Dubai also happens to have a racetrack, the Dubai Autodrome, which hosts many racing events and automotive activities including the launch of the 2015 Audi TT. The TT made its first debut back in 1998 and was an immediate hit due to its futuristic lines and brilliant design. The same model stayed in production till 2006. The top of the range TT had a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine, a six speed manual gear box and 225 BHP, then came the MK2 model which was produced from 2006 till 2014. It's a 2+2 two-door sports car that offers handling, driving pleasure and mostly attracts the younger generation. For me, cool is the best word to describe this car.
The Audi TT takes its name from the successful moto-racing tradition in the British isle of Maine, Tourist Trophy Motorcycle Race. Personally, I was anxious to meet this Audi comer mainly due to the fact that the previous model was fast, aerodynamic and economical. And so, it was a bit hard for me to see where Audi would go from there, and how they could improve the current production model. Well, it's safe to say, Audi exceeded my expectations.
When I first saw it, I was immediately stunned by the advancements that Audi achieved with the TT by making it sportier without compromising the futuristic design. I could still see the authentic TT look with a modern touch given by the full LED headlights and taillights, the S-line kit,19 inch light alloy rims and two chrome tailpipes, one on each side. The car is made from light aluminum and uses the ASF (Audi Space Frame) technology to make it lighter and more nimble, especially on mountain roads.
Inside, with Audi's latest virtual cockpit design, it was simply astonishing. All the air-conditioning controls were integrated in the air vents. There were no unnecessary buttons on the center console and everything is accessible through Audi MMI (Multimedia Interface). The latest technology is represented by a 12.3 inch TFT screen dashboard that includes all the information needed by the driver and each driver can configure this information to his own preferences. The aforementioned makes the car safer because the driver doesn't have to redirect his sight away from the road, and what's more everything is at his disposal. The cabin and material are at a superb high quality finish, evident in the absence of squeaks or rattle.
First I took the TT on an urban drive through the city, and as I was driving, I felt empowered by the evolution of this model. Driving in comfort mode, the adaptive damping helped make the journey even better. The car has four driving modes: comfort, dynamic, auto and individual. These modes allow you to change the character of the car upon your driving needs. Additionally, the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel not only provides feedback while driving but also gives a great feel while cruising along. The sport bucket seat hugs the driver, and all of which sums up to a feeling of confidence and comfort while inside the cabin.
Moreover, the Audi TT is equipped with Bang & Olufsen premium surround sound system, which ensures entertainment during your drives. This comes as standard in the Middle East specifications.
Next is the track activity in the handling course at the Dubai Autodrome, but first some technical data about the car. The TT I tested is equipped with a 2.0 TFSI engine that delivers 230 BHP at 4500-6200 rpm, and 370 NM of torque at 1600-4300 rpm. As you can see, the torque is delivered at a very low rpm and the turbo lag is now minimal. You can also choose to have it as a front-wheel drive or a Quattro all wheel drive model, which is the one I tested. It is equipped with a six speed paddle operated double clutch DSG. The 0 to 100 km/h comes in 5.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 250km/h. The curb weight is 1230kg which is 50kg lighter than its predecessor.
Coming back to the Autodrome, I switched everything to dynamic mode and immediately noticed the change in the character of the car. And I must say, Audi has worked a lot on the engine noise as the TT gives you an enthusiastic exhaust note, which is something essential for sport car drivers. Taking corners in this car is a thrill by itself, and due to its Quattro system, you can always hit the apex of each corner while keeping a very clean line throughout the curves. In dynamic mode, the car is a bit more urgent on the power and gives you confidence as you push along lap after lap. The latest generation Audi TT is a pleasure to drive, to say the very least.
One word: COOL
Pros: Exhaust sound, interior virtual cabin, handling, lightweight
Cons: Cramped rear seats, no panoramic roof option
Rivals: Porsche Cayman, Mercedes Benz SLK
2.0 liter TFSI, 4Cylinders, 230 hp @ 6200 rpm, 370 Nm @ 1600 rpm
6 speed Manual transmission/ 8 speed STronic Option, FWD/AWD
0-100 kph: 6 secs, Fuel Consumption: 5.9 L/100 km, Top Speed: 250 kph