The Audi TT is a 2-door luxury sports car available since 1998. It is currently in its third generation, and has always been available as a 2+2 coupe and a 2-seater roadster.
Audi TT Introduction and Engine
The first sign of the Audi TT came as a concept car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was designed primarily by J Mays and Freeman Thomas. The name comes from the motor racing event, the British Isle of Man TT, for Tourist Trophy, showing that the Audi TT is geared toward racing performance. The first production Audi TT, known as the Typ 8N, was built on a Volkswagen Group A4 PQ34 platform and was released in 1998 as a coupe, with the roadster following shortly behind in 1999. The TT featured a turbocharged, transverse 1.8L 20-valve inline-4 cylinder engine, available in two variants: 178 horsepower with 173 lb ft of torque, and 222 horsepower with 207 lb ft of torque. The main difference came from a larger turbocharger and additional intercooler. Both versions were available in front-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive, based on a Haldex system unlike a lot of Audi quattro models. Eventually in 2003, those looking for an additional bump up in power had an option. A 3.2L VR6 engine was released with 247 horsepower and 236 lb ft of torque. This variant only came with the Haldex four-wheel drive.
2005 Updates and Negative Press
In 2005, a modified 1.8L turbocharged engine was released, now reaching 237 horsepower and 236 lb ft of torque, getting close to the 3.2L naturally aspirated engine’s level of performance. This was the engine placed in the then-new Audi TT Sport, and had a 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) time of 5.9 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. The first generation of Audi TT was surrounded by drama, including a 2007 class-action lawsuit alleging the 1999-2003 1.8L engines had a timing belt that failed prematurely, which was settled in 2008. The earliest models also received negative press coverage related to a series of fatal high-speed accidents, resulting in Audi recalling some models to add an Electronic Stability Program, Anti Slip Regulation, and a rear spoiler. Nonetheless, the Audi TT went on to be nominated for many awards, including Car and Driver’s Ten Best list for 2000 and 2001, plus the North American Car of the Year nomination in 2000.
Second Generation Changes
In 2006, the second-generation Audi TT was released. It was built on the Volkswagen Group A5 PQ35 platform and was known as the Typ 8J. While the concept car was constructed from aluminum, the production version had aluminum front body panels with steel in the rear for a better weight distribution. The engine options included a 158 horsepower 1.8L and 197 horsepower 2.0L inline-4 options, along with the 247 horsepower 3.2L VR6. The smaller engine options were available in both front-wheel drive and quattro four-wheel drive versions, while the VR6 once again came as quattro only. The suspension was upgraded to a multi-link independent rear suspension with independent front suspension, with all-around Audi Magnetic Ride active suspension available as an option, using magneto rheological dampers. An automatically-deployed rear spoiled would increase downforce at speeds above 78 mph. The first diesel Audi TT came in 2008 with a 2.0L TDI that had 168 horsepower and 258 lb ft of torque, paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. In that same year, the first S-series Audi TT was released, featuring a redesigned 2.0L TFSI engine to produce a much more powerful 268 horsepower and 258 lb ft of torque. That was available with 6-speed manual or 6-speed S-tronic automatic transmission.
Current Fourth Generation Audi TT
The current, fourth generation Audi TT was released in 2014, on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform with a variety of engines offered, including two 2.0L TFSI’s with either 227 horsepower or 306 horsepower, plus a turbodiesel 2.0L with 181 horsepower and 280 lb ft of torque. The Audi TT RS was launched in 2016, with a fierce 2.5L TFSI 5-cylinder engine producing a whopping 394 horsepower and 354 lb ft of torque.