2008 Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI S tronic new car reviews

Better than: the old TT
But not as good as: the new R8
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 69.57

Full credit goes to Audi for making a successful sequel to their very tidy little roadster, the TT. On paper this car faces competition like the Porsche Boxster and Honda S2000, but we've always felt that the TT caters to a slightly different audience, one that's happier at eight tenths or simply cruising on a sunny afternoon down a twisty road.

First off, the TT is not available with rear-wheel drive. In the current generation, the 2.0-liter turbo models are pulled along by the front wheels, while the larger, 3.2-liter V6 variants get the quattro all-wheel-drive system. You can opt to stir your own transmission if you select the V6, but all the four-cylinder turbos get Audi's excellent S tronic twin-clutch transmission (also known as the DSG in Volkswagen applications). Usually we cringe when there's no clutch pedal, but the S tronic/DSG has many fans here in the office for its rapid and precise shifting behavior.

The engine pumps out a very square 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque, and with the top down around town it's a joy to hear the many gurgles and vrooms from the exhaust. When you've had enough of the wind, put the fabric top up (in 12 seconds) and enjoy a nice, quiet cockpit. Considering the roof is missing, Audi did a great job keeping up the structural rigidity.

While the front-wheel-drive layout is naturally prone to understeer, the TT has gobs of feedback and a great steering feel anywhere below the limit. It's quite a looker, too, and the interior is a quality job typical of Audi. We had a great time listening to CDs and satellite radio on the excellent Bose sound system during a drive down to Sebring for a vintage race.

The combined fuel economy rating of 25 mpg isn't going to win over any hypermilers, but Audi probably didn't have maximum economy on their mind when they were brainstorming the new TT. If you pine after the TT every time you see its bold shape, don't hesitate to take one for a test drive; it's not going to please everyone, but we really enjoyed our time with this car.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Traditionally, I have not been a big fan of automatic transmissions--even the "manumatic" ones leave me cold. Too much hunting, too slow to react, etc. The DSG has converted me, though. Pull the lever back to the S setting, and it's just aggressive enough--nice downshifts while letting the car rev to redline.

Scott Lear Scott Lear

As far as twin-clutch automatics go, I think I prefer the Mitsubishi TC-SST, but the DSG is a very close second. I spent a lot of time with this TT on a drive down to Sebring, and with great weather, the top down and the car's killer sound system, I had a blast. It's got enough sport in it to keep things interesting but can be a good touring car with the top up on the highway, too. And the TT remains one of the sharpest looking vehicles around.

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