The drop-top TT is beautifully designed and great to own. It has a feelgood factor that few in its class can match.
The TT Roadster is offered with two engines. The range-topping V6 sounds superb, emitting a really raspy note hen you hit the throttle. That's just as well, as it doesn't pack as big a punch as you'd expect. It feels old - the 2.0T is the better option. It's certainly almost as fast, and more low-down torque makes it easier to use - yet it's perfectly smooth too, with a characterful exhaust note of its own. Although neither models' quattro drivetrain likes to be rushed, six-speed manual gearboxes have a precise shift action, and the strong brakes are reassuring. Audi's suspension technology has come on in leaps and bounds recently, so unlike the old TT, this one is no longer so wooden and unrewarding. It's well damped and controlled, and despite occasional structural tremors on pitted tarmac, it feels commendably stiff. The steering weights up well at speed, and it's composed and engaging in corners. But it isn't as much fun as purer rivals. It distances you from the action, rather than involving you in it.
The TT Roadster is undoubtedly one of the most stunning and best detailed cars in its sector. One or two of our testers actually thought it was better looking than the coupe, while everyone agreed the current TT shape lends itself better to being a convertible than the old one. The rear end is particularly successful, and is at its best with the roof down and the gorgeous chrome rollover hoops on display. That roof is easier too; before, you had to undo a central latch, but now the mechanism is entirely hands-free. Better still, it can be operated at up to 19mph. The car's key rivals include the BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster, Nissan 350Z and Mercedes SLK. Against these, the TT is priced competitively, but we'd recommend you choose one option on top of this - the Magnetic Ride dampers. They deliver a superior ride comfort, and also have a sharper Sport mode.
The hood itself isn't the TT's strongest point. Although thicker and more than able to filter out road noise, it leaves the cabin rather dark. The folding mechanism is hardly groundbreaking, either, and doesn't open as quickly as we'd expect. However, the interior itself is superb - not simply in terms of build and material quality, but also in design and layout. Exciting and innovative, it's a wonderful place to spend time. The high dash and low-slung seats mean the TT isn't that easy to see out of, though, and the standard chairs could do with more under-thing support. But minor quibbles are offset by the sheer feelgood factor. The carefully blended mix of leather, metal and soft-touch plastics and the design of the controls all have an air of solidity. And the standard radio has no trouble in overcoming wind noise.
Edited by VaTRaXoΣ, 15 April 2007 - 01:20 PM.