UK Car Road Test

Audi TT (225bhp) 2000

 Movie Clips of this Car

Exterior Movie Interior Movie

 


Is this a dramatic car or what?

Is this a triumph of the styling department, or the ultimate expression of the customisers art? 

Is this the ultimate sports coupe, or  total bastardization of the Golf  and a pointless exercise in techno excellence.

When seen as a mockup and styling prototype at various car shows the public response was such that Audi dared turned dream into reality. The production version is so close to the concept vehicle  it really is quite unbelievable. 

 

The styling is dramatic to say the least, is probably as radical a make over of a Golf floor pan as could be imagined by anyone on earth. And what styling it is. Given the basics that underpin the vehicle and the design parameter it has to work around it really is the most amazing looking vehicle. 

In many ways it is a total triumph of styling deceiving the eye. It looks short stubby and low.  Until you lay the tape onto it that is and you start to realize just how much deception is being carried out.

The designers most limiting factors were the Golf engine and gearbox and floor pan used to keep costs in check, on what was perceived as a design exercise. The engine gearbox layout dictates the height of the bonnet and from there all styling had to be generated. And what an amazing job they have done. 

This is a car that totally fools you. Its bigger than it looks both taller and longer. It is the opposite of  the original Audi coupe, that was all chisel jawed straight lined overhung good looks, here everything is curved, rounded , smoothed.

It carries the elegant appearance of  the master Italian styling houses, yet displays all the latent aggression and single purpose of a sawn off shot gun.


Absolutely everything has been touched by the stylists, re-thought, redone , re-worked and it carries its themes to the Nth degree.

Check out the wheels which seem to hark back to 30s Buggattis. See the little array of Allen heads rotating around the centre. Remember that theme, it will be back again and again and again.

Not much separate this hot 225bhp version, from its pathetically and tediously slow (ha ha)  180bhp brother. Big twin pipes coming through the rear valance and the chrome TT badge laid onto a red plastic background.

The small almost insignificant flip tail signifies the modified less tail happy MKII and is one of the most disappointing aspect to the exterior.  It seems so small as to be pretty much worthless. Your average hotted teenage Astra carries one at least five times the size and impresses the kids far more. But hey this is a grown up sophisticated car, this one actually walks the walk and it talks the talk loud enough without a symbolic whale tail megaphone.

The slim blacked out trim lines look good on the windows though, especially set against the tints which help to hide them.

You get in this car for the first time and just sit there. No need to start it up just yet, just sit there and take in the sheer attention to detail that is laid out before your eyes. The sporty black leather seats match the black and dark Grey of the sullen sounding interior. But it glints and glistens from all sides of you in a visual feast of tiny and not so tiny highlights. This is no bung it together parts bin delve. This is a car built and laid out just so. The window starts level with your shoulder, at first it gives a letter box type effect, but they are taller than they look and let quite a bit of light in, along with the large front and rear screens.

The Six speed gear knob fits to a scaffolding pipe like linkage, and sits in concentric circles of rubber. Leather probably would not have sat neatly enough, and is ringed by another wheel trim.

The scaffolding supporting the console is a strange touch, (mimicked by the new mini) and has knee knock pads laid onto its angled spars.

The dash binnacle curves in a mirror of the sporty leather clad soft touch steering wheel. It encloses just four plain type faced chrome ringed black dials.  Sounds average at best looks great in reality.

And just how passe are round eyeball vents. Not when done like this, turn the dimpled chrome rings one way for air, the other for off, lovely.  

Just check out the row of switches, round chrome ringed again dimpled.

Or the chrome ringed dimpled heater controls, getting the theme yet?

Want to see just how over the top designers can take things. Then check out the heated seat switches. Now I've had heated seats before. You have a switch, press it bum warms up, takes the chill off the leather, press it again heater goes off bum now comfortable no problem. So does the TT just have a switch, oh no siree.  Push the round switch it glides out turn switch it rotates and starts to turn on a circle of lights like close encounters, one for rare , eight for well done, push back in to engage. Want to turn it off push to release, rotate opposite to extinguish lights push back in to disengage Complete waste of time money and effort but oh so lovely to look at and admire.

