Car makers are forever thinking up new market niches to exploit: Audi’s new TT is one of the few coupés offered with a diesel engine. Ian Robertson reports
Audi’s sporty TT made its mark as a bit of a style icon – despite its humble Volkswagen Golf underpinnings – featuring a choice of turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 petrol engines. Originally unveiled back in 1995 as a concept, the first generation model went on sale in 1999. Seven years later, the German maker unveiled the new TT: a gentle evolution from the original design, but with big improvements to the way it drove. Innovations include the magnetic ride system, an active suspension optional on all models, and latterly Audi’s first TT diesel, powered by the brand new 2.0-litre common-rail engine, and shared with the rest of the Volkswagen group.
While many will see a diesel engine in a sporty coupé as a misdemeanour, as soon as you climb into the cabin and start the engine, you’re blown away with how undiesel like the exhaust note is with its rich sporty sound. The common-rail unit is well matched to the TT and offers bags of torque, with plenty of zip, while still returning 53.3mpg on the combined cycle. It’s a relaxing drive, and will happily cruise in sixth gear all day long.
The combination of bright white paintwork and red leather seats on our test car won’t win any prizes for being discrete, but it certainly got noticed everywhere it went. The driving position afforded by the sports seats is comfortable, although those with ample proportions may find it a tight squeeze. You sit low down in the TT, giving you a view out along available. Even so, the TT 2.0 TDI still comes pretty well equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, leather and alcantara upholstery, climate control, a full compliment of safety equipment and a retractable rear spoiler all fitted as standard.
- Engine: 1968cc, 4 cylinder, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 168bhp at 4,200rpm
- Max Torque: 258lb ft at 1,750 – 2,500rpm
- Max Towing Weight: n/a
- Combined Consumption: 53.3mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 139g/km (C)
- 0-62mph: 7.5secs
- Max speed: 140mph
- Insurance group: 16
RIVALS: Alfa Romeo Brera 2.4 JTDM, BMW 120d M Sport Coupé, Volkswa gen Scirocco GT 2.0 TDI
Stunning looks, great economy, effortless performance, relaxing to drive, quality
No S tronic automatic option, vision poor