UK CAR Road Test

Audi TT

The Audi TT. Look at it. It's one of the best looking cars ever. What started out as a "surely that will never be made?" concept car has crept off the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show floor and onto the forecourts of Audi dealers.

And, surprisingly, the outrageous design quirks have been retained. This is near-identical to the show car.

There have been some changes and, for the car nerd amongst you, they are :

Triangular windows in the rear pillars
Bigger air intakes under the front
A different grille
Slightly longer rear end
Different tailpipes
Repositioned rear lights

And that's it. It's hard not to harp on about the fantastic design, it really is. So to keep me quiet, I'm going to allow you to ogle the pictures for a while......

Are we done? Lets move on.

For the test, we took the TT out on an early morning drive through the town streets. It rides the streets firmly, only the occasional pothole brings about a shudder. The ride gradually improves at speed but with all the traffic around and the lack of overtaking chances, it's hard to tell you more. 

So, let's take a look at the interior. Often in sports cars you will find that the interior is a let-down. The inside of this car aesthetically blows away any sports car interior you care to mention - Alfa Romeo 156? Fiat TT? Not even close.

Audi know this too, they are quite proud of the styling as shown around town in posters with various Audi parts taking the place of home fixtures and fittings. The interior reminds me of a stylish bachelor pad. Its black leather, black plastics of a very high quality and loads and loads of aluminium. 

The main use of this is in the aluminium rings found everywhere, each one with eight dimples pressed into it. They are on the steering wheel, the bottom of the gear lever gaiter, the gear lever knob, the glovebox lid and the stereo flap. It all adds up to an industrial feel - slightly exposed and hard edged.

Back onto the drive, this is the 1.8 T Quattro, it pushes out a respectable 180bhp using a 20v 1781cc twin cam engine. From a standing start it doesn't feel all that fast, there is no evidence of the wailing sports car sound that its looks hint at. The sound is flat and dull in first and second gear, this is a car that does it's best work in fourth and fifth. There is no obvious turbo lag, so much so that the turbo would be hard to spot if you didn't already know it was there.

The gearbox is good, it has a solid throw but isn't incredibly sharp or short and, to be honest, it's not the perfect gear change for a sports car.

To finish, this is an amazing-looking car with performance that doesn't match its looks. That is the only let down.  Buy this car safe in the knowledge that it is simply one of the best looking cars money can buy for a relatively low price.  Do not buy this car expecting to out-run the likes of a Porsche Boxter or a BMW Z3.



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