A cult car, an icon - the Audi TT, launched in the autumn of 1998 - took the sports coupe segment by storm and sharpened the brand profile. Now the second generation of this successful model is making its debut. The new TT Coupe is even more dynamic than its predecessor- in terms of its design, its drivetrain, and its running gear.
The very architecture of the new Audi TT Coupe embodies the style, stability and power of a pure driving machine. The bullish stance of the base body and the low, narrow styling of the greenhouse together form a sculpture of simple, unfussy lines. The Audi design team has lovingly adopted and enhanced the visual code - the motif of circles and domes - of the predecessor model. The new TT appears more stretched, and even at a standstill seems to be striving to move forward; taut panels emphasise the impression of dynamic movement. The new TT is 137 mm longer than its predecessor at 4,178 mm, and 78 mm wider at 1,842 mm.
The body is constructed in the ASF Space Frame design developed by Audi and consists of aluminium and steel. This is the first time that it has combined different materials alongside each other. 69 percent of the superstructure is made of aluminium. The steel components making up the remaining 31 percent are to be found at the rear end, so as to ensure balanced distribution of the axle loads. To improve downforce, a spoiler is extended from the tailgate when the vehicle reaches a speed of 120 km/h.
The new Audi TT, like its predecessor, is initially available as a 2 + 2-seater coupe; the separate roadster model is scheduled for later launch. The basic luggage capacity of the easily accessible boot, under its large-format lid, is 290 litres. This capacity can be increased to 700 litres by folding down the rear seat backs. The sports seats provide outstanding side restraint. There is a choice of three different leathers for the covers.
The cockpit is oriented strictly to the driver and is perfectly ergonomic in design. It embodies the classic circles motif of the TT in a number of ways, such as in the three centre air vents.
Two powerful petrol engines are available to power the car. The 2.0l turbocharged four-cylinder TFSI unit featuring FSI direct injection develops 147 kW (200 bhp). With a six-speed manual gearbox, it accelerates the TT to 100 km/h in just 6.4 seconds, reaching a top speed of 240 km/h. The sonorous-sounding, naturally aspirated 3.2-litre V6 engine develops 184 kW (250 bhp), accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds and reaching a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically governed).
Both engines are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. On request they can be combined with the dynamic S tronic dual-clutch gearbox. Whereas the four-cylinder engine comes with front-wheel drive, the V6 distributes its power across both axles by way of the quattro permanent four-wheel drive system - an exclusive technology feature in the sports coupe segment.
The Audi dynamic suspension was newly developed and tuned for the TT Coupe. One of its hallmarks is its self-steering behaviour right up to the handling limits, which ranges from neutral to light understeer. This sporty orientation produces driving fun, agility and supreme handling characteristics.
The track enlargement, with larger wheels ranging from 16 to 19 inches in size, and extensive changes in the area of elastokinematics were key areas of the developers' work. The new multi-link rear suspension ensures optimum driving dynamics at a sports car level.
The high-tech Audi magnetic ride damper system is available as an option. In this system, tiny magnetic particles circulate in the oil inside the shock absorbers. When a voltage is applied to them, they alter the damping characteristics within milliseconds. This adaptive system simultaneously ensures high levels of ride comfort and thoroughly sporty dynamism, according to the specific driving scenario and the preferences of the driver.
The standard features of the new Audi TT include an automatic air conditioning system and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel. The latter is not only entirely suitable for the sports car but also makes it easier to get in and out. The air vents, steering wheel spokes and many of the controls are finished in an aluminium look.
With regard to options, customers can choose from a variety of high-tech solutions, including the adaptive light dynamic cornering light system and the Audi parking system which aids parking.
The new TT marks the premiere of a new generation of audio systems. It is characterised by state-of-the-art reception and playback technology and intuitive user control. Six so-called softkeys control a variety of functions depending on which menu is selected. The chorus radio system with single CD drive comes as standard. A Bluetooth interface is available for mobile phones. The telephone function can be operated via the MMI, the multifunction steering wheel and by speech control. The operator control for the optional navigation system takes its cues from the exemplary MMI system familiar from the Audi A6, A8 and Q7 model series.
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