Meet the new Audi TT (and its higher performance TTS sibling). Now in its third generation, the Mk3 Audi TT is exactly as you’d expect – a gentle evolution more than revolution, with a new-style grille treatment, sharp new interior and some cleaner and more efficient engines.
Like all transverse front-engined VW group products nowadays, it will use the MQB platform that underpins the VW Golf, Audi A3, SEAT Leon et al. That means front-wheel drive as standard, with Quattro four-wheel drive optional on some lesser-powered TT iterations and standard on range-topping TTS and TT RS models.
MQB is lighter than the chassis architecture that precedes it, so the TT will also lose weight. Constructed from high-strength steel alloys, with most of the upper body made from lightweight aluminium, the basic 2.0-litre Audi TT weighs in at 1230kg – around 50kg down on its predecessor.
Xenon plus headlight units will be standard fit, with the company’s new LED Matrix headlights remaining on the options list. At the back of the TT, there's an active spoiler, which rises at speeds over 75mph, to help with high-speed stability. Like all Audi S models, the TTS gets quad tail pipes to distinguish it from lesser models.
Inside, the new Audi TT gets a new dash – similar to the one found in the A3 – although a new digital instrument cluster combines the MMI with the driving gauges, loosing the central screen is a new move for the company. The classic TT ‘jet engine’ air vents remain, while new sports seats, flat-rimmed steering wheel with a smaller airbag, complete the new look. The new TT remains a 2+2, but boasts slightly improved rear legroom and boot space.
Using the MQB platform should also improve handling, offering a slightly extended wheelbase and also setting the engine further back to aid weight distribution. Engines are familiar from other Audi applications. Two petrols have been confirmed; the 227bhp 2.0-litre TFSI from the new VW Golf GTI Performance Pack, and the more potent TTS will share an uprated 2.0-litre turbo engine with the Golf R and current S3 – with 306bhp.
A TT Diesel has also been confirmed, and gets the 181bhp 2.0-litre TDI unit seen in the Golf GTD and Skoda Octavia vRS, which is capable of slipping below the magical 120g/km barrier and into a low-priced tax band, producing 110g/km. All models will come with a six-speed manual, or optional six-speed S-Tronic automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard for both standard TT models, with optional fifth-generation Haldex four-wheel drive system as standard.
Originally launched way back in 1998, the curvy coupe is credited with leading the revolution of the Audi brand; the company has a string of Le Mans wins to its name now and is one of Europe’s biggest selling car companies, with a model seemingly filling every niche imaginable.
The New TT is expected to go on sale towards the end of the year, with first UK deliveries expected in early 2015. Prices are likely to climb slightly over their current level; expect a starting point of around £26,000. The facelifted VW Scirocco and newly European-friendly Ford Mustang will be among its rivals.