BOND IN 60 SECONDS
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Fri, Jul 1, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
In “Gone in 60 Seconds,” Memphis Raines waxes eloquently about the sports cars he steals. "It's not the money," he says. It's all about blasting out of our doldrums and taking off into the wild blue. We tried to replicate that feeling by securing a brand new Audi TT 2.0 TT TFSI Quattro S-Tronic Coupe. The result: The TT is such an alluring sports car, it's more like “bond in 60 seconds.” By John-Fredrik Wright In “Gone in 60 Seconds” (the one from 2000), Memphis Raines talks about why he boosts cars. It’s not for the money; it’s so that he can take a brand new ride and blast out of LA to Palm Springs with the wind. We’ve wondered what that’s like—boosting a car, knowing that you’re already in it so deep that you have nothing to lose. So you can drive however fast you desire all the way out to Palm Springs. Haven’t you?
So we gave it a try. But, being law-abiding citizens, and pretty boring in comparison to the cool folks in movies, we had to alter the plan a little to fit our lifestyle. Instead of boosting a car, we secured an Audi TT to do the job. And since we have everything to lose, we made sure not to get any tickets. But, nonetheless, we did drive an Audi TT 2.0T Coupe from Los Angeles to Palm… darn it, we went to Vegas. But you get the point! Had we wanted to make the run in Memphis-style, the TT will sufficed, and then some. We noticed that regular driving is more a lull for the car in comparison to what it can do. There were of course a couple times on the I-15 where we had to slow for trucks passing each other, which is when the opportunity to go from 45 mph to 70 mph arose. And wow, let the backside of the pedal smell the new carpet for just a couple of seconds and that 25 mph gap is eliminated. The TT shifts down, quickly at that, and then the four tires grab the asphalt and propel the car forward. When 70 mph is reached, the TT just gets comfortable, begging for the pedal to stay down. The air is racing over the top, hitting the wing that protrudes from the back of the car, keeping some friction on the tires so that this missile doesn’t get airborne. Losing grip seems to be an impossibility for the Quattro, however. This is, of course, a great thing on the I-15, and on any other road as well for that matter. So great even, that intentionally giving it some extra gas where the road is damp won’t yield anything, even with the ESP off. With the ESP on, which is where it should be, this car will grab any traction it can and then work with that.
But back to the Vegas-trip. When we get there, it’s our duty to show the troop from Europe around town—in the TT. Much to our surprise, the TT coupe actually does hold four adults. As long as nobody in the car is a size XL or above (or suffers from claustrophobia), smaller drives in the TT are okay. They’re actually pretty fun. Or should we say funny. At least for the two in the front seats who can enjoy watching the rear passengers leave sweat marks on the rear window from bouncing their heads on it. Since the suspension is pretty hard, those marks grew ever bigger during the two-day Vegas stint. This is, however, a pretty good cruising car. It sits stable on the freeway, and the suspension does a great job mediating comfort versus sport handling. The ride is stiff, sure, but not stiff in the sense that you’ll have a headache after a longer trip. Stiff in the sense that you feel secure and in the sense that the car keeps the line you point it in. We have always hated the manual shift options on an automatic when the car still overrules the driver. Say we put it in 4th gear and want to accelerate. If it automatically downshifts out of 4th, we can’t call that a manual option. Not even close. But the TT does not do this. It compromises. It realizes that sometimes the driver does not have time, or forgets, to shift. In these cases, when the car probably knows better than the driver, finding the most suitable gear is okay. So, Audi has solved this by letting the driver shift when in S-Tronic mode, and not getting in the way. It will only interfere with a downshift if you push the accelerator all the way down to the floor, and go through that magic button. That is the automatic calling sign. That is when you surrender to the car. And that is fine by me.
Interior-wise, the TT is small, but the seats are still very comfortable (in true Audi-fashion), and you never feel cramped (unless you’re in the back). The cup-holders, are, however, Euro-size. The super-sized drinks from American fast-food chains do not fit. Whether this reflects poorly on the American fast-food industry or Audi, I’ll let you be the judge. It should also be noted that curbs sneak up on this car. Sitting so low, it’s hard to see where the road ends and the sidewalk begins. To add to that problem, these particular rims seem to extend out from the tires, begging to meet with concrete. The Audi TT coupe, with sleek lines (darn it looks good!) and great handling, is definitely a sports car for the particular. It will hug corners with all four tires using the Quattro system, turn heads with its looks and the fierce LED daytime running lights, move up to four small adults, and give the driver a grin each and every time they drive. SUMMARY JUDGMENT: With the Audi TT, it’s love at first bite. For more information about Audi products, go to www.audiusa.com
SPECIFICATIONS: Name of vehicle: 2011 Audi TT 2.0 TFSI Quattro S-Tronic Coupe Price: $38,300 (base) $44,070 (as tested with navigation system and Audi magnetic ride with S-button program) EPA fuel economy rating: 22 mpg (city) 31 mpg (highway) Engine size and type: 2.0 liter turbocharged with intercooler, DOHC in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine with FSI® direct injection and Audi valvelift system Horsepower: 211 @ 4300-6000 RPM Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1600 - 4200 rpm Transmission type: Six-speed S tronic® transmission Drive configuration: quattro® all-wheel drive Steering (type): Eletromechanical steering with speed-dependent power assistance Suspension (front and rear): Front: MacPherson strut (gas charged) with 3-point lower control arm, aluminium subframe, tubular anti-roll bar, track-stabilising steering roll radius Rear: Four-link rear suspension with seperate spring/shock absorber arragement, subframe, turbular anti-roll bar Brakes and tires: Dual-circuit brake system with diagonal split, ESC, hydraulic brake assistant, front and rear disc brakes ventilated 18" five-arm wheels with 245/40 summer performance tires Dimensions Length: 165.4 in. Width: 72.5 in. Height: 53.2 in. Curb weight: 3241 lbs.