Check out dimple city more spots than your average teenage Corsa driver.

Any down sides, well the door trims seem a bit of an after thought almost like Audi ran out of inspiration.

The dash is deeper than your average MPV and you sit truly miles from the screen. Despite the looks rear vision is really quite good or would be if  the slickly styled oval rear view mirror was not so pathetically small.

Oh and could the handbrake be any plainer, and more plastic covered. Would an all chrome Item not look better or a rubber gaitor to match the gear stick.  

 

It has not got cup holders, sacrilege, how can any self respecting Car Marque build a car without its own brand of super cup holder. Perhaps the permissible G forces this 4 wheel drive, turbo charged super coupe can generate mean that its to much of a risk to send sticky liquids slopping around the interior.

Oh and the seats are not electric, perhaps the style is so tight the battery is very small, or the alternator.

Its got everything else though and I for one can live without cup holders and electric seats. 

Knee Pads?

First Aid box hidden in here

Comfort Features
Adjustable Steering Column
Adjustable Steering Column
Front Door Bins
Front Door Bins
Height Adjustable Drivers Seat
Height Adjustable Drivers Seat
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Pollen Filter
Pollen Filter
Split rear seats
Split rear seats
Sports Front Seats
Sports Front Seats
Time Clock
Time Clock
General Features
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Mirrors
Colour Coded Mirrors
Digital Odometer
Digital Odometer
Tinted Windows
Tinted Windows
Luxury Features
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter
Cruise Control
Cruise Control
Electric Mirrors
Electric Mirrors
Electric Windows front
Electric Windows front
Heated Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Leather Upholstery
Leather Upholstery
Radio Cassette
Radio Cassette
Trip Counter
Trip Counter

 

 

Check out the engine 225bhp 1.8 is this not the hottest sounding motor in production. Well not quite but 126bhp per litre is quite some figure. And allegedly according to mad German Turbo tuners 330bhp and more  is easily available.

But that wild sounding 225bhp peak figure does not tell anywhere near the whole story of this Yamaha technology derived super unit.

Sure this 1.8 litre unit puts what is really a Golf in drag into a  performance league, that a couple of decades or  ago was populated exclusively by names like Ferrari and Lamborghini. But the stats alone do not tell you what a benign, smooth, well trained unit this is.   

You really do expect the engine to present a few tantrums and be a little difficult to drive, but you could not be more wrong.

Lag is exceptionally well hidden, the Turbo kicks into the rev range hard and very low revs, but not so hard as to present problems to the chassis.

 

Service Interval Insurance Group Safety Rating Smog Rating
10000 18 Not Available Band (D)
Engine BHP CC Fuel Inj.
4 Cylinder 20 Valve DOHC Turbo 225 1781 Yes
Cyl Camshafts Valves/cyl Compressor
4 Double 5 Turbo Charger
Top Speed 0 to 60 BHP per Tonne
151mph 6.4seconds 163
MPG@Urban MPG@Cruise MPG@Speed Fuel Type
23mpg 38.7mpg 30.7mpg Unleaded

Whilst you can pootle about like a granny, if you press the pedal down harder you are rewarded with truly inspiring performance. The TT is equipped with a six speed box, Sixth gives you fairly relaxed cruising speed and good possible economy whilst still allowing mild judder free acceleration low down. 

The gearbox change is fairly short and direct but heavily weighted and sprung in the 3rd - 4th plane, needing a firm hand to guide it to the right slots either side. The clutch is light and easy with an obvious long soft biting point.  Sprinting away from a standstill your arm and foot can barely keep up with the engine as you blast through First and Second, third is a bit longer and the turbo drives it wildly through the speed limit with 3 changes still left.

