As you will all agree, the first TT was nothing short of a stroke of genius. It broke with a number of stylistic conventions, including the assumed wedge shape, it displayed incredible focus on detail, and it brought interior design to an entirely new level. And now Audi’s icon enters its third generation. aka MK3.
New design is clearly evolution rather than revolution
This time around, the TT’s design is packed with more angles than ever, the grille now features a hexagonal shape, and the details again beg to be lingered over. The fuel cap is silver, as it was on the MK1; the head- and taillight signatures are angular and modern; and the rear lights are connected by a third brake light that spans the width of the rear end. The rear spoiler is hidden until the TT reaches 75 mph. The standard TT features two exhaust outlets, while the more powerful TTS is fitted with quad finishers.
At 164.6 inches long, 72.1 inches wide, and just 53.3 inches tall, the TT will still be viewed as a compact, low sports car; but its wheelbase has been elongated to 98.6 inches. The MK3 is a lightweight among sports cars, tipping the scales at a mere 2712 pounds. That’s roughly 100 pounds fewer than its PQ35-based predecessor—and that car was already 200 pounds lighter than the MK1, which used the Volkswagen Golf MkIV’s PQ34 platform. (but that, you already knew)
The MK3 will be offered with a 230-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four that produces 273 lb-ft of torque. According to Audi, front-drive TTs equipped with a stick can run from standstill to 62 mph in six seconds flat, while Quattro versions fitted with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic (DSG) can do the deed in 5.3 seconds. The TTS will be propelled by the same turbo four, although it’s been tuned to make 310 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque delivering a 0-to-62-mph time of 4.7 seconds (with the S-tronic transmission). All versions will TT top out at 155 mph.
Audi TT MK3 – it’s all about the digital era
So far, so good. However, by far the coolest feature is the next-generation of Audi’s Multi-Media Interface, or MMI. The centre-console MMI knob takes care of sounds, phone, navigation and connections to the outside world.
Gone is the Mk2 stand-alone screen in favour of a hi-def 1440-pixel screen beyond the steering wheel. It not only looks after all of the instrumentation, warning lights, trip computer and so on, it also incorporates all of the infotainment information as well. As it stands, there are two main looks, which are accessed through the view button on the steering wheel. In the normal mode (Classic in Audi speak), the usual instrumentation, with red pointers and white numbers, is given the place of prominence with the other information/menus sitting in a smaller area in the centre of the screen. It also displays the view from the back-up camera. Switching to the Infotainment mode sees the map or other menus consume most of the screen, while the speedometer and tachometer are reduced in size and sit in the lower outer corners. The TTS features a third view called Sport mode — here the display is dominated by a large tachometer. (see image)
TTS at the Geneva Auto Show (March 2014)