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Driven: 2023 Audi TT Roadster. Image by Audi.

Driven: 2023 Audi TT Roadster
As Audiís two-seat convertible sports car bows out, we try a common-or-garden 2.0-litre to find out whether the TT is being taken in its prime.

   



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Audi TT Roadster

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The Audi TT has been with us for 25 years now, but the German manufacturer has confirmed its popular sports car's days are numbered. But we suspect there might be life in the old dog yet, so we took a pretty standard 2.0-litre petrol TT Roadster for a spin to find out whether the TT is being killed by its own shortcomings, or those of the world in which it lives.

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2023 Audi TT 40 TFSI S Line Roadster
Price: £45,295 (as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: seven-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Power: 197hp
Torque: 320Nm
Emissions: 159g/km
Economy/Range: 40.4mpg
0-62mph: 6.9 seconds
Top speed: 151mph
Boot space: 280 litres

Styling

The current-generation TT has been with us for some time now, but there's something timeless about the design, which looks as though it could have been released last week. The transition from the original TT of the late 1990s to the current model feels natural and organic, and the existing car still feels like a slightly chunky pitbull of a sports car, even though the underpinnings really aren't all that exotic. It's a good-looking thing, but if we're being really picky about the rear end there's something slightly bloated about those rear wings and the roof looks like a bit of an afterthought when it's up. Even so, the TT is more than handsome enough to compete with the BMW Z4 and Porsche 718 Boxster.

Interior

The interior is perhaps the one thing that betrays the TTís age, but even that isnít a great problem. The design is very driver-orientated Ė you donít even get a central touchscreen Ė but the quality is impeccable, with every switch, panel and button feeling well engineered. The materials are first-rate, too.

Without a touchscreen, the rotary control wields power over the instrument display, which uses Audiís brilliant Virtual Cockpit technology. Itís a bit fiddly when youíre trying to use the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto tech, but the navigation display, the choice of speed readouts and the infotainment displays are all perfectly judged.

Practicality

Obviously, space is at a premium in a two-seat roadster, but the TT comes with a surprisingly large boot. At 280 litres, it has the same capacity as a Boxster, but the Porsche splits the space between two compartments, whereas the TT keeps them together. In truth, the space isnít that great Ė you get far more room in a VW Poloís luggage bay Ė but itís more than enough for two people to manage a weekend away with ease. And you can fit two in the cabin, too, with more than enough seat adjustment and headroom to remain comfortable at all times. It isnít even too blustery with the roof folded.

Performance

The TT Roadster comes with a choice of engines, but we tested the smallest and least powerful of the bunch: the 2.0-litre, 197hp four-cylinder petrol. Driving the front wheels alone through a seven-speed automatic gearbox, it's far from the fastest car on the road, but it's more than quick enough to feel sporty. Getting from 0-62mph takes just under seven seconds, and at full chat it'll do 151mph.

Naturally, that performance (and the associated sound) is considerably less impressive than that of the basic 718 Boxster, but the Porsche is more expensive and the Audi doesn't exactly feel slow. That gearbox is tried and tested, and it allows the TT to feel really responsive even without a manual transmission between the seats. It's good news for fuel consumption, too, with the TT managing more than 40mpg on the official economy test. And on a long motorway run, it should achieve something in that order. Not bad for a convertible with a bit of verve.

Ride & Handling

Under the skin, the TT is essentially a Golf in a sporty suit, but thatís no great criticism. Sure, with the power heading to the front, rather than the rear, the Audi doesnít have the balance of a Porsche Boxster, a Mazda MX-5 or a BMW Z4, but itís still entertaining enough to drive. The steering feels smooth and well weighted, and the brakes are very good. It isnít the car for setting lap times or pushing hard on country roads, but if youíre cruising along at a decent lick, itíll feel very composed and mature.

Thatís a good way of describing the ride, too, because while the TT may not be particularly engaging in corners, it manages to isolate you from the bumps fairly well. Naturally, thereís a bit of firmness in there Ė thatís what customers expect from a roadster Ė but the TT is supple with it, keeping all but the most severe bumps from making too much of an impact on your spine.

Value

As the TT winds down, the line-up is getting smaller and smaller, so this S Line Roadster model is no longer on sale. However, Audi is still selling the Black Edition with a similar specification for just under £40,000. And if you want the Final Edition, you're looking at almost £44,000. That makes the TT Roadster noticeably cheaper than a basic Porsche 718 Boxster, although the Boxster does come with an extra 100hp or so. And compared with the £44,490 BMW Z4 20i, it's more or less on a par in terms of price and performance.

Verdict

The TT may not have the sports car credentials of the similarly priced Z4, and it will never appeal to enthusiasts in the same way. But there's still a place for the Audi, which offers ample agility for most and a modicum of extra security compared with its rivals. That high-tech, high-quality cabin will be a draw, too, as will the chunky sportiness of its design. While it isn't our favourite roadster by any stretch of the imagination, we'll be sorry to see it go.



James Fossdyke - 22 Aug 2023



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2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.

2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.2023 Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI S Line. Image by Audi.








 

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