Review: Audi TT-S

Posted on 13. Nov, 2009 by in Auto News

It's by Frank Lloyd Wright said that he was an incredibly annoying and offensive man, worse than that, every house he ever built ended with a leaking roof. More than eight years was the first major meeting of the North American TT owners place, not on a track or in the mundane boundaries of a convention center parking lot, but in the shadow of residential Wright masterpiece, Fallingwater. It was an apt choice for an automobile, which has chosen form over function since its introduction. Among the quartet of small German racer – the Audi TT, Porsche Boxster, BMW Z and Mercedes SLK – only the TT is a transverse-engined front-driver, only the TT is currently available in North America with a four-cylinder engine and only the TT has rear seats , unlikely as it may be. Those of us who remember it, Sesame Street Song "One of these things is not like the others" will have no trouble picking out the Audi as the one that is in fact, not like the others.

It is up to in your author's humble opinion that the TT, like most design-centric products is taken very satisfactory in basic form. The standard front-wheel drive, DSG-shifted two-liter turbo TT costs about $ 39,000. It makes sense lighter and more nimble than the Volkswagen GTI, with whom she shares a powertrain and lacks any of the hyper-macho German position that would suit bad a preppy sporty hatchback that type. Of course not everyone will agree, and for those Audi offers this 52-thousand dollars, Haldex-driven TT-S model, complete with an additional 65 hp from a strengthened version of the base engine.

This would be a TT on a track, rather than take Fallingwater, so we packed it in company with my 2009 Audi S5 and a borrowed 2009 Audi R8 "R.tronic" and went to the iconic but tiny Waterford Hills Road Course in the near Metro Detroit. Of the three cars, only the TT-S really felt at home, the S5 has been plagued by understeer to many sharp turns Waterford and the R8 was obviously too big and fast for such a small track. Which does not mean the TT-S was the fastest, both the V8 Audis handily pulled out of sight, within a round or two. But it was the happiest to drive and most pleasant.

VW / Audi 's DSG transmission is most likely the best mass-market self-shifter is available. In the city, it is fun and relaxed, pushing shifts and has the right equipment and not more than any torque converter automatic. On the track, it is a revelation. The rather peaky turbo four stays on the boil due to momentary, swaps matched rev up and down. Add a CG-Lock seat clincher of the TT-S makes it possible for the left foot brake all the way around the track, which is always a resource for you going quickly. The immediate change in revolutions change each time the dual clutch places must be heard to be believed, and it is very, very Formula unnnn.

Although the TT-S carries a "quattro" badge, it is not found in the traditional longitudinal engine and Torsen center differential in other Audis. Instead, there is a Rube Goldbergesque arrangement, the power just a beat or two behind the moment transmits when it is needed. As a result there is no tail-out antics in a TT have to. In fact antics of all kinds are scarce. To get the most out of a TT-S, just floor the throttle on the straights, brake the ABS threshold for turn-in with the left foot while pressing the left paddle five or six times (it will not choose too low a gear) and then floor the throttle again as you pass the apex. The powertrain will sort it all out and you will be fire on the other side of the corner with a rather satisfying "blat" as the ignition switches off between coats. The brakes are not spectacular, but they are sufficient, which is more than can be said for the attacks on my S5.

After about 20 laps in the small coupe, I parked it in favor of its mid-engined big brother, the can on the race track in tail-out fashion and even satisfying engine sound hooned are offering. It was not until the evening that I drove the TT-S again, this time on the highway to Ohio.

Here, the Audi is actually fulfilled. It is fast enough on the street, the sound system is excellent, the seats are good, the steering wheel very athletic and serious. It's a beautiful car, even if something is missing from the original TT purity, and it is built extremely well. Of course, all this is also for the much cheaper base model.

Frank Lloyd Wright once asked to leave, according to a high guest at one of his houses, because the man rel "ruin the architecture" was. The base TT is a wonderful little car, but the boy-racer body kit, extra power, Haldex was, and staggering markup associated with the TT-S is a long way toward spoiling the architecture. It would take more than 265 horsepower to keep this car with a base Cayman for a course, and the TT-S is actually head-to-head with the outrageous prices pasted Porsche coupe. When it comes to the small architectural Audi Coupé, simpler is better.