• May 14, 2010
2011 Audi TT - Click above for high-res image gallery

This is the 2011 Audi TT. It looks the same, it steers the same and it sticks the same. But there's one major difference: torque. Audi has managed to coax an additional 51 pound-feet of twist from its ever-evolving 2.0-liter TFSI four cylinder. The result? The standard TT isn't just the Bauhaus design icon that propelled Audi into the luxury limelight at the end of the last decade – it's finally a proper sports car. And it's about damned time. Follow the jump to see what we're torquing about.



Exterior photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Even the most hardened Audi aficionado would have a hard time spotting the differences between the 2011 model and its predecessor, so here is the Cliff's Notes version from our time spent with new TT in Germany this week.

Both the TT Coupe and Roadster sport a new front bumper with larger air intakes, high-gloss black grille accents and chrome bezels framing the fog lamps. The most obvious visual additions are the 12 LEDs lining the bottom of the optional Xenon headlamps, the larger dual exhausts and the new front splitter and rear diffuser. Both come standard in matte black, but for our money, the optional carbon fiber pieces are a racy, sophisticated touch that we'd check on the option box. Add the carbon fiber mirrors to the package and you can brag to your friends that they're the same units fitted to Audi's six-figure R8. Also, we're totally crushing on the new Oolong Gray exterior (pictured), one of four new exterior colors available for the 2011 model year.



The updates inside are far less dramatic and include a smattering of high-gloss interior trim and shiny accents, along with new brushed aluminum pieces on the center console, door liner and flat-bottom steering wheel. It's all subtle, all subdued and all available in three new interior colors: Garnet Red, Nougat Brown and Titanium Grey. But forget all that. The engine is clearly the belle of the ball, and it's time to put on our tux.

The 2.0-liter TFSI's interior code name (EA888) gets a new designation affixed to the end: AVS. In conjunction with a revised intake manifold and a new turbo, the Audi Valvelift System electronically controls and manually actuates the exhaust valves on the iron block four-cylinder to coax out 211 horsepower (up from 200 ponies) and 258 pound-feet of torque beginning at a thoroughly usable 1,600 rpm. By no accident, the four's torque output begins to fall off at 4,200 rpm, just as peak horsepower arrives at 4,300 rpm and continues unabated until 6,000 rpm. Equipped with the six-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive, the retuned TT is good for a claimed 0-60 mph sprint of 5.6 seconds and top speed of just over 150 mph. If you had any reservations about Audi nixing the 3.2-liter FSI V6 from the TT lineup last year, leave them at the door. We did just as we crested 130 mph on the Autobahn.



Our initial blast from Munich to Ingolstadt was behind the wheel of a Euro-spec front-wheel drive TT – a budget option we don't get in the States. That's just fine, because you don't want it.

As we learned earlier this week, Audi is committed to reducing the weight of its vehicles by using an amalgamation of composites, aluminum and steel. In the TT, this is key. With the engine mounted up front, Audi took pains to balance weight distribution by using plenty of aluminum in front, with a steel floor pan in the rear. Yet despite the heavier material out back, the resulting 59/41 front-to-rear weight distribution isn't exactly sports car-ideal on the FWD model. Our triple-digit 'bahn-burning and brief backroad blast exposed the front-driven TT as slightly squirrely and less planted at speed. However, add the all-wheel-drive components out back, and the short wheelbase and better weight distribution makes for an eminently more entertaining driving experience.



With the seven-speed S tronic set to manual and the new Sport button depressed (tightened steering, sharper throttle and quicker shifts), any and all questions about the TT's sports car pretenses were immediately laid to rest. The amount of tractable torque in the lower rev-range was predictably reminiscent of the hotter TTS – it's putting out the same amount of twist, after all – with things beginning to run out of steam at around 5,500 rpm. Gear changes by the six-speed dual-clutch remain clean and precise, and with the additional twist on tap, turns we would've taken in second are easily dispatched in third, allowing you to sprint from bend to bend without having to rely on the steering wheel-mounted paddles or push-and-pull gear lever. Since we haven't been overly enamored with the pedal placement on the the manual TT (heel and toe has always been an issue), the dual-clutch tranny continues to be our favorite 'box of the bunch.

Throw the S-Line package into the mix, along with the new Sport button and extra torque, and you've got a budget TTS for thousands less. Which brings up a point: While the 265-hp TTS is still the king of the hill (unless the TT RS gets greenlit for the U.S.), Audi is sure to be planning an EA888-based upgrade in the near future. Until that 300-hp coupe arrives, the upgraded 2011 TT is easily one of the best value propositions in the segment, and finally achieves what Audi set out to accomplish when the TT was introduced in 1998. It's finally a proper entry-level luxury sports car, balancing style, substance and speed into one of the most attractive two-doors ever to hail from Deutschland.



