|April 8, 2000
2001 Audi TT Model Lineup
Everybody has undoubtedly played the game where boasting about one thing or another is eventually escalated to limitless heights.
"I would bet a million dollars."
"I would bet a billion!"
"No way, I'll bet you a trillion that I'm right..."
"I bet infinity."
"Ya, well I bet infinity plus one."
As applied to the automotive world, it would be appropriate to consider Audi's 180-hp TT in terms of infinity. The pure design, the driving excitement and the marriage of technology and performance make it an infinitely interesting vehicle to drive. What, then, can be said about the new 225-hp version of the TT? Infinity plus one pretty much sums it up.
As a guest of Audi of America at the TT Roadster press event this past week in Phoenix, AZ, I had the privilege of spending ample time behind the wheel of the various 2001 TT models. The Roadster was intended to be the star attraction, but from my point of view it was the beefed-up engine that really shined. And the combination of top-down Roadster and 225-hp engine was absolutely intoxicating!
I really like this concept of "infinity" and "infinity plus one" to describe the two engine types because it allows me to express how impressed I was with the 225-hp setup, without doing so at the expense of the 180-hp model. As a daily driver the 180-hp TT delivers spirited city driving and excellent highway fuel economy. I mean, let's put this into perspective. Audi essentially offers this same 1.8 liter turbo engine in the A4 1.8T model -- a car that is bigger and weighs about 200 more pounds. And in the current A4 it produces an output of only 150-hp. So the 180-hp TT is no slouch.
Where the 225-hp TT really makes a statement is during aggressive open-road driving. The car accelerates forcefully, especially in 3rd, 4th and 5th gears. And whereas you will find yourself downshifting often in the 180-hp TT when climbing steep and twisty roads, the 225-hp TT has that extra power in reserve. Steep climb? Just press the accelerator and go.
The beauty of these Audi-organized events is that they make sure that you really get to experience the cars. We started the morning with a short press briefing, hearing from Audi of America VP Len Hunt, as well as the marketing and technical folks. Thouroughly briefed about the cars (and dying to get out and drive), we left the hotel around 9:45 a.m. The course was a good mix of city driving, 4-lane highways and twisty hills through the desert. At planned stops throughout the day (including a fabulous barbeque lunch out in the middle of nowhere) we switched cars. All told we put about 200 total miles on a 180-hp front wheel drive TT Roadster, 225-hp quattro Roadster and a 225-hp quattro Coupe.
2001 TT Roadster
The main purpose of this press event was to introduce the TT Roadster to the North American media. As previously stated, Audi had the 180-hp fwd and 225-hp quattro versions at the event in both Nimbus Grey and Desert Green Pearl Effect.
Bose Music Systems for Audi TT Coupe and Roadster
When Audi approached Bose about engineering a high-performance music system for their brand new TT, Bose engineers knew it could be done. It just required creativity -- and cooperation from their Audi counterparts.
Misc. Tidbits from the Event