• Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  •   Engine
    Turbo 2.0L I4
  •   Power
    310 HP / 280 LB-FT
  •   Transmission
    6-Speed DCT
  •   0-60 Time
    4.9 Seconds
  •   Top Speed
    155 MPH (limited)
  •   Drivetrain
    All-Wheel Drive
  •   Engine Placement
    Front
  •   Seating
    2+2
  •   Cargo
    10.8 CU-FT
  •   Warranty
    4 Years / 50,000 Miles
  •   Base Price
    $50,000 (est.)
  •  
We recently drove the Audi TT, and although we wish it were radically entertaining instead of merely very fun, it's nevertheless a sharp coupe that vaults ahead of its predecessor with an inspired interior and eager handling. That car will be precursor to this TTS when it gets here a year from now, with the TTS adding adjectives like "more" and "better" to just about everything found on the base coupe. With the standard car having already put on such a fine edge, we wheeled the TTS on Spanish roads and at the Ascari race track to find out how much better and higher-performing the S will be.

Driving Notes
  • As of this writing, today's TTS commands an $8,350 premium over the TT. Assuming a commensurate gap is carried over into this next generation model, that supplemental dosh will get you 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque instead of 230 hp and 273 lb-ft in the standard TT. That would mean more for your money, too, since the gap between the current TT and TTS is 54 hp and zero lb-ft of torque. To achieve the new numbers, the 2.0 TSFI engine from the TTS benefits from upgrades like sturdier valves, revised aluminum pistons and stronger connecting rods with new bearings, a reinforced crankshaft and a high-performance intercooler. The amplified brawn rips 0.7 seconds off the 0-60 mile-per-hour time, getting you there in 4.6 seconds.
  • But wait, there's more: The TTS comes standard with Audi magnetic ride and S sport seats with air-filled adjustable bolsters, gets lightweight aluminum brakes in front, is lowered by 0.4 inches (the S-line package does the same for the TT) and sits on 18-inch wheels as standard, with 19- and 20-inchers as options. If the badging alone doesn't do it, twin pipes at each rear corner identify it as a top-of-the-line model, as do the TTS-exclusive colors like Sepang Blue metallic and Panther Black Crystal Effect outside and Express Red leather inside.
  • We aren't against buttons on a steering wheel in a sporty-minded car, but we often appreciate it when they're not there. However, button-laden spokes (there are 14 functions among all the glyphs) make the most sense in the bare, pure interior of the TTS; they bolster the impression of the driver-oriented cockpit because they aren't merely convenient redundancies, they're necessary elements of the only command center in the car. The TTS dash also gets what Audi calls a "honeycomb-like," "innovative technical laser texture" – what looks to us like dimples. They work, helping visually dilute the scope of the wide, black dashboard.
  • The Sport Layout, exclusive to the TTS, further buttresses the sports car vibe. It fills the center of the 12.3-inch gauge binnacle screen with a tachometer, places a digital speedo inside of that and pushes supplemental information to the left and right. This helps the pilot focus on swapping cogs just before the 6,800-rpm redline when it's time to drive angry.
  • That's exactly what we did around Ascari, forced to focus on the tachometer for the first few turns. The 2.0-liter four, a little boar of an engine, refuses to stop pulling until the digital red needle dips into the digital red numbers so we kept hitting the limiter until we learned the engine note. The TTS does everything just remarkable enough to prick the senses: its acceleration gets your attention, its brakes are good for both going deep into a corner and bailing you out of one, its steering (in Dynamic mode) combined with the proactive, adaptive Quattro software and the coupe's dexterity mean you can choose to put a wheel on the kerbing or on the inside of the white line next to the kerbing. Anvil-flat cornering stays almost as anvil flat through quick doglegs, and if you turn off electronic stability control, slight drifts are possible when you really push it. It's fun around a track.
Our opinion, however, is that the TTS is not $8,000-or-so more fun than the TT around a track or on the road. Unless you really just gotta have that badge, that Sepang Blue paint or that unique dash layout, we think you'll be plenty pleased with the regular-strength TT. Even though the standard model is down a not-insignificant 80 horsepower, it's got plenty of torque and it knows how to use it – we had such fun blasting around Spanish backroads in one that we never wished for more. The TTS is quicker, harder and better, sure. You won't go wrong choosing it, but by the same token, we'd be hard-pressed to find the need to splash out for its extra cost.

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own — we do not accept sponsored editorial.

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