Exterior photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Travel and lodging for this test were paid for by the manufacturer.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 65 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      This would be really nice if it had a true manual transmission. I don't understand why Audi has abandoned the stick. And don't give me any of that "it's .6 seconds quicker" crap. A stick is simply more fun to drive, and that is the most important aspect of a true sports car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not shocked, just voicing my frustration.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The article states that this car is offered with a manual transmission.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Amen brother! I'm scouring CPO inventories for a 2nd gen manual TT.
        • 4 Years Ago
        they abandoned it because no one was buying it and they did so a while ago, go to an audi show room today, all the base tt's are dsg, audi's not changing anything with the revised engine, it's the current status quo.

        not saying it's awesome, but this shock that audi's continuing what's already the case is a bit puzzling.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who wants a linear power delivery rather than a diesel-like flat plateau? Say you're in a tight corner and you want to just tickle the throttle to keep up the momentum, it's harder to do with these motors. Or you are rolling on the throttle at the apex of a turn, and you end up with more power than you want.

      Torque is great, but I like it to behave more like a rheostat based on rpms rather an off and on switch.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't get me wrong! I think that for every day street driving, the 2.0T is a fine engine, if lacking in the sound dept. It's not offensive, but it's not exciting either. But I feel that hammering it hard ends up being a demonstration of electronics more than driver skill. That not so much the case (or at least it's more transparent and less intrusive) in the RS4 and R8. The R8 is utterly delightful, and part of that enjoyment for me is being able to dial in just the right about of throttle to slide the back end gracefully in predictable arcs using just my right foot. And the soundtrack....... almost as good as the Italians! :)

        The Golf R is a mostly new direction for VW. Maybe they will finally poach on Subaru and Mitsubishi territory?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @verdegrrl - thank you, lol. having owned my fair share of blown vag products, frontrak, quattro, and haldex. and my fair share of na vag products, i immensely prefer the character of engines like the 3.2L VR6 to the 2.0T (in any hp trim, let alone the ghastly but entertaining on-off variant in the TT-s). I'm guessing that's why pretty much none of the MkIV or MkV .:R owners are stoked for the golf R, save, possibly, neb :P.
        • 4 Years Ago
        no. you're not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Braden:

        I had an A3 (fwd, but awd A3 loaners), and have an RS4 and MK IV R32. The more linear nature of the normally aspirated engines makes it much more enjoyable when you are truly pushing hard. Maybe you wouldn't notice it so much on the street where only small bursts are possible, but on the track it gets to be very frustrating. When you get the same level of torque whether you're at 2200rpms or 5000rpms, it's much harder to make subtle adjustments. For that matter, the first gen Haldex is a bit too abrupt in cycling off and on. The aftermarket controllers are supposed to help somewhat, and I'll likely try that next on the R32.

        • 4 Years Ago
        With the available grip and torque vectoring due to the Haldex system in these cars, it doesn't matter nearly as much. You can usually just point and squirt and as long as you aren't burying the throttle, the car will sort itself out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        zamafir:

        Start telling Santa Claus early! :D

        The Germans do experience pressure via some very good French hot hatches - which makes me cry to think what we're missing! However, the French don't do hot sport coupes nearly so well since Alpine has stopped making cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @verdegrrl - doubtful, they don't care, sincerely. VAG's a european company, europe is their biggest market, their product makeup reflects the reality of said market. So they're not going to be sending a Golf R with the 2.5T over to do battle in north america, simply because it's not their MO. Which is fine, I'd like to pay cash for the Golf R MkVII 2.5T anywho, and 3 years gives me time to make that a reality :P.
      • 4 Years Ago
      this article is confusing. did you drive both the FWD and AWD 2011 models? kind of seems you just extrapolate that the AWD will be more sporting. more torque is always nice but im not sure if that makes it a viable sports car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, I drove both models, although the FWD model isn't available in the States. The Quattro model we get is far superior.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah... the fwd was struggling to put the power down with 200 lb. ft.... no way it would be able to handle 51 more, and expecially with how much faster this engine spools.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ^ wird.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A TDI TT would be pretty torque-tastic and cool, too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I drove it and it was... less than thrilling.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It would have my vote thats for sure!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 2.0T engine is capable of 300 ft-lbs of torque with only minor hardware changes and upgraded software. Shame it doesn't come out of the factory this way (especially with that price tag), but such is life with Audi's. Fortunately there's the aftermarket.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So, are we going to finally be able to get a manual as an option in the 2011 one now? If not, then I still don't think we can call it a "proper" sports car.

