Best Drives: Audi TTS Smooth Operator

Bob Long
AutoWorld Radio

I have always liked the Audi TT, the first generation was cute and at the same quirky. Back in Boston, I remember driving a coupe in sub-zero temperatures. It was my first experience with a non exotic car- mainstream dual clutch DSG gear box.

Generation two of the TT was a major league step up in styling, my wife and I purchased a new 2008 silver TT with a 3.2 liter V6 with a six manual and 19 inch wheels. When my daughter was born in 2010 for the first six months of her life, the TT was our family car. Since my car was a two seat Corvette. The back seat is usable for small adults and even in our case a rear facing infant car seat.

2016 marks the third generation of the Audi TT and the vehicle is all new for 2016. It enters its third generation with new design inside and out, cutting-edge technology such as an all-digital “virtual cockpit” instrument display, and revised quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system for better handling. My test vehicle is the flagship TTS Coupe thats offers higher-grade performance.

As a whole, the 2016 Audi TTS is a technological powerhouse and performance marvel. But you’d be hard-pressed to find another with the handling, technology and at least in coupe form that has the everyday practicality of the Audi TTS. It kinda of Audi R8 with fewer cylinders and without an exotic mid engine layout

Inside the TTS you will quickly realize this is no mere digital instrument display. Powered by an NVIDIA quad-core computer processor, this 12.3-inch display harnesses serious tech horsepower to display a multitude of information at 60 frames per second. This enables the driver to keep eyes focused forward instead of having to glance sideways for map directions.

The Quattro all-wheel-drive system has long been synonymous with the Audi itself, and its abilities have been proven in rally cars worldwide. Even if you’re not sliding an Audi TTS around a dirt track, it’s easy to appreciate this system’s grip in spirited drives or on slick roads during inclement weather.

The virtual cockpit is just one aspect of the TT’s captivating cabin. Even the vents are impressive and elegantly simple. The dashboard is styled to resemble an airplane wing, and the TTS’s dash is grained with a more technical and futuristic pattern than in the entry-level TT. The materials are of high quality and feel upmarket without trying to mimic traditional luxury the centerpiece of the whole is the instrument cluster..

This enables the driver to keep eyes focused forward instead of having to glance sideways for map direction. Another cool feature: The heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning controls, as well as those for the heated seats, are integrated into the design of the vents, which minimizes clutter. It’s all truly contemporary and rich-looking, the main downside being, well, a massive risk of distraction; it also essentially excludes the passenger from the proceedings, but we’ll let you decide if that’s a net win.The TT’s front seats offer great ergonomics.

The 3rd-gen TT has the squat, muscular shape of its predecessor but with newly taut lines, a big trapezoidal grille and features like full LED headlights. There are nods to the original TT’s Bauhaus-inspired design: prominently rounded wheel arches and exhaust outlets that sit near the middle of the car. As with the last-gen model, the Audi TT’s body is made from aluminum.

The 2016 Audi TT comes surprisingly well-equipped out the gate. Standard features include Audi’s virtual cockpit digital display and MMI touch-based control system, 9-speaker/155-watt AM/FM/CD/HD Radio with two USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity, automatic climate control, full LED headlights, leather interior with 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats, and rear park-assist system in lieu of a standard rearview camera. My test vehicle the top line 2016 Audi TTS comes with magnetic ride control, 19-inch wheels, and TTS-specific exterior and interior aesthetics.

The options list is mercifully short for the new TT. My TTS had the technology package ($3,250), which adds navigation, Audi’s connect 4G LTE service with Wi-Fi, the side-assist blind-spot monitoring system, and rearview camera. An audio deal comes in the form of the 12-speaker/680-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system $950 has never sounded better. Other options include Nappa leather seating and 19-inch wheels My loaded TTS came in at $57,250.00

The Audi TTS uses the familiar 2.0 liter four cylinder found in many VW group products. But in the TTS is turned up full blast to make 292 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. That enables the 2016 TTS to blast from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. All 2016 Audi TT models come with quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) and Audi drive select, which lets you adjust the car for sportier or more relaxed driving styles. All models also use Audi’s 6-speed S tronic transmission, an excellent dual-clutch automatic. My TTS test vehicle achieved 23 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

Although it is based on the VW Group’s MQB front-wheel-drive platform, the TTS exhibits almost no understeer and turn-in is impressively quick. I was quite impressed by the electrically boosted power steering, which is accurate, weighty, super smooth and responsive enough that only the hardest-core purists will wish for a hydraulic setup. The TTS also stays nicely planted on all road surfaces thanks the excellent Quattro all wheel drive system.

As a daily drive with rear seats folded down the cope offers a lot of cargo room. The smoothness of the steering along the great AWD system really impressed this driver. Congratulations Audi on the all new TTS one the best drives of 2016

The Long Drive Rankings
Front Engine-AWD 6 speed automatic
Dash Layout
Stereo System
Snug interior for some

The Long Drive Rankings 1 Low 10 High
Exterior Styling 8
Interior styling and quality 8

Handling 8
Braking 6
Fuel Economy 8
Stereo System 9

Performance 8
Trunk-Cargo Capacity 8
Navigation 9
Audio System 9.5

Audi TT, Autoworld Radio, AWD, Bob Long, High Performance Coupes, The Long Drive,

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