Audi TT Coupe Independent Car Review28 Feb 2012
A few years after the war (Sorry, I had to mention it!) and the ‘denazification’ Germany went in to efficiency overdrive to prove to the world that they had done away with the mad Austrians with silly little Moustaches who craved world domination and that they just wanted to be loved!
How did they do this? By giving us one of the most stylish and beautiful cars ever made, the 300SL Gullwing! This car isn’t just beautiful but also efficient! So efficient in fact that when it was raced for the first time in the world famous Mille Miglia, it finished 2nd and 4th place and over the coming years would win the Le-Mans 24 hour race as well! But this unfortunately apart from the pre current SL or the Porsche 356 roadster they haven’t really given us a lot since!
Take the Audi TT for example. Anyone who knows me will know that I hated the TT when it was originally released. To me it looked like the love child of the original Vw Beetle and Albert Einstein. Yes it was stylish but in the same way I looked at people who wear leather trousers, unless you are homosexual or a biker, why would you?
For me it didn’t get much better when I drove the 180bhp version about 8 years ago!
It just felt slow on the straights and as it didn’t have the Quattro option the steering was lifeless and under-steered worse than a dog with 2 legs. It felt so heavy and cumbersome through the bends that it was a chore rather than a pleasure to drive. Also, when I got out of it I had terrible back pain. So at this point I just put it in the box the marked ‘great hairdressers cars’ and moved on to something a bit more manly, say a cute kitten or a Louis Vuitton man purse!
Since the new one has been released I have deliberately not driven it through fear of upsetting Audi with what is bound to be a terrible review! But a friend of mine, who is currently on his 3rd TT and as far as I am aware is not homosexual nor owns a pair of leather trousers, suggested I try his new TT S. It was a pleasant surprised since I normally hate TT’s as well as white cars but this combination looks very stylish, so I jumped in, put my man purse in the passenger foot well and had a good 10 minute drive. I have to say that I was very impressed, so impressed that the next day I put a call in to the Audi Demo team and booked myself a standard TT for a week, which arrived on Friday.
On the Saturday morning, I had a Karting race in Bristol which meant leaving Derby at 9.00am. From my house there are some nice country lanes (which were quiet) on the way towards the A42, this gave me a chance to see if they had sorted out the previous cars issue of lifeless handling and to a degree they have but there is still a slight wallowy feel about it around some bends, but as this car came with 17inch wheels with tyre walls the size of the Berlin wall I think this could be easily sorted by upgrading to bigger alloy’s with the lower profile tyres
Audi have gone to great lengths to make this car bigger than the previous TT. In doing so, they created a nightmare for their engineers and designers as they also specified it not only had to be larger but also had to be lighter. After much German swearing the efficient design team managed to not only make it bigger (5 inches longer and 3 inches wider) but also 150kgs lighter which makes a massive difference to every part of the way the car feels. Basically put, it no longer feels like a chore to drive.
On the straights though the car no longer feels slow, it feels eager to get there and more responsive than the previous model as well as being very quiet and comfortable. So much so that even after 2 hours driving to Bristol, nearly 3 hours in a Kart and then another 2 hours back to Derby, I can honestly say that there was not a hint of back pain! In fact I have to say that I enjoyed driving the car so much I went back out for a little drive in the country for an hour.
All in all this is a much improved car which I think combines German efficiency and a hint that they also discovered style again.
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