The original Audi TT was one of the most enduring style icons of the 1990s. The latest model continues in that vein with performance, style changes and then some
Walking into the office parking lot towards a horde of gathered people, it was easy to fathom that the awaited Audi TT had arrived. While we had already tested one a couple of years back and even though the current car is just a minor refresh, the TT’s design still causes flutters and sprained necks. At its debut as a concept car in 1995 and finally a production reality, the original Audi TT was one of the most dramatic cars to come out in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Its organic and symmetrically styled front and rear profiles contrasted with slab-sided flanks to create a look unlike anything Audi had ever done before. In its latest guise, the little sportscar gets a minor face-lift and then some. Stricter emission laws meant the stonking 6-cylinder 3.2-litre engine had to make way for a technology infused four-banger. Will it be enough to do justice to the famed TT mantle or has Audi reduced the TT to a mere showpiece with all show and no go? Let’s find out…
Making what’s good…better
The original TT was already considered to be one of the best designed cars when it was launched, and Audi managed to make what was already a fantastic design even better with the second generation TT. The current car gets subtle updates which add to the overall demeanour. Subtle changes to the interior and exterior design have been employed to keep the revised model looking fresh. Front bumpers feature larger air inlets, fog lights are set in chrome rings and the front grille and headlights have also been redesigned with twelve white light-emitting diodes serving as the daytime running lights.
At the rear revised diffuser designs and exhaust pipes make the model nearly two centimetres longer while the width and height remain the same. All said and done, the TT is still the head turner that it always was and has more than enough appeal to stand tall amongst its well designed competition.
A cockpit that’s luxurious too
Considering that the TT is quite a performance oriented car, the insides of which are usually kept to a bare minimum, the Audi boasts some impressive kit. Inside the TT, Audi have done well to provide a good balance of luxury and drivertainment. The layout inside the TT is excellent, with controls and displays familiar to an Audi driver but superb to use.
The flat bottomed steering wheel helps with knee space for the driver while offering a sporty feel and the compact centre console is well organised, particularly with the MMI system present. The dials and central information screen offer exceptional clarity and some flair. A new gear change indicator is also a useful addition.
There is a choice of three new colours available and our car in red black interiors looked absolutely smashing. Adding further flair are the new aluminium finish applications and rings, frames and strips in high gloss black.
A particular mention is needed for the seat covers which have been specially treated to reduce thermal heating by as much as 20 degrees. Parked in the sun, the difference was immediately noticeable between our long-term Elantra and the TT. While the driving position is spot on and just eggs you drive harder, the rear seats are just about adequate for kids. In case of adults it would have to be for a short joy ride strictly before the cramps start setting in. It’s a 2+2 after all and we are not complaining.