Audi TT — Technologically advanced sports car

By David Finkelstein

The expressive 2016 Audi TT Coupe as well as its sister Roadster Convertible clearly equate to a no compromise sports car in every way. From its design to it's signature passing power and performance, TT drives and handles with welcomed precision. No doohickey gimmickry here — just a well crafted automobile loaded with pleasurable creature comforts.

Its the most technologically advanced car in its segment, as is the case with most Audi's I've driven in recent memory. The level of on-board innovative electronics for surpasses a lot of other competitive luxury and premium brands.

The Audi TT is very distinctive with it's overall footprint featuring a signature designed broad front grille assembly coupled with sharp contours in the hood and brightly let LED headlamps. The low roof line further helps set the stage of this uniquely engineered sports car as the roof's rear angle is sharply racked towards the TT's posterior. The body is further characterized by the rear electronically governed trunk mounted wind spoiler, head turning taillights and large duel tailpipe outlets.

With the “one button” operated power folding convertible top on the Roadster, you'll quickly discover that you'll need to rely solely on your door mirrors for lane changing as there are a couple of blind spots that tend to inhibit a clear lane view of your surroundings. Of course, with the top in the lowered position, any potential blind spots are non existent.

Also worth noting, even while driving at highway speeds with the top stowed, you can still appreciate TT's remarkable audio system without any noticeable wind buffeting interference. You can even engage in a conversation with a passenger or use your hands-free cell phone without a wind "stumbling block" overtaking your call and causing a hindrance.

The car's futuristic, all-new innovative virtual cockpit has an iconic best-in-class design to it. This rolling engineering marvel uses this design to replace the traditional dash instruments and gauges we've been accustomed to over the years. The virtual cockpit readout assembly is customizable as it combines a number of systems all in one.

The heart of the system is the 12.3-inch thick film transistor liquid crystal display unit with eye popping 3D graphics, plus remarkable and brilliant clarity-day or night! This driver focused display unit is linked to the vehicles audio system, navigation, on-board telematics, driver information readout, trip computer, weather information and other functions. I can assure you, its like nothing else you've experienced with any other automobile on the road today.

As with a number of other new Audi's, they also feature Audi connect on the TT. It has the latest MIB-2 infotainment features including, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity for personal devices, streaming audio, social networking, external voice recognition, over-the-air map updates, and INRIX XD Traffic.

Once behind the wheel (perhaps for a brief moment), you might have to remind yourself that you are actually driving a car — a car that's compatible to being in the cockpit of an aircraft. The two bucket seats appear to be racing-inspired with its design. Placement of controls and operating switches are fairly easy to reach but a quick review of the TT's owners manual will be very helpful in interrupting the exact functions of everything.

The newly engineered digital heating and air conditioning controls eliminate the need for conventional buttons as we have seen in past years. They now integrate blower fan speed, air vent selection (air mapping) and temperature settings directly into the center of the three dash mounted central air outlet vents. Even the heated seat controls are built into the most outer round air vents.

The optional Bang & Olufsen 680 watt surround sound audio system with 12 speakers offer almost true-to-life sound reproduction and high-end crystal clear fidelity. The Audi TT Coupe and Roadster features a 2.0L TFSI engine of which generates 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The 0-60 times show 5.3 seconds for the Coupe and 5.6 seconds for the Roadster Convertible. The performance-tuned Audi TTS Coupe Model features a 2.0L TFSI engine that produces a head snapping 292 horsepower coupled with 280 lb-ft of torque.

This performance engine propels the TTS version from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Available is a newly engineered quattro all-wheel-drive system. It augments engine torque, channeling it to the front or rear wheels as needed for the best traction. This lightning fast system takes 150 readings every 10 milliseconds, and for the first time, can be controlled by the driver with the Audi drive select system override switch.

Furthermore, to help the TT stay sure footed is Audi's their magnetic ride system. It is offered on the TTS models as it allows drivers to choose a driving experience to suit the current conditions and their personal preferences.

Safety is paramount throughout the TT. The soft top version I tested had built-in roll bars that were positioned behind the driver and passenger seats. Trunk cargo space was a bit lacking but the overall exhilarating driving experience makes up for the few negatives. The Roadster quattro is rated at 23-MPG/city and 30-MPG/highway. After options, the MSRP was $54,125 which included shipping charges of $925.