2018 Audi TT Introduction

The 2018 Audi TT, in the third year of its third generation, is a sophisticated all-wheel-drive sports car with the right stance, styling and handling. It’s quick and nimble when it needs to be, and relaxed at the right time. It’s called a four-seater, but it’s more like a 2+2 Coupe, or a Roadster with small shelf in back.

For 2018 there is a new model, a hotrod called the TT RS, packing a 400-horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder engine under its hood and a paddle-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The RS rides lower, corners on a magnetic suspension, stops with 14.6-inch front brake discs and 8-piston calipers, and its quattro all-wheel-drive has been tuned for the mission. It accelerates from zero to sixty in a phenomenal 3.7 seconds, as quick as any old 600-horsepower V8.

The standard Audi TT engine is a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with direct injection, making 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 6-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission. Audi basically invented the dual-clutch, which has the gears of a manual transmission, but acts like an automatic, only sharper. The TT accelerates from zero to sixty in 5.3 seconds, quick enough to be thrilling.

The Audi TTS adds boost to the turbo four to make 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, accelerating to sixty in 4.6 seconds, a thrill and a half. The TTS gets a magnetic suspension, bigger brakes and cooler wheels.

The TT is EPA-rated at 26 miles per gallon Combined, the TTS gets 25 mpg.

The quattro all-wheel drive is the Haldex clutch-pack system that’s front-wheel-drive based, and responds to not only acceleration and traction but also steering inputs from the new variable ratio rack. The TT also has Audi Drive Select, with modes that allow the drive to select the level of response from the throttle, transmission, steering and stability control.

For the 2016 redesign, Audi developed a new body structure with a low center of mass, using high-strength steel in the floor and firewall to supplement the aluminum that saves weight.

A rearview camera comes standard. Active safety features are available, including the system that’s intended to keep the car in the absolute center of its lane. We find lane-keeping assist features bothersome.

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