The New Audi TT: emotive Technology
The Audi TT compact sports car has been demonstrating its unique character since it made its series debut in 1998. This year sees the launch of the third generation of this stylish Coupé. Emotion, dynamism and high-tech in their purest form unite in the design, drive, running gear and innovative operation of the new TT.
Emotionally rousing – the Audi TT and Audi TTS
A modern classic is starting afresh: Audi presents the latest-generation
TT and TTS. The compact sports car mesmerizes thanks to its completely unique character – with emotive design, fantastically dynamic qualities and innovative technologies.
“The Audi TT is synonymous with being a genuine design icon and top-performance machine,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Technical Development Director at AUDI AG. “This new generation is enabling us to bring the technology even more to life for drivers – just as they would expect from a real sports car.”
Streamlined and muscular, athletic and poised ready to jump – the new TT is mesmerizing at the first glance. The designers of the compact sports car have reinterpreted the typical lines of the original TT from 1998 and enriched it by adding an array of dynamic elements. At a length of 4.18 meters (13.71 feet), the Coupé has a wheelbase of 2.51 meters (8.23 feet) meaning that the overhangs are very short.
At the front, the horizontal lines dominate. The single-frame grille is wide and flat, and running from its top corners are the two contours across the hood, which bears the four Audi rings. Webs structure the air intakes. The headlights are also designed with separating bars; they radiate the daytime running lights. LED technology headlights are available as an option or – shortly after launch – the new Matrix LED technology, which generates the main beam lights with controllable individual LEDs. The top-of-the-range headlights also provide indicator lights with a dynamic display – in the case of the Matrix LED headlights, this also includes the tail light cluster. These run in the direction the driver is turning and provide other road users with an additional means of orientation.
Many details in the profile of the new Coupé are reminiscent the first-generation design classic. The sill contour forms a strong line, the wide wheel arches form their own geometric body. The front arch breaks through the line of the hood, which continues above the door as a tornado line and runs to the tail. The flat glass housing acts like a body in its own right, while a slight bend in the rear side window emphasizes the powerful C-pillar. The fuel tank flap features a traditional circular shape and opens by touch. However, what is new is that there is no fuel tank cap beneath the flap, meaning that it is not necessary to unscrew anything. Instead, the filler nozzle fits directly into the tank filler pipe.
Again, at the tail, horizontal lines emphasize the solid road holding of the TT. The webs in the tail light clusters invoke the motif from the front headlights; they are permanently on – another innovation from Audi. The third brake light, in the form of a flat strip, connects the two units.
With its light, almost floating lines, the sports car character of the new Audi TT flows through to the interior. The console in the center tunnel and the door trims maintain these flowing forms. The slender instrument panel looks like the wing panel of an aircraft, when viewed from above; the round air vents, a classic feature of the TT, remind you of jet engines.
The newly developed sports seats are mounted low and together weigh 5 kg (11.02 lb) less than the seats in the predecessor – proof of Audi’s consequential light construction concept. The S sports seats with strongly contoured, pneumatically adjustable sides and integrated head supports are available on request (they come as standard in the TTS). As a 2+2 seater, the new TT is a sports car that is highly suited to everyday use. The luggage compartment has a volume of 305 liters (10.77 cubic feet), which is 13 liters (0.46 cubic feet) more than the previous model.
The colors and materials used in the interior also underline the sporty nature of the new TT: Rock Gray and Palomino Brown provide an alternative to Black. Apart from the standard materials, it is also possible to choose Milano leather and a leather/Alcantara combination. In the case of the S sports seats, the covers have a diamond quilting pattern and the leather is fine Nappa. The shoulder area of the S line sports package is upholstered in velvet leather.
Many operational controls in the new Audi TT and in the TTS gleam with their aluminum look. On the S sports seat buckles, the flanks of the center tunnel console and the door trims, accents are set by decorative inserts and – depending on the interior trim – colored elements. One aluminum package, three leather packages and the Audi design selection Murillo Brown round off the range.
With its mixed material concept, the Audi TT body represents a new stage in the evolution of the Audi Space Frame (ASF) based on the MQB. The front section and the floor of the passenger compartment comprise numerous hot-stamped and high-strength steel components. The structure of the body and all the body shell parts and attachments are produced in the classic aluminum semi-finished processes of die cast nodes, press-drawn profiles and sheet metal.
As a result, the new TT is slightly lighter than its predecessor. With the 2.0 TFSI engine and manual transmission, the unladen weight of the Coupé (without driver) is just 1230 kilograms (2711.69 lb) – 50 kilograms (110.23 lb) lighter than before. For the second time in succession, Audi has reduced the weight of the TT.
The engines and transmissions (provisional figures)
To start with, the new TT will be available with one TFSI and one TDI engine. At 135 kW (184 bhp) and 169 kW (310 bhp), both four-cylinder engines offer solid power, but their consumption figures been reduced compared with the second-generation TT. This also applies to the 228 kW (310 bhp) 2.0 TFSI, which powers the new TTS. A start/stop system is available as standard in all power units, while a sound actuator (part of Audi drive select) provides a sonorous sound.
The TT 2.0 TDI ultra, which will be available at launch with manual transmission and front-wheel drive, consumes on average only 4.2 liters of fuel over 100 km (56 US mpg) – equating to CO2 emissions of 110 grams per km (177.03 g/mile) and creating a new best value in the segment. As with all the engines in the new TT, the two-liter diesel, which delivers 135 kW (184 bhp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) torque, fulfills the limits of the Euro 6 standard.
The 2.0 TFSI is available in two versions – in the TT with 169 kW (230 bhp) and 370 Nm (272.90 lb-ft) and in the TTS with 228 kW (310 bhp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft), in conjunction with an even sportier sound. The Audi TTS advances in the top performance range – it takes 4.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph), while the top speed, which is limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph), is just a formality.
