The only area where the new Audi TT doesn’t score is exclusivity…


It really is is difficult to spot the difference between this latest TT and the last model. My best advice is to look carefully at the headlight cluster – 2015 TT has much narrower lenses.

The interior is an improvement over the previous TT too but what really stands this latest version apart isn’t the aesthetics, it’s the drive.

New TT is sensational. The steering inspires confidence, the brakes have great feel and, well, everything about the TT just feels right. You will want to own one because it makes you feel good.

Shame then that the one feature the TT has never had is exclusivity. You just know that in two years time, every Tom, Dick and Harry will be driving one.

Like the brilliant VW Golf GTI, the TT is a victim of it’s own success. So buy one now – before they become too common…

Audi’s new TTS is quick – so what is the RS version going to bring to the party?


If the TDI and TFSI TT don’t offer enough grunt for your taste then this month Audi unleashed the answer – the all-new TTS.

With power output upped to 310bhp, the TT is suddenly brushing on supercar status. The 0-60mph time is trimmed to 4.6 seconds and the car is available as coupe or convertible too.

Prices start at around £39,000 – which seems like good money when you consider the TTS is almost as quick as a Porsche 911.

Many people will be waiting for the RS version of the TT that is destined to be even quicker. As the TDI is no slouch, I can’t imagine what that’s going to perform like!

My landmark diesel moments from the last 30 years of clattering…


There has been several defining diesel moments in my life. One was when a neighbour used to wake me every morning by firing up his 1980s Audi diesel. Painful.

Another was when BMW launched the 2003 5-Series range in Spain. I drove the 535d back to England, convinced the diesel market had changed forever because the car was so damn good.

The most terrifying was being a passenger in Peugeot’s Le Mans winning car – at Le Mans. Shame we never saw that one on the public road.

And now there is the Audi TT TDI. This engine/coupe combination is simply class-leading. It takes diesel power to a new, much higher level that rewards the driver not just with economy, but with great performance.

Sure it takes the TDI around 7.5 seconds to reach 60mph but the torque is incredible. The TDI is no longer a poor relation to the petrol unit. It’s quite possibly the better car…

Buying a new motor involves six months of research looking at car ‘porn’


Come September I’m buying a new car. For me, that involves six months of research and delicious car ‘porn’. At least I can now rule the Maserati Gran Turismo out of the equation.

I’m currently in Northern Ireland, driving the Maserati around County Down. Turns out the 2+2 is stunning in the metal – but lacks the drivability of the Porsche 911, Jaguar XKR, or even the Golf R.

The Mazzer is, like all Maseratis, beautiful but flawed. It’s a supermodel with a scar on her cheek, you simply can’t escape the fact that the Gran Turismo has a deep secret – it doesn’t drive well.

Entering the equation instead is the new Audi TT – except I need the RS version to come along sooner rather than later. Razor sharp handling, high tech interior – it’s a no brainer…

Razor sharp – handling in the new Audi TT is astoundingly good


Razor sharp. That’s how I would describe the handling of the new Audi TT. After steering the boat-like Mulsanne for a week, this coupe feels like an F1 car through the corners.

In fact, the first left-hander I tackled in anger, I over-compensated and almost lost the TT in a hedge. It’s staggeringly good and every inch as precise as a Porsche 911.

I can recall testing the last generation TT cabriolet, back-to-back with a Boxster. The TT may have enjoyed quattro four-wheel drive but the Porsche felt more balanced and settled through a corner.

Now I wouldn’t be so sure. The new Boxster is, of course, a barnstormer but I reckon the latest TT would be on a par. And the Audi costs less – plus our test car isn’t a grippy quattro. It’s astoundingly good!

The Audi TT’s digi dashboard is groundbreaking – expect other manufacturers to follow the same design path


I wondered if Audi could up their game on the latest TT dashboard – they’ve done it in style. While the original TT  was an interior masterclass, the last, out-going model was a massive disappointment, with switches and dials we’ve seen elsewhere in the Audi range.

