Written by: Sammy Chan
Photography by: Sammy Chan
When the Audi TT was introduced here a little over a year ago , we all know that a convertible version will not be far away, but to bring it out this soon is still much of a surprise for us.
TT is Audi’s response to Porsche Boxster, BMW Z3 and Mercedes-Benz SLK. With much of the styling cue of the concept TT intact, the production TT coupe was a huge success at the Detroit Auto Show.
Together with the debut of the convertible TT Roadster, a more powerful engine is also added to this year’s lineup, going head to head against the Porsche Boxster S, BMW M Roadster as well as Honda S2000.
The more powerful engine is from the same family as the 1.8 T. With twin intercooler, this little 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine can pump out 225 bhp and 217 lb/ft of torque. Though output is a little shy of Boxster S's 250 hp and BMW M Roadster's 240 hp, it is definitely more than enough for a very demanding driver. Mated with a 6-speed manual gear box , the 225 hp TT can go from 0-100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds. This is certainly helped by the 207 lb/ft of torque , which is available all the way from 2200 to 5500 rpm.
The TT Roadster's soft top, with heated rear window, can be opened in a single-stage process (power folding top is standard with 225 hp version) and can be stored behind the rear seat. A electrically operated retractable glass can further reduce turbulence in high speed.
Behind the rear seat, two rollover bars, done in matte aluminum finish is an integral part of the chassis structure which acts as rollover protection. TT Roadster comes with tons of comfort and luxurious features which includes automatic climate control with dust and pollen filter; smart power window; power deck lid; Nappa leather seat upholstery; leather shift knob and aluminum surrounding; anti-theft alarm; concert AM/FM stereo cassette; driver information display etc, and "baseball Glove" stitching design which is exclusive to the TT Roadster.
My tester was fully loaded with Quattro option, 225 hp engine. Cornering is where this Quattro Roadster excels, on twisty mountain roads, it behaves like glue on the ground. Close ratio 6-speed gear box and tight, accurate steering makes this little roadster not only fun to drive, but a dream machine for most demanding enthusiasts.
For the majority of us, a 180-hp TT roadster is powerful enough. Audi brings up this 225-hp TT mainly to square off the playing field amongst its competitors. The increase in power really makes a significant difference in speed and handling, the extra money is worth investing if you believe you can drive it to its limit.
Most roadsters are beautiful when their tops are down, but this TT is also very beautiful with its top up. Good job, Audi.
Take this roadster out on a sunny day, no matter where you go, the performance of the car and all the envy eyes around you won't let you down.