      (And yes, I've driven--and owned--a car with DSG. It sucked, which is why I now drive a manual and would never buy a "clutchless manual" again).
      • 4 Years Ago
      My 2001 TTR (bought about 10 years ago) cost about $40K and had a 1.8 liter with 210 hp and 210 torque. The new one is a better car with a better engine, but somehow I expected even more improvement in 10 years' time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, seriously. The whole world, not just Audi, has moved ahead in the last decade. Audi remains very competitive, and some of its products are truly awesome. But as good as you point out it is, the new TT doesn't have the same splash on the scene as the original TT did. For example, the 2001 Mustang GT produced 260 hp and 302 ft lbs torque (the 2011 has 412 hp), the 2001 Camaro was a pile of poo, and the Hyundai entry into "sporty" car territory was laughable. All that junk morphed by 2010 into very credible rides.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously? You obviously haven't driven it. They are completely different cars from behind the wheel.

        Summary:

        2.0 liter engine with a faster spooling turbo, more power & torque, and better mpg
        DSG transmissioin that shifts close to supercar speed
        more efficient AWD
        All new chassis with much better balance, rigidity, and weight

        What more did you want?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I want to know how this can be seen as a "best value." Would I love to have one - you bet!!! But, it's expensive, really expensive. Sure it might start start at $38,100, but the second you sit down - it jumps to almost $40K with the basics fees. Want a navigation system and all-season tires = $43,805.

      I've always wanted an Audi TT, but I do not see an Audi TT in my future, unless a big raise or promotion is in my future. But the way things are going, I might be facing a 20% pay cut due to a furlough. Beautiful car at a price which is wrong for the times.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No offense, but it seems most people who well... whine about the TT's price compare a loaded TT to the base models of other cars.

        For instance, your talking about the Prestige Trim line on the Standard TT? A 128i is 40k+ when equiped as closely as possible. A 135i comes in at 45k+. ::shrug:: The TT has always seemed priced appropriately for its market... which unfortunately doesn't include people who want a car priced like an accord coupe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with you Oconnell,

        In my mind, most people considering a TT are probably cross shopping 1-series, Z4, or SLK, I don't see how this car is overpriced!

        In top trip level with navigation, dual clutch transmission, and upgraded leather, the TT doesn't even top $45k. An SLK or Z4 without a single option will cost at least $46k.

        Go to BMW's online configurator and check all the options on a 1-series and watch the MSRP creep dangerously near $50k absurdly fast...
      • 4 Years Ago
      211hp and costs $40K ? kind a steep for the performance you get.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Audi TT. One of my FAVORITE cars. Too bad America gets no lovin' from Audi when it comes to manuals. The pictured is a manual, when Autoblog describes an auto model. Is that a TT-S styled bumper? I think it is. C'mon, Audi Bring the full TT lineup to the US. PLEASE! TDI, TT-RS, and all the 6-speed manuals to go with it. Especially since tout TDI as being so green, and why do have so few models in the US with TDI engines?
        • 4 Years Ago
        They bring so few TDI's to market because so few people here in the States buy them. Go to your local Audi dealer and ask them how the demand for TDI's is. It's a joke. People here in the US are always bitching that there aren't diesel offerings, but then when someone finally brings them to market, people don't buy them.

        Volkwagen owners might be diesels, but Audi owners don't. Benz owners don't. BMW owners don't.

        Diesel isn't luxurious like expensive, exciting and interesting hybrids are.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ITs a hairdresser's car. So GAY!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mm Hmm. I bet when you see one you scream that out the window of your hunter green 2003 Accord EX sedan with eibach's and a set of curbed 18" konig's. Sound about right?

        Real constructive comment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Until that 300-hp coupe arrives, the upgraded 2011 TT is easily one of the best value propositions in the segment..."

      what? since when does a base MSRP of $37k = best value proposition in the segment?
        • 4 Years Ago
        since the segment includes the z4 and slk. it's just as quick to sixty as the z4, appreciably quicker when comparing slush boxes, and 10k cheaper. it's just as quick to sixty as the slk, appreciably quicker when comparing slush boxes, and 10k cheaper.

        so yes, $10,000 cheaper, just as fast, I do believe a kindergartner could figure out which is the best value proposition in the class.
        • 4 Years Ago
        rather have the bmw over a glorified MK5. I don't care about the 0-60.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually I meant the 1 series not the 3, my mistake.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not trolling anything. I'm replying to Kooshball and included some of the factors you mentioned. Not everything revolves around you zamafir... sorry buddy, but you're not the center of the universe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How is this in the same class as the Z4 and SLK when those are both 2 seaters? Seems more like the best value proposition compared to those two would be the 370Z, where as this is just kind of an oddball closer to the 3/G coupe than the Z or SLK.
    • Load More Comments