Audi TT review – ride and handling
Multiple driver modes and the ability to tweak the minutest detail of the car’s driving dynamics mean it’s hard to find an ideal setup. We suggest leaving everything in dynamic, apart from the dampers which do better in comfort
Ironically, when we drove the first TT way back in issue 001 of evo, the thing that unnerved us was startling lift-off oversteer, but subsequently the TT has been a less than exuberant little coupe. ‘If you’re into clinical speed, it really is effective,’ said Jethro Bovingdon in issue 094 after driving the second-generation TT for the first time.
In Dynamic mode, nothing much seems to have changed. That the car is so well tied-down is impressive, but also dynamically very dull. On the right roads, you can feel the Quattro drivetrain more eagerly pushing power to the rear axle, but the means to really exploit and enjoy it simply aren’t there.
There is, however, a decent enough fix for this less than involving driving experience. Go into Individual mode and, leave everything in Dynamic, but switch the dampers to Comfort. With the suspension relaxed, the whole car is able to move around enough to bring it alive. The steering remains lacking in real feel, but with some roll in the corners, some dive under braking and some squat under acceleration, you can adjust the attitude of the TTS nicely.
These chassis settings are particularly effective on the way into corners, where a touch of trail-braking really locks the nose into the apex and gets the rear rolling round slightly behind you. Get back on the throttle at this point and it’s even possible to have the TT driving out of a corner with a smidgen of oversteer. It’s certainly not the easiest attitude to coax out of the car, but it is eminently possible. Which is fun.
In the UK we tried the car on Bridgestone Potenza S001 rubber rather than the Hankooks that have been fitted to previous TTs we’ve driven. The biggest difference is a pleasing reduction in road noise, but they also felt a little more malleable and progressive, so we would certainly recommend them.
Although the TT convertible has a fabric roof, refinement on motorways and longer journeys is very impressive. You obviously lose the practicality of the small back seats that the coupe has, but with the canvas folded away you get all the joys of the wind in your hair (although there really isn’t much ruffling if you’ve got the windows up).
The TT RS is an unbelievably quick, if unengaging, machine. The five-cylinder soundtrack is nothing short of fantastic, but the RS falls just short of being really brilliant. The issue lies with its lack of a torque vectoring rear-diff for its four-wheel drive system, which just holds the car back, making it something of a point and squirt machine.