Before the advent of online TV catch-up services and multiple digital channels, UK telly addicts were a little limited in terms of what they could expect to settle down to on a Saturday night.
For this reason, most of the population old enough to be considering buying a car will be familiar with the game show Family Fortunes. In it, two teams of families would compete against each other to guess which words topped the list of those chosen when 100 people were asked to name something associated with a particular topic, and win some cash, the opportunity to be patronised by a D-list comedian and their standardised 15 minutes.
These days, ask 100 people to name something associated with Audi, and you can guarantee ‘TT’, ‘Quattro’ and ‘S Tronic’ (or at least some kind of twin-clutch reference) would be rewarded with a comedy retro game-show ‘ping’, rather than an even more amusing ‘uh uuhhh’.
Top marks for the Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport S Tronic model then, a car which features three of the German manufacturer’s biggest successes. Four-wheel drive performance and a seamless twin-clutch transmission make the glossy TT package even harder to resist.
The original TT was an easy contender for ‘car of the nineties’, simultaneously giving Audi a huge glamour boost and raising the bar for the coupe sector at the same time. The second generation version has proved no-less popular and, with a significantly bigger range boasting engine variants from diesels to five-cylinder turbo petrols alongside a more dashing, executive exterior design, attracts an even larger potential audience.
Of course, having raised the game Audi now has to work even harder to stay ahead of it, which is why the TT range has been updated. The biggest revision to the range comes in the popular 2.0-litre TFSI unit, now boasting improved performance and economy.
Although the 2.0-litre TFSI engine is the baby of the petrol line-up, it’s by no means overshadowed by the high output version in the TT-S or the purpose built five-cylinder turbo in the TT-RS model.
In fact, the performance figures for the ‘Family Fortunes’ specification model induce a double-take, comfortably matching the 0-62mph acceleration of more expensive coupe rivals. The 11 bhp liberated from the turbocharged and direct fuel injected engine comes courtesy of a new ‘Valvelift’ system that controls the exhaust valves.
Combining with the other elements of the already advanced unit and an energy recuperation system, fuel consumption is up an impressive 14 per cent. A gear change indicator also confirms that, despite impressive performance, the revised TT is no guilty pleasure.
From the outside the game-changing shape remains, but has been subtly revised with the Sport model gaining the more aggressive front bumper previously reserved for S-Line models and a sporty rear diffuser design incorporated into the rear bumper.
Inside, Audi has enhanced the feeling of cutting edge luxury that it increasingly excels at. Additional aluminium is present on the steering wheel, centre console and doors, with a high gloss finish extended to the switches and fascias.
Audi’s slick approach to interiors is perhaps best demonstrated in the TT. Compact and close to hand, there’s no-where for poor or even average quality to hide. From the front seats, whether sampling with eyes or hands, the TT interior feels impeccable.
The rear seats remain fairly pointless however, but owners can console themselves with the on road performance. Equipped with the adjustable Magnetic Ride suspension system the TT ride can be switched from sporty to sportier, at the price of a degree of ride comfort. As an option on top of the previous option the Sport button, as debuted on the TT-RS, sharpens-up the steering (and throttle for manual versions) and adds additional depth to the already booming exhaust.
If there’s one flaw with the model, it is the ever-present burble from the exhaust that impinges on interior refinement. Elsewhere, it’s a smooth and slick experience, with the Quattro four-wheel drive and super-smooth twin-clutch transmission working together perfectly.
The ride is firm in normal mode but not unforgiving, allowing the driver to exploit the grip in corners. Although not as engaging as some rear-drive coupe’s the TT feels competent and manageable, allowing more fun to be had in the long run. The paddle-shift proves very worthwhile thanks to the swift acceleration, too.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Model: Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport S Tronic, £29,240 on the road.
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit developing 208bhp and 258lb/ft of torque.
Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission, driving all four wheels.
Performance: Maximum speed 150mph, 0-62mph 5.6 seconds.
CO2 emissions: 169g/km.
By Richard M Hammond