It’s all there, hidden under a sleeker skin with big wheels at each corner. Bottom line – Teutonic exotic bliss in a sleek if slightly derivative shape, with power and great grip, blogs Dan Scanlan.
This is the Audi TTS, its arcing body a Nano Gray metallic suit over the good stuff from the VW Golf R. Now the question is whether losing real back seats and storage room is a sacrifice, or is the TTS the way for two to go?
The Volkswagen Golf R’s good stuff – turbocharged 2-liter inline four with 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, all-wheel-drive and 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission – all go into a 110-pound-lighter Audi TTS. But it doesn’t show its stuff immediately. Our 2,400-mile-old Audi’s little engine launches a bit soft, then turbo boost kicks smoothly in to hit 60-mph in 5 seconds with the drive select set in “Dynamic.” That hikes engine and throttle response as well as stiffening up the steering and suspension feel.
But wait, there’s more - the TTS has a very easy launch control system. Hold the stability control button for three seconds to shut it off. Then left-foot-brake as you floor the alloy-accented gas pedal. The engine sits itself at about 4,000-rpm, then just release the brake and the TTS slingshots to 60-mph in a very quick 4.6 seconds, with razor-sharp quick shifts. Hitting 100-mph took 10.5 seconds.
The new Audi TTS starts off with VW’s modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform used in other corporate rides. There’s an aluminum frame, hood, fenders, doors, roof and engine and suspension bits on an adaptive magnetic ride system with McPherson front suspension and four-link rear suspension. The result is a supple yet very firm ride in “Dynamic,” the low profile 20-inch Pirelli P-Zero rubber reacting hard and fast to sharp bumps. The slightly gentler ride in “Comfort” still had some harder edges over bumps due to the skinny sidewalls. That said, it wasn’t too harsh for a sports coupe that would go wherever you pointed without drama, staying planted no matter what.
The Quattro’s multi-plate clutch directs torque from front to rear axle, aided by a torque vectoring system.
The TTS stuck like glue and stayed flat and composed in any turn we tossed it into. Stopping power is immediate with 13.3-inch ventilated front discs with four-piston fixed aluminum calipers, and 12-inch rears. The pedal offered precise control and a sweet bite with no nosedive, nor any fade after repeated use.
The overall look has hints of 1998’s very rounded first generation TT. But our 2016 TTS is clearly an evolution of the more aggressive second generation, 8 inches shorter atop an 8.2-foot wheelbase that’s 1.5-inches longer. The nose looks longer and lower, while the blunt grille is a bit wider looking with seven alloy strips inboard of a recessed alloy frame. The upper edges flow into thinner headlights with bright F-shaped LED running lights, while the grille’s bumper strip is an almost hidden style element. The TTS gets a very aggressive lower air dam and wide honeycomb side intakes.
The deeply bolstered S sport seats have diamond patterned Nappa leather center sections, 10-way power adjustments and great support and comfort, with extendable thigh support. The back seats are fit for briefcases, with no legroom. But their seatbacks fold to expand the wide trunk.
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