Purely in terms of the sensory experience—provided you keep your driving to normal streets and highways—the 2016 Audi TT feels more like a sports car than it ever has.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged four snarls when you step into it, and burbles with a tease of overrun when you drive it hard; you can fling it around corners quickly, or tackle high-speed sweepers with composure and stability. And with its Audi virtual cockpit layout, at first charm it feels just a bit more like an exotic sports car than it might have a right to.
Oh, the sights and sounds
But seriously, all the sensations, props, and cues are there. You have the trademark rear spoiler that props up at speed. There’s a new variable-ratio, variable-assist steering system that makes you feel a little telepathic (provided you’re not pushing your limits). The seating position feels more closely aligned with what the car is doing in corners, and the center of mass feels lower. And then there’s the ‘sound actuator’ that pipes more spirited sounds into the cabin.
The numbers, by the way, are impressive, too. The standard TT can get to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, and reach a limited top speed of 155 mph.
Up until now, this editor’s experience with the new third-generation TT was limited to an early first drive in Europe, with models that weren’t entirely representative of what we get in the U.S.—or how this new TT would fit in here.
The car we recently spent a couple of days with was fully U.S.-spec, a 2016 TT Coupe optioned with the Technology Package (full MMI navigation, Audi connect services, side assist, a rearview camera and parking sensors), a 19-inch wheel package with summer tires, the S Sport seat package, and glorious Bang & Olufsen sound. Its bottom-line price was $50,600.