2004 TT New Car Test Drive
Audi has come further, perhaps, than any other German car company. From the brink of extinction in this market, Audi has delivered continuous product improvement, continuous product line expansion, vast improvements in quality, and a couple of wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans thrown in for good measure. It's a car company on the way out of the lower luxury segment and into the upper, and a company that deserves watching. There have never been as many distinct Audi models to choose from, from the basic Audi A4 sedan to the $90,000 Audi A8L limousine.
One of the products that has brought new buyers into Audi showrooms is the TT, Audi's first true sports car. The TT is a two-seater and comes in both coupe and roadster form. The TT offers Volkswagen's superb quality and attention to detail in a sportier, more upscale design. It features solid VW mechanicals and durability underneath. And for 2004, the TT offers the 3.2-liter narrow-angle V6 to create an entirely new model.
The Audi TT has much to offer. Its styling is pure and retro, recalling Audi's sports car heritage that goes back to the 1905 Tourist Trophy race on the Isle of Man. That theme is carried through inside with a stylish interior in top-quality materials and fit and finish. These cars feel very refined and quite stable, like their riding on rails. The brakes are excellent. The 225-horsepower 1.8 T is quick and the new 3.2 is very quick indeed; Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system comes on these models to put the power down on clean, dry pavement as well as on mud, snow, slush or rain-drenched roads. The standard 180-horsepower 1.8 T lacks the verve of these other two, but is a delightful sports car by nearly anyone's standards.
A total of six models of the Audi TT is available, three coupes, and three roadsters: the 180-horsepower 1.8 T coupe ($33,250) and roadster ($35,250), which come with front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission; the 225-horsepower 1.8 T coupe ($36,700) and roadster ($39,500), which come with all-wheel drive and a manual transmission; and the new 250-horsepower 3.2 coupe ($39,900) and roadster ($42,900), which come with all-wheel drive and a new double-clutch automatic with steering wheel paddle controls.
All Audi TT models come with the latest in active and passive safety features: anti-lock brakes (ABS), an electronic stability program (ESP), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), and an electronic differential lock (EDL) to keep the car going in the intended direction and respond to the driver's steering inputs even when he or she isn't working the pedals properly. The 1.8 T 180 comes with traction control (ASR) to make up for its lack of all-wheel drive. Roadsters come with fixed roll bars in polished aluminum finish behind the seats. All TT models include seat-mounted head and chest side airbags and next-generation dual front airbags; three-point safety belts with pretensioners and load limiters; and the LATCH system for child safety seats.
Leather upholstery is standard on all models. Large 17-inch wheels and tires and Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights come standard.
Options include a Papaya Orange paint ($1000); the baseball optic leather interior treatment ($1000); a Premium Package with HomeLink and heated seats ($700); a Bose audio system package ($1200); the power folding top option ($800); 18-inch wheels and tires ($775); a navigation system ($1350); a leather-swathed steering wheel ($275); and a cell phone prep kit ($350).
Upgrades for 2004 include a standard CD-player audio system in base models, standard HomeLink in base models, standard 17-inch wheels and tires for the basic 1.8 T model, height-adjustable sports seats, and xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps with self-leveling and automatic adjustment.