The 2015 Audi TT 45 TFSI quattro S-tronic – A Skyfall Poseur
Every car company needs an icon to push forward the brand and the image to the next stratosphere. Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Mustang, Mercedes 300SL, Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette Stingray only to name a few, are the culmination of motoring icons without any iota of doubt. Yet sometimes having an icon means opening a Pandora box of troubles. The zenith is already reached in a single shot, as an evolution, how would a company would raise the level and meet the expectations from there onwards? A case in point here is the all new Mk3 2015 Audi TT.
Audi TT (named after the famous race Isle Of Man TT or Tourist Trophy) started life back in 1998 and was an instant hit. Representing the clean philosophy of Bauhaus design school, it was devoid of angular lines, but was simply soft and appealing. Furthermore, the TT inspiration, give way to Audi designers to make yet another brilliant iconic Audi R8 supercar.
Today, the all-new 2015 Audi TT is unquestionably easily recognized. It’s another thing that the latest Mk3 TT, introduced in late 2014 as a 2015 model, seems to be a design extension of R8, and that’s a good deal to start for the aspiring TT customers.
This time when I took the delivery of 2015 Audi TT 45 TFSI (in Tango Red) I could hardly drive the car, as I caught up severely with pinkeye infection (Conjunctivitis). My special thanks to the kind man (Audi Public Relation Officer) Khalid Al-Sabi for promptly rebooking another TT. A fortnight later I started my affair with Audi TT (in the Vegas Yellow), however, it turned out to be a date with beautiful a Fraulein, albeit without the brains.
The Poseur – 8.5/10
Red or yellow the all-new 2015 Audi TT 45 TFSI has an imposing design, it’s hard to miss. The detailing is bold and the result is striking. A Large octagon grill that now houses the registration plate with contrasting large air dam (if you choose quattro S). The brand’s four rings now sit on the hood, as oppose to the previous slim-elongated one with the four ring inset. However, this time the lights are slim, sharp and loaded with top end Audi Matrix LED technology and daylight running lights. It’s amazing to know that 2015 TT is actually 0.8 inches shorter than its predecessor even though it appears to be bigger in perspective. Perhaps that’s due to the increment of 1.3 inches in the wheelbase and thanks to the S line package that adds taut character lines and angular side skirts. In the rear, the design is clean and rounded sculptured end with automatic duck-tail spoiler. The highly visible tail lights are edgy with running LED turn repeaters and lastly the twin exhaust pipes on the either sides.
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Inside, the cabin is finished with top grade materials. It’s the best looking interior I have seen, continuing with the less is more and clean is decent philosophy, Audi TT’s beautiful flowing dashboard was adorned with details where it matters. The air vents that not only replicates the large Boeing 777 jetliner’s engines. They also incorporated the full functionality of climate control. Being intuitive the commanding word here. The 12.3inch instrument cluster is all LCD also called Audi virtual cockpit (similar to Lamborghini Huracan’s). It clears off the additional LCD screen in the center stack that may cause a distraction by taking your sight from the path ahead. You can program the virtual cockpit via MMI control as per your desire. Either choose the screen to turn into full large satnav (late availability here in the Middle East) or in a classic twin dial format of speedo and techo try other various iterations.
Even though the TT is a billed as 2+2 coupe, only the front two occupants is a company the rear seats hardly even good for kids. They may complain for being suffocated. I also find the doors are normal size from inside, however, they are quite big from outside. On one occasion I hit the Merc CLS twice in a parking lot while I was trying to exit the car. The scene is still fresh in my mind as I can’t shake-off those fiery stares at the first time and then next was the mouthful of endless wishes. “No Sir, that wasn’t intentional”, I said to the driver and made an exit from the scene before the driver would come out and shows me back the exhibits. Either way I was trapped being the TT doors.
Wannabe Performer 7.0/ 10
Interesting as it may sound that Audi TT 45 TFSI quattro S-tronic shares the same Volkswagen’s new and extensive MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform on which the brilliant Mk7 Golf R was tested. Yet it’s a far cry. In fact, it felt more akin to the new Beetle that we’ve last experience, built on the PQ35 platform. The car felt like a skateboard. Part of the problem equation, were the 245/ 35R-19 Hankook tires were struggling in every aspect. Keeping that in mind, TT is equipped with quattro all-wheel drive system, yet every time when I launched the car, the small yet potent engine 2.0 turbo charged pumping out healthy 230hp and 273lb.ft of torque, find hard to translate all that power into motion. The flip side is it hampered the braking ability; naturally it won’t be effective as the whole system is not complementing each other. It was more pronounced on the bends where I was at loss of confidence. However, for the sake of crunching numbers the 50 Kgs lighter TT than Mk2 takes 5.5 seconds for 0-102 Kph. I bet just by changing tires would resolve the concerns raised.
During the extensive test drive I’ve realized that, instead of trying to use other Audi drive select modes, Comfort, Auto & Dynamic, I resorted myself to the Auto mode and here everything got natural and nicer. The smooth shifting 6-speed DSG S-tronic transmission is a pleasure. Drive nicely through gears and you will enjoy the subtleties: the piped-in exhaust note. The flat bottom steering is wonderfully point-and-go. Of course at every stoplight the admiring stares and then later the rewarding fuel economy 6.4 l/100km.
Assuring Safety – 8.5/ 10
As usual TT is equipped with a vast assortment of safety arsenal from Audi. Most of them don’t take away the driving pleasure, but are there to assist the driver, should a situation may arise. The standard park assist with 360 degree display and rear view camera (available from August 2015 onwards) to the optional Audi side assist or Audi active lane assist, just to name few.
Impressive Lifestyle Value – 7.0/ 10
The 2015 Audi TT 45 TFSI Quattro is a lot better car than the previous gen. Rearview Mirror is a driver’s blog and the uniqueness we kept here while awarding the value points based more the product intend purpose. Yes, we do match the comparison available in the market and what the automakers offer to its unique customers. There are heavy weights and these archrivals are also from the neighborhood: BMW Z4, Porsche Cayman and Mercedes SLK. Then there is curve ball in the shape of Nissan 370Z for a whole lot less. After having Audi TT 45 TFSI quattro S-tronic for AED 205000 (mentioning of full name is very necessary as every name part adds the bumper sum to the final price).
I found TT is more as a lifestyle car that shows off someone’s sporty approach to the life. There was a time wearing red and blue stripe headband with a tennis racquet coming out of the kit bag was considered as hip, off course not everyone was John McEnroe. My life got easier, as I drove the TT on the Dubai’s fashion street, Jumeirah Beach Road. Yes, there were occasional speedy races on the straights and that’s all. The pride kept intact!
Photo Credits – All Images by Syed Shaukat Aijaz & Sami Siddiqui.
Post Work – Sami Siddiqui