In-depth reviews

Audi TT review – engine, gearbox and technical highlights

All TTs bar the RS share a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with between 197bhp and 296bhp depending on spec. The TT is also now DSG-only

Evo rating
Price
from £28,080
  • Superb interior; sharp and restrained aesthetic; better to drive than any TT before
  • Not particularly enjoyable to drive; is a TT just a bit 2001 these days?

All TTs now offer a single 2-litre inline-four cylinder engine in two outputs, having dropped the entry-level 1.8 TFSI and 2-litre TDI at the time 2018 facelift. Audi’s also dropped the six-speed manual transmission on all models, replacing it exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch.

Opening the range is the front-wheel drive 197bhp 40TSFi , with the more potent 242bhp 45TFSI available in both front-wheel drive and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive. TT’s are all built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, making the all-wheel drive system front-biased, with a centre differential shuffling power rearwards when slip is detected. 

The S-Tronic (Audi’s name for DSG) gearbox has good, snappy shifts, but does have a habit of slurring through the gears for the sake of smoothness, if not clutch life, around town. While the software controlling these types of transmissions has improved markedly over the last decade, increasingly stringent emissions regulations have forced manufacturers to calibrate them for maximum efficiency, which can make the gearbox feel sluggish when left to its own devices. Knock the lever back into Sport mode and the sharpness of response does increase, but so too does its desire to hold unnecessarily low gears for no apparent reason. 

The TTS makes do with the same basic engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system as lesser TTs, but has a more potent 302bhp tune derived from the Audi S3. It, like all current TT models, has been fitted with an exhaust particulate filter which explains the subtle 4bhp drop compared to earlier TTS models, and the reduction in exhaust pops and gurgles. 

The flagship TT RS is the only model in the range with a different powertrain, and generates 394bhp and 354lb ft of torque from an inline five-cylinder motor. It too has been updated with new exhaust particulate filters, and has lost some of its wonderful warble, but still hits incredibly hard and gives the RS a more defined character.

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