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Driven: Audi TTS Coupe. Image by Audi UK.

Driven: Audi TTS Coupe
Saying a proper goodbye to the Audi TT with the 306hp S version with a fixed roof.

 



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Audi TTS Coupe

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Good points: don't fall into the trap of thinking the TT isn't fun to drive, because the TTS most emphatically is

Not so good: not the most practical or affordable car, and while the chassis is mighty effective it also isn't the best of its type

Key Facts

Model tested: Audi TTS Coupe
Price: TT Coupe range from 32,740; TTS Coupe from 44,565, car as tested 53,245
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic, quattro all-wheel drive
Body style: two-door 2+2 coupe
CO2 emissions: 161g/km (VED Band 151-170: 530 in year one, then 465 per annum years two-six of ownership, then 145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 39.8mpg
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Power: 306hp at 5,400rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 2,000rpm
Boot space: 305-712 litres

Our view:

When we last drove a facelifted third-generation Audi TT, it was a 245hp 45 TFSI Roadster in Turbo Blue. And it was a lovely little convertible, only we lamented the chance of getting to say a proper goodbye to it; given that the announcement that the TT was going to be taken out to the barn at the back of the Ingolstadt property and blown away with a sawn-off double-barrelled crossover shotgun was made just days after we handed the Roadster back to Audi UK.

So it was happy chance that a TTS Coupe was already confirmed for a road test, a few weeks down the line from the 45 TFSI. It's pretty much the same car as the Roadster: same 2.0-litre engine, same quattro drivetrain, same seven-speed S tronic gearbox, even the same Turbo Blue paintwork (about which we question the wisdom of pairing to some of the TTS's interior trim finishers, resplendent as they were in vivid Tango Red). The main differences with the TTS are, of course, the fixed roof of this Coupe model (although you can still have the S as a Roadster) and the additional 61hp/30Nm of the EA888 - the S runs it in Volkswagen Golf R-spec, rather than the 45 TFSI's GTI Performance Pack motor.

If you're totting those numbers up, though, or looking at the Golf R's 310hp/380Nm stats, and wondering whether we're crap at maths or something, we're not. Since its pre-facelift guise, the TTS has been fitted with the dreaded gasoline particulate filter, which has robbed it of the grand sum of four horses. To compensate, Audi has boosted peak torque to 400Nm and so, with an improved 0-62mph time of 4.5 seconds, the TTS 2019MY is so blisteringly quick you kind of wonder whether you'd need to step up to the five-cylinder TT RS.

Especially when the TTS drives as well as this. Indeed, while we think the RS has been improved in the chassis department as part of its facelift, and while we accept its 2.5-litre engine sounds the absolute nuts, the 2.0-litre four of the TTS is lighter still and so the TT's handling is at its natural peak here. It remains a sports coupe which is all about frighteningly proficient pace, monumental grip and preposterous all-weather traction, over and above overt throttle adjustability or the ultimate in engagement, but with its clean, accurate steering, a good blend of ride comfort and body control (we did 720 miles in the TTS in a week, even more than we did in the 45 TFSI a month or so earlier, and the S was no less comfortable or pleasant to be in for long distances; also, 37mpg up the A33, M3 and M25 was quite excellent for a 306hp car), and all the usual steadfast TT attributes, it's a machine which covers ground at a terrific rate... without being totally boring in the process. Conversely, it's not the most invigorating vehicle we've ever driven in this class, but MQB plus EA888 plus Audi's improved chassis know-how in 2019 equals what we feel is the best TT we've driven yet.

Therefore, we'll conclude along the same lines as we did last time: we'll genuinely miss the Audi TT when it has gone. And there's the thought in our mind that the one we'll miss the most is this fantastic facelifted Mk3 TTS Coupe. Which is fitting, because it's very likely going to be the last new Audi TT we'll ever drive. And that, we don't mind telling you, makes us a little bit sad.

Alternatives:

BMW M240i: for Pete's sake, buy an M240i with the straight-six engine now, while you still can; because, have you seen the 2 Series Gran Coupe that will replace it? Shudder.

Porsche 718 Cayman T: you could argue that the EA888 in the TTS is the superior four-pot engine out of these two, when compared to the Porsche's boxer mill, but there's no doubting which car has the better chassis - it's the 718 T.

Toyota Supra: big-hearted big-six thrills and spills from the Supra, which is revived as a compact, (sort of) affordable coupe just as Audi is killing the TT off. Lotsa BMW content in the Toyota, but - really - does that matter in the slightest? No.


Matt Robinson - 26 Jun 2019









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2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.

2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.2019 Audi TTS Coupe UK test. Image by Audi UK.








 

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