Highlights: The Audi TTS is available as either a coupe or roadster. A unique feature is that the TT has twelve LEDs at the lower edge of the headlamps, serving as daytime running lights.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $52,245 (Base Model starts at $39,175)
Seating Capacity: 2+2
Standard Safety Features: airbags (front, side and curtain); automatic headlight range adjustment; heated outside rear view mirrors; a tire pressure monitoring system; energy-absorbing structural cross members in case of an accident; ABS; traction control; an electronic stability control; and Audi’s backguard system with specially shaped seats to restrain the occupant’s upper body and support the head at an early stage in the event of a collision
Standard Equipment: 19-inch wheels; Xenon daytime running lights; heated windshield washer nozzles; leather seats; 10-way power front seats; a leather wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles; automatic a/c; and cruise control
Standard Audio: a 9-speaker, 140-watt sound Bose AM/FM/CD/Satellite/MP3
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/211-hp
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 23-city/31-hwy
What’s New: For the 2012 model year, the TT RS 2.5T is a new addition to the line up. Also the TT adds Audi new signature grille.
Seat Comfort/Support: Very Good
Pros: The TT is available as either a coupe or roadster. The loud Solar Orange exterior color we reviewed, with the silver exterior mirrors, made this sports car a standout amongst the crowd. This tight-handling, well-tuned machine was one of the best sports cars we’ve had the pleasure of driving. Not only was the TT outfitted with the same high-quality materials we found in both the A6 and A7 models, our TT was enhanced by the optional baseball-stitched soothing leather seats.
Behind the wheel, the TT easily glides from 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds. In fact, the retractable spoiler automatically exposed itself at highway speeds. The curvaceous, but stylish TT handles well, while offering great road manners, as it relates to its handling abilities. Unlike most sports cars, this one not only has a fun-to-drive factor, but the vehicle drives like the upper end A7 and A8.
Cons: We were disappointed that our TTS wasn’t equipped with a manual transmission. While the automatic was thrilling, we can only imagine the excitement factor we missed from being unable to manually shift gears. Also since our vehicle was outfitted with the optional iPod adapter, there was no room for a CD player. We were forced to listen to the clear sounding satellite radio or the traditional AM/FM audio system.
Furthermore, due to the curvaceous roofline of the TT, there is no way the vehicle can be equipped with a sunroof.
The Verdict: The well-built TT is one of the best sports cars we’ve driven. While we been behind the wheel of a number of sports cars, this one definitely zooms to the top of the list. Not only does it provide the smooth, seamless feedback one would expect in a sports car, it does this without a ride suitable to that of most well-built luxury vehicle. Now don’t be mistaken, this is no luxury vehicle, nor does it ride like one. In fact, this well-engineered German machine should be the gold standard for sports cars, mixing form, function, style, ride and handling. Yes and the price is within reach of most buyers looking for a well-healed sports car.
Competition: Chevy Corvette and Nissan 370Z
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.