Audi’s sports coupe is the cheapest in India and still packs a punch.
Published on Nov 28, 2012 05:49:00 PM
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With the Audi TT 2.0-litre TFSI Quattro, the carmaker has made available the cheapest sports coupé in India. And even with the Rs 50 lakh price tag, you still get 208bhp, all-wheel-drive grip and all the appeal you would expect of a slick sports coupé.
Audi has priced this TT Rs 15 lakh cheaper than the next two-door coupe, a considerable gap, but one that comes at a cost. The TT 2.0-litre makes do with four cylinders (the Z4, SLK and 370Z have no less than six) and it gives away roughly 100bhp to them as a result.
So is it worth it, or are there any serious shortfalls?
The TT’s seats are low-slung, its dash beautifully built and rather sporty. The upholstery is red and black and the triple air-con vents are angled towards the driver. The dials are beautifully crafted. The seating position is really low, with the dashboard in front of you, rather than below, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel is ideally placed. If there’s one grouse it is with the audio system’s display. The old-school Audi red dot-matrix display looks a bit old-fashioned. Still, it’s a tiny grouse in an otherwise well-built cabin. There’s plenty of space for the front passengers, all-round visibility is good and every switch and dial is cleanly styled and perfectly weighted in its operation. The rear seats, though, are rather cramped and even people of average height will have to sit hunched. But fold the rear seats and you get a very useful 700 litres of boot space, making the TT a rather practical two-seater for touring.
More importantly, the 2.0-litre, direct-injection turbo-petrol motor is responsive and lively. It makes its peak torque of 35.7kgm all the way from a low 1600rpm and on to 4200rpm, and it’s this wide powerband that makes the TT particularly nice to drive. The engine pulls cleanly from low revs, the midrange is particularly strong and there is decent shove all the way to the engine’s 6200rpm redline. The TT 2.0 TFSI gets Audi’s six-speed DSG auto, which is a pretty good match for the engine’s power characteristics and is responsive to paddleshift inputs.
The TT will accelerate to 100kph in 6.49sec, which isn’t shatteringly quick, but more than adequate for this kind of car. In fact, the car feels faster than its times suggest because of the engine’s wide powerband and the aurally pleasing growl it makes as the needle winds its way to the red part of the tachometer.
It’s a stiff chassis on a stiff suspension setup and one that isn’t particularly suited to our roads. The suspension works silently enough, but you tend to bounce and jiggle over uneven surfaces and the ride is excessively fidgety over anything but the most perfect surfaces – this makes it rather tiring to drive on Indian roads. Our car came fitted with adjustable dampers, but even with it set on ‘normal’ the ride is uncomfortably stiff. However, find the right road and the TT will delight with its short wheelbase-aided nimbleness and four-contact-patch grip. There’s little body roll, the engine’s flexibility and responsive gearbox all add up to quite a lot of fun on a twisty road. The weak point of the TT’s dynamic envelope is its steering and the problem is not with its accuracy but more with the absence of feel.
To conclude, the TT is a stylish, adequately quick and fun sports coupé. All Audi has to do now is fix the ride.
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