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2008 Audi TT-S - Car News


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#1 VaTRaXoΣ

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:34 PM



Audi says its TTs are now 'true sports cars'. TT-S and TT-RS created to rival Porsche Cayman.

At the TTʼs launch earlier this year, Audi chief of concept development Ulrich Hackenberg boasted that the latest TT had now become “a true sports car.” Well, despite Audiʼs redesign, we still donʼt see the TT as a hard-core competitor to the Porsche Cayman or BMW Z4 M coupe.

Audi hopes that perception will change when it launches the TT-S. Powered by a high-output, high-boost version of Audiʼs 2.0-liter turbo direct-injection engine, the S makes a heady 80 more horsepower than the regular-issue version of the engine. In fact, the 280-hp turbo engine makes 30 more horses than the optional 3.2-liter V-6, thus making it the most powerful engine Audi has installed in a TT. Standard equipment on the S-version includes Quattro drive, adaptive magnetic shocks, and a six-speed manual. Audiʼs Direct Shift Gearbox will not be offered on the TT-S because the engineʼs output exceeds the power limit of the transmission.

Exterior changes to the TT-S are subtle and for the most part functional. Large 19-inch wheels fill the fenders, and two intakes up front feed a larger intercooler (lesser TTs make do with fake intakes). And then thereʼs the deeper chin spoiler that reputedly improves aerodynamics. The interior of the TT-S has lightweight racing-style seats and plenty of aluminum and leather trim.

We had the opportunity to drive the TT-S on a handling course and high-speed oval. At idle, the engine proclaims with a dog-like snarl that this is no ordinary TT. Kick the throttle, and the TT-S responds quickly, even below 2000 rpm. From 2400 rpm and up the engine offers continuous and linear thrust that doesnʼt taper off until the rev limiter halts the proceedings at 6800 rpm. According to our stopwatch — official performance testing was not allowed on our prototype drive — the TT-S sprints to 60 mph in the low-five-second range. Suspension tuning and the more powerful engine make the TT-S a livelier and more reactive car to driver inputs than the relatively lazy, lesser TTs. Handling feels refreshingly neutral through fast bends, and at the limit the car will drift nicely as long as one keeps feeding power. The changes to the S bring it closer to the competition, and although it will make an interesting alternative to the Porsche and BMW, it seems unlikely to win any comparison tests.

A few months after the TT-S debuts, Audi plans to launch an even more hard-core TT. Dubbed the TT-RS, power will come from a turbocharged version of Volkswagenʼs 2.5-liter inline-five, making roughly 350 horsepower. A beefed-up Direct Shift Gearbox will perform gearchanges, and a version of the RS 4ʼs dynamic ride control with remote shock reservoirs will keep the chassis on an even keel. Equipped as such, the TT looks like it could actually make a serious run at toppling the Porsche Cayman S.

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 2+2-passenger, 3-door coupe

ESTIMATED BASE PRICE: $45,000

ENGINES: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, 280 hp, 269 lb-ft (est)

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 97.2 in
Length: 164.5 in
Width: 72.5 in
Height: 53.2 in
Curb weight: 3300 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 5.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.9 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph

PROJECTED FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA city driving: 21 mpg
EPA highway driving: 27 mpg

Source:




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