However, the 3D digital dash of the latest model is groundbreaking. You just know that other manufacturers will be copying the format and that we will see a rash of digi dashes on the market over the next few years.

In practical terms it means no ugly screen in the middle of the dashboard any more because the sat nav is now displayed in the instrument binnacle, right in front of the driver. Simple, brilliant, safer.

You can flick between the different systems – perhaps choosing the classic speedo, rev counter view – which all appear as graphics. Add to this the flat bottomed, multi-function steering wheel and it won’t be long before we have a totally ‘clean’ dashboard’ in future cars, without buttons or dials…

Can the new Audi TT possibly be as good as the reviews make out?


I’ve owned a first and second generation Audi TT. I loved the original because it had a stylish interior that has yet to be surpassed – and I liked the latter model because it was good at everything.

Well, good at most things. It wasn’t very happy driving forward at speeds in excess of 70mph without suffering significant steering wheel vibration. Despite three weeks in Audi warranty care, they never solved the problem and at times, didn’t seem to care.

So that left a rather bad taste in my mouth which also cost me a packet. Hence I approach the new Audi TT with some trepidation. Can it possibly be as good as the reviews make out?

I’m certain the steering wheel won’t vibrate in our test car but it’s going to have to be very good to tempt me away from a Porsche Cayman – the current coupe of choice. More tomorrow….

Audi TT Roadster 1.8 TFSI – Give Me More Power


I’ve come to the conclusion that 158bhp just isn’t enough in the Audi TT Roadster. The strong fuel economy in the entry-level model will be a sound trade off for some people but this 1.8 car just needs some extra grunt to set my pulse racing.

There are several larger engined models to go for, of course, including a TDI. The 208bhp 2.0 petrol would be tempting but the 270bhp TTS top choice. There’s a 335bhp TT RS too but that almost sounds too much!

All versions have a standard six-speed gearbox  and most have the option of the brilliant S tronic automatic as well.

The Roadster certainly needs more power than 158bhp if I’m going to start making comparisons with a Porsche Boxster, rather than a Mazda MX-5…

Audi TT 1.8 TFSI – Grey, Like David Brent’s Underpants


A convertible should inspire you to want to drive it. It’s Bank Holiday Monday and I’ve been sat in the garden, considering the TT Cabriolet from a variety of angles.

The simple fact is this – it doesn’t have the same visual appeal as the cheaper Mazda MX-5. The Audi isn’t an ugly car but comparisons with the streamlined and eye-catching Mazda are obvious.

Not only that but the TT does not feel like a ‘natural’ sports car when you drive it. The gearstick doesn’t fall to hand as easily, you don’t feel inspired to throw it around a corner and even with the rear wind deflector up, there’s a bit too much wind intrusion in the cockpit.

Unfortunately, our TT test car also features a rather dull cabin colour. The carpet and leather trim are light, limp grey. It’s like sitting in a pair of David Brent’s over-washed underpants. Opt for black and it won’t need cleaning so often either….

Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Cabriolet – Eeny, Meeny…


Wasn’t there a time when Top Gear was all about cars? I seem to remember it was quite good, post Noel Edmunds that is, before the BBC turned it into light comedy cash cow.

Sour grapes? No. I worked on TV with Hammond for a while and he was a true pro. James May is a good foil for Clarkson, while big JC himself writes cracking copy in the Sunday Times.

I just think Top Gear is way past its sell by date and needs a total revamp. Perhaps a spot of dumbing up is in order – and a very large gag for JC’s gob. No wonder he is frowned upon around here in the Cotswolds.

And the Audi TT Cabriolet? This is what Clarkson said…

“Then there’s the biggest problem of them all – the problem of being in an Audi TT when you are not called Angela. I do not know why it can be driven by only people named Angela, but that’s a fact and there’s nothing we can do about it. If you have a TT and you aren’t called Angela, you have the wrong car.”