Audi TT is an entertaining car to drive
THE RIDE: Two-door, four-passenger 2008 Audi TT sports coupe 2.0. DOWN THE ROAD: Ever since it debuted in 1999, the TT has carved a niche among sports car enthusiasts. With a redesigning for 2008, which entails an increase in its wheelbase, length, height and weight, it should draw even more fans. After all, the brisk and trendy car can go 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. TECH & PERFORMANCE: The 2.0-liter-size V-4 inline engine may seem small to some, but remember, it's turbocharged. Offered in six trims, it cranks out 200 horsepower at 5100 rpm and 207 pounds-feet of torque at 1800 rpm. Power is put to the road via the car's quick-shifting S tronic 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The front-wheel-drive TT is equipped with a MacPherson strut in the front and a four-link rear suspension, which displays an overall good cornering balance. An electromechanical steering system provides first-rate feedback regardless of the vehicle's speed. Braking duties are handled more than competently by the 12.3-inch front and 11.3-inch rear disc brakes. LOOK & FEEL: The large single-frame radiator grille stares in your face as you close in on the front fascia of the TT, which also sports large air inlets and sloping bixenon headlights. Step back to the rear and you will come across an auto-retractable spoiler, two exhaust outlets and centered fog lights. Aluminum trim throughout the top-notch cabin is noticeable as you slide into the spacious optional black Nappa leather seats. The instruments are logically laid out with large speedometer and tachometer gauges surrounded by smaller coolant temperature and fuel gauges. The three-spoke, tilt-and-telescoping, flat-bottomed leather steering wheel makes maneuvering sharp turns and curvy corners easy. If you get a little too excited driving this speedster, the large digital speedometer in the driver information center serves as a reminder to cool it.SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front, front thorax side and knee airbags, energy-absorbing zones, four-wheel antilock brakes, Electronic Stabilization Program, Anti-slip Regulation, daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitoring system. OUT THE DOOR: $34,800, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. Spend the $2,200 on the Audi Exclusive Line if you appreciate black Nappa leather seats, which come in dual color and stitches. BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 225/50R17 alloy; wheelbase, 97.2 inches; length, 164.5 inches; weight, 2,965 pounds; fuel capacity, 15.8 gallons; highway, 31 mpg; city, 23 mpg. WHY DIG IT: After a makeover this year, the future appears even brighter for this sports coupe. The gorgeous-looking TT is an entertaining car to drive. It boasts a rev-happy gearbox that offers a snappy performance and an elegant cabin aura, which is par none. We wouldn't be surprised if the redesigned TT enjoys a record sales year.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.