As standard, the 2.0 TFSI in the TT, as well as in the TTS, works with a manual six-speed transmission, or optionally with the six-speed S tronic. The dual clutch transmission changes gears at lightning speed and without any noticeable break in traction. In manual mode, the transmission can be controlled as required either by rocker switches on the steering wheel (a standard feature on the TTS) or using the selector lever. In efficiency mode in the Audi drive select dynamic driving system (another standard feature on the TTS), the S tronic engages freewheeling when the driver takes his foot of the accelerator pedal.
The quattro all-wheel drive
The TT represents a new development stage for Audi in the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch, which is fitted on the rear axle for reasons of weight distribution, is compact and light. In regular driving, it sends power to the front wheels, and if required it can divert it at lightning speed to the rear axle. The electronic control system unites a new level of driving pleasure and safety: If the gears are shifted in a sporty fashion, the power tends to be directed to the rear axle; doing so really pushes the TT into the curve, while on a road with low friction, it permits controlled drifts.
Clutch management – another innovation – is incorporated into the Audi drive select control, which provides the comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual modes. The system controls the way the accelerator pedal and steering support works and also incorporates several optional modules. These include the S tronic and the adaptive suspension control Audi magnetic ride (standard on the TTS), which holds the compact sports car even closer to the road at the touch of a button.
The front suspension on the new Audi TT and TTS follows the McPherson principle; aluminum components reduce the weight of the unsprung masses. The four-link rear suspension can process the longitudinal and transverse forces separately. Progressive steering is standard, with its gear rack being designed to allow the transmission ratio to become more direct as the steering angle increases.
Thanks to its elaborate running gear and streamlined tuning, the new Audi TT offers dynamic and extremely precise handling. On the TTS, on the S line sports package and on the Audi magnetic ride system, the body is positioned ten millimeters (0.39 inches) lower. The TT 2.0 TFSI and the TT 2.0 TDI feature 17-inch wheels, which weigh a mere 8.7 kilograms (19.18 lb), while the tire size is 225/50. On the TTS, the format is 18 inch and tire size 245/50, while the range of options goes up to the 20-inch format.
The brakes on the new TT can be dispensed precisely, the pedal feeling is spontaneous and streamlined. The front discs are ventilated and, depending on engine, have a diameter of between 312 millimeters (12.28 inches) and 338 millimeters (13.31 inches). The new electromechanical parking brake forms part of the rear brake system. The TTS brakes on the front axle using newly developed aluminum fixed-caliper brakes, which save 5 kg (11.02 lb) in weight compared with the previous model – just one more example of Audi’s expertise in lightweight construction.
The electronic stability control ESC, which can be partially or fully deactivated, is the perfect way to underline the sporty handling features. When driving through curves, the wheel-selective torque control comes into play. To meet the driving requirements, the drive torque is distributed from the front wheel on the inside of the curve to the front wheel on the outside of the curve (front wheel drive) or on the quattro, to the rear wheel as well. Thanks to the difference in propulsion forces, the car turns quite easily into the curve.
This means that curves can be driven through more precisely and in a more neutral way. As a result, the TT also scores a major plus in terms of dynamics and stability. “Sport” mode supports a particularly sporty style of driving, making it much easier to steer and control the car when drifting. The interplay and the coordination between all the components increases the agile handling and hence the driving pleasure in the Audi TT, as you would expect from a sports car.
The Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI
The Audi virtual cockpit, which replaces the analog instruments and the MMI monitor in the new TT, is a digital instrument cluster with versatile graphics and highly detailed displays. The driver can switch between two levels on the 12.3-inch monitor. In the classic view, the tachometer and the rev counter take pride of place, while in “Infotainment” mode, items like the navigation map are given center stage. The TTS also boasts a third display, which is dominated by the rev counter.
Newly developed from scratch, the whole operation concept is totally focused on the driver – corresponding to the sports car character of the Audi TT. Two variants of the multifunction steering wheel are available. In the top-of-the-range version, drivers can use it to control all functions, without having to take their eyes from the road.
The MMI terminal, which is also new, has six physical buttons. Using the touch pad on the top of the turn and press controller (optional), the driver can scroll through lists and maps, zoom and enter symbols. The menu structure is like that found on a smartphone, including free text search. All the major functions can be reached with just a few clicks, while the buttons on the side can be used to open up intelligently linked functions and options.
The air vents also play a special role in the new operating concept – the air conditioning system or the optional automatic air conditioning system (a standard feature on the TTS) is operated from within them. Within their shafts can be found the controllers for seat heating, ambient air, temperature, distribution and strength of the air flow; in the case of the automatic air conditioning system, small displays show the selected settings.
The air vents are just one example of the high demands Audi places on the function, design and processing quality of all the interior components. The highlights also include the newly designed gear lever knob or gear selector lever, the extremely precisely locking MMI turn and press controller including optical monitoring and the finely shaped loudspeaker trims in the optional sound system from Bang & Olufsen. On the TTS, the upper area of the instrument cluster has an innovative, extremely precise geometric grain.
Audi will send out the new TT with a generous amount of standard equipment from launch. Special equipment, such as the convenience key, the main beam assist or the LED interior lighting package, is available as optional extras. The range of driver assistance systems include the “take a break” recommendation as standard, the Audi side assist, the Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and park assist with surroundings display.
The Infotainment program is conceived as a modular system, headed by MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The additional Audi connect module brings the brand’s tailor-made Internet services into the car via the fast LTE standard; the Audi phone box is an extremely convenient way of connecting a cell phone. The Bang & Olufsen sound system plays through 12 loudspeakers.