2016 Audi TTS review
Juliette Remfrey’s launch-based 2016 Audi TTS Review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety, verdict and rating.
In a nutshell: AUDI’s 2016 TTS adds a Coupe and Roadster with more power, technology and flair to top the range in THE tt model line-up.
Audi TTS COUPE
PRICE : $99,900 (+ORC) WARRANTY : 3 years / Unlimited Kilometres SAFETY : NOt stated (2015 fwd tt 4-star ancap) ENGINE : 2.0L turbo-charged 4 Cylinder POWER : 210kW @ 5,300-6,200 rpm TORQUE : 380Nm @ 1,800-5,200 rpM 0-100km/h : 4.7 seconds TRANSMISSION : 6-speed s tronic Dual-clutch automatic DRIVE : quattro ALL-wheel drive BODY : 4191 mm (L); 1832 mm (W), 1343 mm (H) TURNING CIRCLE : 10.96 m WEIGHT : 1385 kg SEATS : 2+2 FUEL TANK : 55 litres SPARE : tyre repair kit THIRST : 6.8L/100km ADR81/02 combined cycle FUEL : minimum 95 RON UNLEADED
Audi TTS Roadster
PRICE : $103,900 (+ORC) WARRANTY : 3 years / Unlimited Kilometres SAFETY : NOt stated (2015 fwd tt 4-star ancap) ENGINE : 2.0L turbo-charged 4 Cylinder POWER : 210kW @ 5,300-6,200 rpm TORQUE : 380Nm @ 1,800-5,200 rpM 0-100km/h : 5.0 seconds TRANSMISSION : 6-speed s tronic Dual-clutch automatic DRIVE : quattro ALL-wheel drive BODY : 4191 mm (L); 1832 mm (W), 1345 mm (H) TURNING CIRCLE : 10.96 m WEIGHT : 1470 kg SEATS : 2 FUEL TANK : 55 litres SPARE : tyre repair kit THIRST : 6.9L/100km ADR81/02 combined cycle FUEL : minimum 95 RON UNLEADED
THE ALL-NEW 2016 Audi TTS Coupe and Roadster top the third generation TT sports car line-up launched in February 2015, offering increased performance, luxury and new design touches to differentiate it from the base model TT. For instance, the 2016 TTS Coupe runs Audi’s 2.0L TFSI engine producing 210kW at 5300-6200rpm and maximum torque of 380Nm between 1800-5200rpm launching the car from a standing start to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds; 0.6 seconds faster than its predecessor. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. The Roadster is 85Kg heavier so does the 0-100km/h dash in 5.0 seconds, but retains the same top speed. The drop-top also loses the two back seats of the Coupe and uses slightly more fuel, but neither of these points are likely to concern the typical buyer of this car…
The TTS takes styling cues from its big brother, the R8 supercar with the same bonnet shape and grille design and the four-ringed badge relocated from the grille to the bonnet.
Interestingly this third-generation TTS is no bigger than the second-generation model but has a 19mm increase in track, for improved stability and interior room, and it sits 10mm lower to the tarmac than the current TT.
The TTS also sets itself apart from the TT with different front and rear bumpers with rear diffuser, quad exhaust tips, full length stop light across the boot, different dash panel texture, TTS badging, aluminum inlays, special seat patterns and TTS embossing on the backrests, special floor mats and matching signature headlights and tail lights. The spoiler can be raised manually at the push of a button or left to deploy of its own accord at speed (120km/h.) Pressing on the fuel filler door reveals cap-less refuelling, bringing you a little bit of race car feel on every fill.
The seats are clad in alcantara and leather trim, fully electronically adjustable with electro-pneumatic side bolsters, electronic lumbar support, neck-level heating in the Roadster with optional fine Nappa leather available for both cars at an additional cost. I had no complaints about the adjustability, style or ease of use.
The cockpit style interior contains a multifunction flat-bottomed sports steering wheel plus MMI Navigation with MMI touch, Digital Radio, DVD player, 10GB of music storage, live traffic and five included map updates at six-monthly intervals. The multi-use TFT serves as the instrument cluster with dials and navigation and is user customisable, so we found the driver is not distracted by needing to glance at information other than what is directly front of them. The system is also very responsive.
The story starts with the 2.0L TFSI engine in the 2016 TTS increasing power and torque over the second-generation TTS (2006-2014) with an extra 10kW of power and 30Nm of torque. Maximum boost from the turbo is 1.2 bar (or roughly 17PSI in Australian performance speak). Glancing at the spec sheet you could be forgiven for thinking that Audi had made a typo on the torque range and I have to say I was sceptical. However, upon getting behind the wheel on a closed mountain road I can confidently say the car delivers on the promise of a very broad torque band (1800-5200rpm) and the engine and transmission combination is a beautiful match.
Stopping power is also improved over the 2015 TT with lightweight 4-piston calipers with 338mm ventilated discs front/1-piston calipers with 310mm ventilated discs rear versus 1-piston calipers with 312mm ventilated discs front/1-piston calipers with 300mm non-ventilated discs rear which should provide better stopping power and resistance to fade under repeated hard braking. Despite that, our test cars did suffer from squealing brakes after a short downhill mountain run however braking feel was not compromised.
The 2016 TTS is only available with Audi’s latest generation Quattro all-wheel drive system and six-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and is not available with the six-speed manual of the non-Quattro front wheel drive 2015 TT range. Some purists may yearn for a manual transmission, but the clever S tronic transmission seemed to always select the appropriate gear on our mountain run. Should you wish to take control yourself the changes are responsive using the paddles on the steering wheel or the shifter. There is none of the jerkiness at low speed that some other dual-clutch transmissions suffer from. The paddles are well placed and at a comfortable position to toggle however the flat-bottomed steering wheel feels quite large.
