Built for fun at the wheelDesigned to appeal to a young and dynamic clientele, the TTS represents the Audi brand's Vorsprung durch Technik ("advancement through technology") in its very latest form. The TFSI engine in the TTS takes the two Audi technologies of gasoline direct injection and turbocharging and blends them to form a perfect partnership. Aside from its output of 200 kW (272 hp), it is its peak torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft), which is constantly on tap between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm, that makes the compact and lightweight four-cylinder unit so impressive.
Compared to the engine it was derived from, the two-liter power unit has been reengineered and strengthened in a number of key areas to ready it for operation in the TTS. Thanks to its excellent efficiency, the sporty-sounding TFSI has an average fuel consumption of just 8.0 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (29.375 mpg) in the Coupe when partnered by the six-speed manual transmission, while the figure for the roadster averages 8.2 l/100 km (28.659 mpg). These figures are improved by 0.1 and 0.2 l/100 km (by 0.372 and 0.716 mpg), respectively, if the optional S tronic dual-clutch transmission is fitted.
S tronic, which deploys two clutches, is capable of performing extremely quick gear shifts at high engine loads and rev speeds; consequently, the time taken to sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) is cut by a further two-tenths of a second in both the Coupe and Roadster. Loss-free transfer of power to the road is the task of the standard quattro permanent all-wheel drive that enables the TTS to accelerate quicker and with greater stability than its rivals. At the heart of this system is a hydraulic multi-plate clutch that works faster than ever thanks to a new pressure reservoir.
The TTS rolls off the production line equipped with yet another high-tech module – the Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping system. This gives the driver the choice of two characteristic settings: "Standard" mode is designed for a well-balanced, comfortable ride, whereas in the "Sport" setting the TTS harnesses all of the potential of its sports suspension – which lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.39 in.) – to deliver uncompromisingly dynamic handling. Its front suspension is mainly made of aluminum, while the efficient technology of the precision electromechanical steering also helps to improve fuel consumption considerably. The sports car is safely brought to a standstill by the high-performance braking system with its 17-inch discs.
Yet another factor in the supreme performance of the TTS is the hybrid construction of its body. Steel is used at the rear end, while the front and center sections of the body are built from lightweight aluminum. ASF (Audi Space Frame) technology optimizes axle load distribution and reduces the overall weight. The manual Coupe weighs just 1,395 kilograms (3,075.45 lbs), which equates to a power-to-weight ratio of 5.1 kg/hp (11.24 lbs/hp).
Powerful looks: 18-inch wheels plus new headlights
The Audi TTS instantly stands out as the dynamic flagship of the TT model line. The standard 18-inch aluminum wheels are a highlight of the exterior design, as are the headlights, comprising newly designed bi-xenon units with LED daytime running lights. Inside, passengers are welcomed by deep-set sports seats trimmed in a mixture of leather and Alcantara, with Silk Nappa leather seat upholstery in four different color combinations available as an option. The gray instrument panel as well as the multifunctional steering wheel add further styling touches.
The TTS Roadster comes with an electrohydraulic drive for the soft top, a power wind deflector, plus, for added practicality, a load-through facility. The rear seats in the Coupe have a split-folding design, allowing luggage capacity to be increased from 290 to 700 liters (10.24 to 24.72 cubic ft.). The hard-top TTS is priced at 44,900 euros and the convertible version at 47,750 euros.
The unveiling of the TTS also marks something of an anniversary for Audi: It was 10 years ago that the TT Coupe first took to the road, swiftly acquiring the status of design icon. And the TT has stayed firmly in the fast lane ever since.