Sheer sportiness, a genuine driving experience plus high power reserves - cue the new TT Roadster from Audi. The open-top sports car retains the distinctive lines of its tremendously successful predecessor, but instils them with even greater emotion, performance and dynamism.
Audi offers a choice of two engines for its new TT Roadster. The 3.2-litre V6 power unit generates 184 kW (250 bhp) and is coupled to the quattro drive system as standard. The 2.0 TFSI engine, which blends turbocharging with petrol direct injection technology, delivers 147 kW (200 bhp) to the front wheels. Both model variants can be ordered with the innovative S tronic dual-clutch gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual shift.
The chassis of the new Roadster is also built for impressive sporty performance. Its highlight is Audi magnetic ride, the optional suspension damping technology that allows drivers to choose between an uncompromisingly dynamic ride or more comfort-orientated characteristics.
To mirror the puristic character of open-top motoring, the boldly styled body is crowned by a lightweight cloth hood. The TT Roadster 3.2 quattro comes as standard with a quick-action, fully automatic softtop which is available as an option for the 2.0 TFSI.
The exterior design
With its rigorous geometry and clarity, the design of the first TT Roadster elevated it to the status of a cult classic. Audi has preserved the charismatic design idiom and carefully honed it for the new model.
Whereas the tail end and the roof section seem to flow into one another at the rear of the TT Coupe, the soft top of the TT Roadster forms a clear contrast that gives the overall design a more geometric look. The body's lines brim with power and forward thrust. This impression is underscored by the athletic curves of the vehicle's flanks just as much as by the rising dynamic line above the sill area and the taut, muscular shoulder line. The eye-catching fuel filler cap positioned above the rear right wheel sports a classic aluminium design.
The face of the new Audi TT Roadster has an expressive feel.
Compared to the model it replaces the new TT Roadster has undergone a growth spurt, with the new proportions accentuating its sporty nature. Length is now 4,178 millimetres (+ 137 mm), width 1,842 mm (+ 78 mm) and height 1,358 mm (+ 8 mm), while the wheelbase has been extended by 46 to 2468 mm. Despite the extra size, however, the drag coefficient of the 2.0 TFSI is just 0.32 with the soft top up.
The soft top
Audi made a conscious decision to keep the cloth hood for the new TT Roadster. The soft top concept fits in perfectly with the philosophy of puristic open-top motoring and also offers a number of benefits over a folding steel hard top.
The cloth hood, incorporating reinforcements made from steel and aluminium as well as a large glass rear window, has a very lightweight construction - not only does this reduce the overall weight of the TT Roadster, it lowers its centre of gravity too.
The TT Roadster 3.2 quattro comes as standard with an electrohydraulically powered soft top, which is available for the 2.0 TFSI as an option. This version of the soft top opens in just 12 seconds at the push of a button, and can even be operated on the move at speeds of up to 50 km/h. The fully automatic hood incorporates an additional layer of soundproofing beneath the black headliner for even better acoustic and thermal insulation.
The body and safety
Like the TT Coupe, the body of the TT Roadster is also built on the principles of Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology, featuring a pioneering hybrid construction that showcases the brand's tremendous expertise in lightweight design. The body is made from 58 percent aluminium and 42 percent steel.
To ensure that the load is distributed evenly between the axles, the steel components are located principally at the rear of the body - the bulkhead behind the passenger compartment, for example, is made from steel.
The side sills are also specific to the Roadster: they consist of extruded aluminium sections containing numerous reinforcing ribs. The A-pillars have been strengthened too and a high-strength steel tube integrated into the frame of the windscreen.
The interior of the TT Roadster is noticeably larger too, offering extra headroom and elbow room. The width at shoulder height is now 1362 mm, an increase of 29 mm.
Deep-set sports seats provide firm lateral support for both the driver and passenger. The standard-specification leather sports steering wheel features a flat-bottomed rim. The 3.2 quattro is upholstered in a combined Alcantara/Leather trim as standard.
The three circular air outlets and the dome shrouding the instrument cluster dials inject the cockpit with characteristic TT flair. As is to be expected of an Audi, the ergonomic concept is perfect and the workmanship of the very finest standard.
The increase in the body's dimensions has also benefited luggage space, which has expanded from 210 to 250 litres in both the front-wheel-drive and the quattro variant.
The sporty chassis has undergone complete redevelopment for the new TT Roadster. Its chief features are the complex four-link rear suspension, wide track widths, elastokinematics that have been heavily reworked, plus large wheels. The 2.0 TFSI rides on 16-inch and the 3.2 quattro on 17-inch alloy wheels.
The front wheel suspension, which is linked to a separate subframe, has a McPherson construction that has been refined by the use of lightweight aluminium components. The electromechanical power-assisted steering combines a direct ratio with sensitive precision.
The redeveloped electronic stabilisation program (ESP) has been optimised for a sporty driving style and to help produce the steering balance of the TT Roadster, which varies between neutral and slight understeer. If necessary, the brake assist system takes action to ensure that the four large disc brakes build up maximum braking power as fast as possible.
The optional Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping system is a high-tech feature that is unique in the roadster segment. At the push of a button, drivers can choose between either an extra-comfortable or a decidedly dynamic suspension set-up.
Like the TT Coupe, the new Roadster is available with a choice of two transverse-mounted petrol engines. Both generate high pulling power and impressive peak output, resulting in out-and-out sporty performance. The four-cylinder engine directs its power to the front wheels, while the V6 powers all four wheels based on the quattro principle offering dynamism and sure roadholding in equal measure. Apart from a sporty six-speed manual shift, both engines are also available in conjunction with the innovative S tronic dual-clutch gearbox for lightning-fast gear changes without any interruption in the power flow.
The four-cylinder unit bearing the initials TFSI musters up 147 kW (200 bhp) and a constant 280 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm from its capacity of 1,984 cc.
When fitted with the S tronic shift, the Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 237 km/h. It burns an average of just 7.8 litres of fuel for every 100 km.
The V6 unit with its capacity of 3,189 cc delivers 184 kW (250 bhp) and a peak torque of 320 Nm which is on tap between 2,500 and 3,000 rpm. The sonorous, ultra-compact long-stroke engine features two continuously adjustable camshafts. The TT Roadster 3.2 quattro sprints from 0 - 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds with the S tronic gearbox and can, if necessary, go on to reach a governed top speed of 250 km/h. It returns average fuel consumption figures of 9.5 l/100 km.
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