Spied: Audi TT 2.0 TDI
One of the best things about Audi’s second generation TT is that Audi was not only true to the minimalist design characteristics of the original TT (opting for evolutionary tweaks rather than a revolutionary redesign), but they also substantially improved its driving characteristics. Countless roadtests, including our own, point out that the MkII TT is doing its darnedest to become a true sports car. Now it appears poised to expand its horizons in other directions.
Audi’s corporate strategy to both wean its owners from expensive gasoline and offer vehicles which do their part to reduce emissions is firmly tied to diesel. TDI variants are already ubiquitous in Europe, while the brand has been actively educating North American consumers regarding its oil-burning engines: they are clean, quiet and offer performance and fuel efficiency advantages. Drivers anxiously await the long-promised Q7 TDI.
News this week is that Audi will also be putting a TDI powerplant into the TT, which happens to be one of only two vehicles produced by Audi which is not already offered as a diesel (the other is the R8 supercar). Spies recently caught just such a TT doing cold weather testing. While the vehicle looks like any other TT on the outside, labeling inside clearly show that something different is under the hood.
There is consensus that the powerplant will be a brand new VAG engine – a 2.0-liter common rail equipped twin-turbo TDI, which will also appear in the A4, A5 and Q5 by the end of 2008 and in various future VW-brand vehicles as well. As with most diesels, torque figures will easily top pure horsepower. In this case approximately 200-hp and 300 lb foot of torque are to be expected. Standard quattro all-wheel drive will be utilized to help put all the power to the pavement efficiently.
Performance from such an engine will be impressive when mated with the relatively light TT. The TT 2.0 TDI will be able to out accelerate both its 2.0-liter TFSI and 3.2-liter V6 siblings, while at the same time generating 30-40% better fuel economy.
The UK’s Autocar reports that because of the engine’s impressive torque that the existing 6-speed S-tronic double clutch gearbox will be inadequate. Audi is reportedly developing a newer 7-speed S-tronic which could be mated to the 2.0-liter TDI or other engines producing up to 370 lb ft.
We polled a number of sources for more information on the probable timing of such a TT offering, as well as the potential of seeing this TT variant in North America any time soon. In response to the first question the consistent feedback was to expect to see this new TT in the first half of 2008. In response to the second, however, there was little to no guidance. Reading between the lines we suspect this is because there truly is not short term plan to introduce any 2.0-liter TDI vehicles in North America.