After an eight-year run, Audi has redesigned the TT Coupe. The changes are significant and impressive. The new TT is longer, wider and taller, but lighter, too. A new turbo-four engine features direct injection, and a new suspension improves handling and ride. The iconic TT shape is preserved to please the faithful.
The 2008 Audi TT is new from the rubber to the roof. Itís almost five inches longer than its predecessor, and the wheelbase has grown by nearly two inches. Despite the dimensions, its overall curb weight is down. Credit goes to extensive use of aluminum, 69 percent by weight.
The 2008 Audi TT comes as a hatchback sport coupe or convertible roadster. There are two models, 2.0T and 3.2 quattro, reflecting engine size. The TT 2.0T features standard 17-inch wheels, CD stereo, leather seats and a soft manual convertible top (on the roadster). An available Premium Package incorporates an automatic convertible top, heated front seats and a six-CD stereo.
18-inch performance wheels, xenon headlamps, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, leather seats and a navigation system are optional, and an available S line Package incorporates 19-inch wheels and a dynamic short-throw shifter.
The TT body has taken on legendary qualities and a loyal following, so Audi took an evolutionary approach to design and styling. The TT shape is instantaneously recognizable, but the addition of Audiís latest single-frame grille looks just right on the TT. The aerodynamics, always slippery with the TT, are wind-tunnel perfect. To keep the TT planted, a retractable rear spoiler rises at highway speed to further reduce aerodynamic drag. The exterior of the 3.2 differs from the 2.0T because of its twin tailpipes and black grille. The automotive press loves the new TT look with Car and Driver gushing, "The new TT straightens out the rounded bulging shape of its predecessor and is now creased and pressed like a fine suit, as if to say, 'This time I'm serious.'"
The TTís base engine remains a turbocharged four-cylinder mill, but this is a new motor featuring direct fuel injection. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine develops 200 hp and 207 lb/ft of torque driving the front wheels. Audi's TT 3.2 quattro incorporates all-wheel drive as well as a 3.2-liter V6 engine capable of 250 hp and 236 lb/ft of torque. Up to 100% of engine power can be distributed to front or real wheels when needed with Audi's AWD system. The 2.0T comes standard with a paddleshift S-tronic automatic manual transmission, and six-speed manual is an option.
A new suspension design greatly improves handling while a new steering rack with speed-sensitive electric motor assistance dramatically sharpens directional control. The TT also features an adaptive "magnetic ride" suspension that adjusts to road conditions within milliseconds to improve both ride quality and handling. As to which power and drivetrain works best, it is really a matter of preference. The turbo four has a torquey, muscular feel and, in the right hands, loves to drift and power out of corners. On the other hand, the 3.2 quattro is faster in a straight line and loves to tame foul weather with Audiís respected all-wheel drive. Cost may influence your decision since the 2.0T carries a $34,800 MSRP while the 3.2 quattro goes for $41,500.
AutoWeek says, "Audi's highly vaunted interior-design ethic and impeccable execution are more reasons owners love their TTs." While the TT coupe is larger in all dimensions, it is still a "2+2," which means two very comfortable and supportive front seats and a comfortable rearseat configured for two more. With the rear seats folded, cargo capacity increases from 13.1 cubic feet to 25 cubic feet, more than enough space for two golf bags.
Overall, the TT cockpit is roomier. Cars.com praises the 2008 redesign for its logical and intuitive layout. "The buttons and display are all larger now, leaving a more conservative center control panel.Ē The steering wheel, with its Formula One-inspired flat bottom, tilts and telescopes for the best driving position. Looking around the cabin, you are impressed with the very high standard of fit and finish achieved by Audi. Itís not so much the luxury, but the purposeful perfection with which the dťcor and layout work together.
In addition to dual-circuit brakes and an antilock brake system (ABS), the TT Roadster also comes equipped with Audi's Electronic Stabilization Program. Crash protection features standard on every 2008 TT include full-size, dual threshold, seat-mounted chest, side, and knee airbags for both occupants. The TT also comes equipped with energy-absorbing zones, side intrusion protection and safety unlock if the airbags deploy.
The all-new 2008 Audi TT looks to be another legend in the making, but donít take it from us, take it from NewCarTestDrive.com. "If you're looking for a sporty weekend toy, or even a year-round sportscar, make sure the 2008 TT is on your shopping list.Ē