When building an elite sports coupe, it is crucial to include passion as one of the primary ingredients in the design formula. While cold, hard data regarding horsepower, suspension response and wind tunnel performance are all necessary aspects of the engineering process, the key component of any sportscarís personality is its ability to make a deep, spiritual connection with its driver. Driving the 2010 Audi TT, in either coupe or roadster form, offers exactly this type of deep emotional experience.
The 2010 Audi TT (MSRP $37,800) actually places a hold over those who have had a chance to experience its charms firsthand. The TTís sheet metal has been sculpted so as to engage the eye at first sight; its beautifully arrested kinetic power gives it a rare quality that earns more than a few longing looks when you walk away from its parking spot. That the TT has been put together to occupy a place in the heart untouched by other, more utilitarian sportscars is never in doubt.
The interior of the Audi TT provides the same visual thrills, enhancing the experience through the use of the types of materials that also reward a driverís sense of touch. With the top down, it is easy to inspect and admire the TT Roadsterís use of Alcantara sport seats, which feature attractive inserts that make themselves useful by supporting and holding the torso during spirited driving. These seats can have both their tactile and ocular appeal further enhanced through the selection of the Baseball Optic Leather Package, which attracts attention to the leatherwork through raised stitching that evokes a classic, handcrafted feel. An Enhanced Interior Package option upgrades seat materials to fine Nappa leather and additionally coats the dashboard, door panels, center console, handbrake and armrests with a soft and supple leather covering.
The 2010 Audi TT backs up its finely honed appearance with a drivetrain that can be customized to suit a wide number of driver preferences. First up on both the coupe and the roadster is the turbocharged and direct-injected engine found in the 2.0 TFSI trim level. This four-cylinder unit displaces 2.0 liters and offers a solid 200 hp and 207 lb/ft of torque, which is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission that can be shifted manually thanks to steering wheel-mounted paddles. The dual-clutch (DSG) design is so adept at shifting gears that Audi has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to accelerate the TT faster than a traditional six-speed manual. Quattroģ all wheel drive is also standard with this trim level, and it greatly enhances the TTís ability to slice through corners in all manner of weather conditions. Fuel mileage comes in at up to 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, which are excellent numbers for any automobile powering all four wheels, and better than many competing two-wheel drive models.
Recognizing that there are some drivers out there who desire a bit more oomph under their feet, Audi has also developed a special TTS version of the standard TT. The TTS trim upgrades both the roadster and the sedan with 265 hp and 258 lb/ft of torque thanks to the use of a more aggressive turbocharger feeding higher levels of boost to the 2.0-liter engine. This adds a significant spring to the step of the already frisky automobile without subtracting a single mile per gallon from the TTís fuel economy rating. Transmission choice also remains the same for this most potent edition of the TT.
The TTS is further distinguished from the TT by a number of styling changes that serve to emphasize the TTS modelís more muscular engine output. Quad exhaust pipes serve notice to anyone following that the TTS is packing more than a little extra power, and standard xenon plus headlights out front are ringed with LED daytime running lights to add a uniquely Audi touch to the TTSí appearance. Rounding out the TTS Package are S line items such as a dramatically enlarged front air dam, a matching Platinum Gray front grille and rear diffuser and painted brake calipers that hide upgraded brake pads capable of dragging the coupe or roadster down from white-knuckle speeds in the blink of an eye.
Thanks to its ability to elevate the heart rate and satisfy the spirit through exceptional engineering and beautiful styling, the 2010 Audi TT lineup offers a full array of delights for the eye, the ear and the soul.