Through advanced software and an electronic differential lock (EDL) the car is able to switch from a front-wheel drive bias in normal driving and Efficiency mode to a rear-wheel drive bias when set to Dynamic mode and when the car senses that it is being driven in a “spirited” manner.
Audi claims that up to 100% of the drive can be sent to the rear wheels, however this was not something that I was able to really feel on the test drive, with a tendency to understeer and run wide on tight corners on the twisty mountain road – the default setting for most, if not all, all-wheel drives.
With all driving aids left on it was near on impossible to induce playful oversteer and the back end of the car only stepped out briefly on a slippery corner, quickly corrected by the car’s stability control system. The ‘magnetic ride’ adaptive damper system has three suspension settings; Auto, Comfort and Dynamic, and unlike many other cars there is a pronounced difference between Comfort and Dynamic modes. The former allows you to cruise around town unfazed by poor road surfaces. Dynamic mode, while firm is not back-breakingly so, and unleashes the car’s best handling.
The TFT instrument cluster is intuitive and customisable, even to the uninitiated. It places the most important items in front of you, depending on the mode you have selected and the type of driving you will be doing.
The note from the exhaust is pleasing – a raucous aural symphony of deeps burps, pops and crackles on upshifts, downshifts, acceleration and deceleration. The slightly disappointing aspect is that the sound never changes its pitch and is so finely tuned it appears unable to play any other notes.
As cars are loaded with progressively more technology the weight in almost all cases increases, and in a sports car this is particularly unwelcome. Audi has managed to shave 50Kg of weight from the 2015 TT for the 2016 TTS and 45Kg compared to the second-generation TTS using lightweight aluminium body panels, interior panels, wiring, crankcase, balance shaft, exhaust manifold, exhaust system, transmission and brakes.
The 2016 TTS is a small sports car, and as such makes no apology for the lack of room and storage space. The 2+2 Coupe treats the front seat occupants to luxury and space, where the rear seats serve as nothing more than a space to throw your jacket, perhaps occasionally transporting small children or adults short distances. Rear seat occupants were by no means a priority in the design of the car, exemplified by the lack of rear airbags. The front seating position is low and sporty but with good visibility for a sports car. The size of the seats would cater for a slightly larger driver without losing the ability to brace a smaller driver sufficiently.
Storage space is better in the Coupe than the Roadster, which has to stow away its roof, which can be opened and closed at speeds of up to 50km/h. The Coupe has a shallow boot (only slightly better than the Roadster) but split-fold rear seats to allow the carrying of larger items. There are various luggage nets, tether points and storage nooks in the boot and the cabin, a small glove box and centre console and two cup holders – one outside of centre console, one inside. The storage compartment in front of the shifter contains two USB ports and one AUX input. The lights above the sun visors are activated when the mirror is opened and there are also touch interior lights.
On the practicality front, possibly my favourite feature of the whole car – climate controls integrated into the vents for space-saving. Press the buttons in the centre of the vent to change the mode, use the inner rings to change the setting, turn the outer vent to change direction of air flow. Genius.
No data has been provided on the ANCAP safety rating, however the 2015 TT front-wheel drive model scores a 4 star rating. Airbags are provided for the front occupants only with driver and passenger front and side airbags, head airbags in the Coupe only and head/thorax protection in the Roadster only. No airbags are provided for the rear seat occupants of the Coupe. Electronic assistance comes in the form of ESC with wheel-selective torque control, ABS, ASR, EDL, Brake Assist, Hold Assist (Hill Start assistance), active lane assist, tyre pressure loss indicator, progressive steering, front and rear parking sensors with rear camera, electromechanical park brake and heated mirrors. The optional Assistance package adds blind spot warning, park assist with semi-autonomous parking, high beam assist, heated folding and dimming mirrors with kerb-side function on the passenger side.
- Choice of 7 wheel designs in the Coupe, 5 in the Roadster ranging from an extra $350-$2,250
- S performance package includes Matrix LED headlights (with dynamic indicators at the front and rear), a choice of optional Audi Sport 19- or 20-inch (additional cost for the latter) alloy wheels, Bang & Olufsen sound system, red brake calipers, Fine Nappa leather and special interior design elements. Privacy glass (Coupe only) or leather package (Roadster only) starting at $6,300
- Assistance package includes blind spot warning, park assist with semi-autonomous parking, high beam assist, heated folding and dimming mirrors with kerb-side function on the passenger side $1,900
- Lighting package includes Audi Matrix LED Headlights, LED daytime running lights, dynamic front and rear indicators, all-weather lights, motorway light function and LED rear lights $1,900
- Coloured interior elements – Quartz Silver finish $470
- Fine Nappa Leather upholstery – with heat protection for Roadster $1,400
- Leather package – armrest, door handles, centre console trim $800
- Extended Leather Package – Black or Coloured $1,300 (Coupe) / $500 (Roadster – only with S performance package)
- Heated Front Seats $750 Coupe (standard in Roadster)
- Neck-level heating (Roadster only) $800
- Bang and Olufsen sound system includes 14-channel amplifier, 12 speakers (680 Watt output), accent lighting on front subwoofers $1,250
- Digital Television (Coupe only) $2,050
- Black exterior package – high gloss black exterior trims and mirror housing $1,100
- Red brake calipers $900
- Special Paint (Vegas Yellow) $700
- Metallic or Pearl effect paint $1,400
- Crystal effect paint $2,100
- Privacy glass (Coupe only) $900