With its baseball-glove interior and cute styling, it was easy to forget that the first-generation Audi TT was a sports car and not a piece of modern art.
Over the years, Audi tried to make the TT more serious, and that process continues with the redesign 2015 model unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
The TT will still primarily be judged by its looks, and this one doesn’t disappoint. While less new than previous models, it handsomely integrates styling cues from the second-generation TT and Sport quattro concept into a more-aggressive overall shape.
The overall proportions, domed roof, and rounded wheel arches mean the car is still recognizable as a TT, but the chiseled front end – with optional Matrix LED headlights – looks ready to snarl at passersby. Maybe Audi went a bit too far there.
Behind that face will sit one of three engines.
The base TT will be available with a 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 230 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. It will be offered with a choice of six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive or six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.
The stick shift model probably won’t make it to the U.S., but it will do 0 to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds. The all-wheel drive version will do the same in 5.3 seconds, and both are electronically limited to 155 mph.
Another version that probably won’t make it Stateside is the 2.0-liter TDI diesel four, which has 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It will do 0 to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds, and achieve an estimated 56 mpg on the European cycle.
Finally, there’s the top-of-the-line TTS, which features an upgraded 2.0-liter TFSI engine producing 310 hp and 280 lb-ft. Buyers will have a choice of six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmissions, but all-wheel drive is mandatory. It will reach 62 mph from a standstill in just 4.7 seconds.
The chassis is a steel and aluminum space frame, which Audi says is significantly lighter than before. It claims the base 2.0 TFSI model is around 110 pounds lighter than a comparable 2014 example.
However, the most noteworthy part of the 2015 Audi TT may be its interior.
Previewed at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Audi calls it a “virtual cockpit”.
Instead of the typical gauge cluster and center-stack screen, Audi installed one 12.3-inch LCD monitor right in front of the driver that can be reconfigured to avoid information overload.
Taking advantage of the streamlined packaging, Audi designers shaped the dashboard into an elegant shape that’s supposed to resemble an airplane’s wing. It’s a nice counterpoint to the hulking designs of other carmakers.
Hopefully all of the attention lavished on the 2015 TT’s exterior and interior don’t mean Audi forgot the whole point of a sports car. That’s a story for another day.