Top speed is just on the good side of the magic ton and a half mark.

Extra bracing everywhere.

Wide track for flat ride.

Steer/Susp/Tech Features
Alloy Wheels
Alloy Wheels
Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Full Time 4 Wheel Drive
Full Time 4 Wheel Drive
Independent Suspension
Independent Suspension

Power Assisted Steering
Power Assisted Steering
Rev Counter
Rev Counter
Service Level Indicator
Service Level Indicator
Traction Control
Traction Control

You expect a certain feel when you drive any other Audi, a sort of weightless, effortless feel. Audis in general seem to have gone down the road of user friendliness to the point where they are no longer much of a drivers car. But the TT is here to put that straight.

Quicker steering with turned down assistance, means sharp responses and weighty feed back, a gear change that need to be worked with some thought. Firm suspension just short of a jiggly ride. They all tell your senses that this Audi is a little special and demands respect, put the effort and be rewarded.

If you are expecting the simpleton finger tipped and stocking footed drive of an A4 think again. The TT requires a little exertion to get the best out of it. Them again its not so bicep building and quad defining as to exclude the fairer sex,  its just not as lady like and granny friendly as the previous coupes and cabriolet posing machines.

The chassis does an excellent job of  keeping the high power under control. The engine is wickedly powerful, but the chassis tames it to the point where you honestly feel you could handle a dose more with no problem.

The new versions have an even stronger V6 onboard but that may upset the balance which feels excellent.  Shall we say bore it 2.2 litres with 275bhp, dipping the 0-60 time well under 6 seconds, that sounds about right and super enough for most.

In normal use the grip is fantastic and the car never feels close to its limits rounding bends as if its on rails and always responding to a sharp line tighten with even more grip. Body control is also excellent the car does not roll, instead you buttock slide across to the bolster and then are pinned there by the G force. This probably explains what the silver scaffold and kneepad is really for, its a cornering body brace.

 

 

Safety/Security Features
Alarm
Alarm
Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection

Hooray its got an alarm, and an immobilisor,  this is a very desirable little car and need absolutely maximum protection.

The bubble shaped body is complemented by multiple bubble bags inside so should this MKII version do the MKI swapping end trick maximum protection is given. 

Air bag in best disguise

Rubber strips on pedals give grip 
but keep the right look

 Even the locker gets the designer look

Forgetting the few incidents of tail swapping that blighted early versions, Four wheel drive, and traction control make for a very secure drive in the worst weather and makes the car feel very stable and safe.

Practicality depends entirely on you description of the word. The back seats exist which is more than you can say for the rear leg room. Why it bothers with rear seats is beyond me.

With the seats up the boot is shallow and small, with the seats down its fairly large and useable. Though it could be better by abandoning the superfluous rear seats entirely.  

Yet another circle blends in

It is easy to drive though and is possibly the most practical super car yet, assuming you think anything based around a golf can ever be a real super car.

Mirrors better than you would imagine. 

Four circles with power to four wheels 
very fitting.

Boot space amazingly large
for type of car.

Neat load cover

It is a sports car you could live with day to day though, which is more than many can ever manage. Its easy to get in and out, there is plenty of room in the front and loads of head room under that bubble roof for even the tallest driver. Vision is not to bad, side and rear are okay, front is good bar for close up parking maneuvers .

If nothing else it is a success because its heritage is so well hidden, Lets be honest there is nothing about it which feels golf like. It does not fall into the trap of re-using parts from the normal cooking range of runabouts and for that reason alone it feels really rather special, and it is at last a worthy is rather late successor too the Quattro Coupe which ignited the turbo fashion.

Oh and residaul values are very good, the TT is very sought after and it does not hurt your wallet running it or disposing of it. That is if you ever became bored of it.


 

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UK Car Road Test Audi TT (225bhp) 2000

UK Car Road Test Keywords: Sports 4*4 hatchbackTT (225bhp)