks stand out not like a sore thumb, but rather, a subtle appeal for attention that never fails to wow the common bystander.
For the young couple without any commitment (read: kids), or those who just want a second car for adrenaline rushes during the weekends, this game changer from Audi makes a fantastic choice for this select group of drivers.