Audi TTS RoadsterWe’ve just spent an enjoyable week behind the wheel of an Audi TTS roadster in our home areas in south-east Queensland. Winter obviously isn’t normally the season of choice for an open car. But the TTS’s heated seats, hot air blown onto our necks and a behind-the-seat air deflector let us travel in comfort during daylight hours.

Audi TTS roadster follows the same successful styling theme as the new coupe, a solid evolution of the first generation model of 1999. We reckon its sharp lines and interlocking facets make it one of the best looking sports coupes and roadsters on the current market.

The soft top roof folds down between the cockpit and the luggage lid. Its top sits visibly when it is down and has some untidy looking areas about it. The water that enters these holes is drained away under the car.

Inside, the styling of the TTS roadster is neat and beautifully simple. We particularly like the turbine styling of the air vents and the way the controls for temperature, fan speed and air direction have been integrated into the centre of the vents. This minimises the number of controls on the rest of the dash, resulting in an ultra-clean look.

Audi TTS comes to Australia with the company’s topline 210 kilowatt 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine. It has a big 380 Nm of torque that runs over an astonishing range from 1800 rpm all the way to 5700rpm.

It’s mated to Audi’s proved quattro all-wheel-drive system by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

Audi TTS Roadster

The infotainment system is interesting in that there’s no central screen, rather it’s incorporated in what Audi calls a Virtual Cockpit directly in front of the driver. The VC can be viewed in different ways; big dials when you’re in a sporting mood, added information with smaller dials when your brain is in cruise mode. Sounds distracting? Thankfully, we found this not to be the case.

A clever feature is the mounting of the microphones into the safety belts. These are used to control the voice activation system as well as for mobile phone conversations.

ANCAP rates the Audi TTS as a four-star vehicle in both coupe and roadster format. Small roadsters often struggle to get maximum star ratings in safety testing because of limited cabin space and the difficulties of getting curtain airbags into them. ANCAP doesn’t take the ability of dynamic sportscars to stay clear of crashes in the first place.

Audi TT Roadster, Audi TTS Roadster

A simple one-button operation of the soft-top roof takes a mere ten seconds, meaning you can do it at a red traffic light with time to spare. Or at speeds of up to 50 km/h if you want to show off while getting out of the carpark!

The seats support well without being overly aggressive. However, my six-foot frame was pretty close to the limit of what the TTS copes with. Indeed, in the passenger seat some extra degrees of recline would have been appreciated.

There’s good boot space at 280 litres and it’s capable of carrying a couple of cabin bags with some soft items around it. Certainly more than enough for weekends away.

Performance is very good, however the 90 kg weight increase in the roadster over the TTS coupe due to the necessity to strengthen the car in the underfloor area means it’s not as quite as quick as the coupe. A zero to 100 figure of 5.6 seconds is still exciting and very much in modern sportscar territory.

Throttle response is excellent with only minimal turbo lag. Once the TTS has all 370 Newton metres of torque under your right foot there’s the sort of urge that makes overtaking a snack and hills almost cease to exist.

Gearchanges are very fast and when you select the dynamic modes the exhaust makes all the right burbling and spitting sounds as you zip up and down through the gears. Great fun.

Fuel consumption is impressively low for a full-on sportscar, sitting at around six to seven litres per hundred kilometres on motorways, seven to nine litres around town, and only jumping over 11 litres when given a real hiding on twisty, hilly roads.

The TTS sits 10mm lower than the standard TT. It has adjustable magnetic ride technology controlled through the Audi Drive Select system. Road holding is excellent with a nicely balanced feel at all times. The ability to steer the Audi TT on the throttle will be appreciated by keen drivers, particularly once you get the aforementioned 380 Nm of torque on tap.

Ride is generally good, but big bumps can catch it out. Our least-favourite speed bumps in a nearby shopping centre carpark had to be taken at less than walking speed to prevent almighty crashing in the suspension.

Audi’s third-generation TTS roadster has excellent styling, heaps of performance from both the powertrain and chassis dynamics and will appeal to those looking for a second car that something out of the ordinary. Having said that, it can also work as a single car for couples.


Audi TTS quattro 2.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door convertible: $104,616 (automatic)
Note: This price does not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Audi TTS quattro 2.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door convertible)

Capacity: 1.984 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 210 kW @ 5300 rpm
Maximum Torque: 380 Nm @ 1800 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.9 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 159 g/km

Six-speed automatic

Length: 4177 mm
Wheelbase: 2505 mm
Width: 1832 mm
Height: 1353 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1575 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Three years / unlimited km

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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