By KBB.com Editors
When it first hit the streets for the 2000 model year, the radically styled Audi TT sleek and bulbous and minimalist at once left not a single head unturned in its wake. Eight years and a truckload of design awards later, that car has earned for itself a place in automotive history. While it would be unrealistic to expect the same kind of visual impact from its follow-up, Audi has delivered a car that's even more exciting than the first. The front- or all-wheel-drive TT competes on varying levels with the BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK and the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, all of which are rear-wheel-drive cars.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a two-seat roadster or a 2+2 coupe, you're probably looking for some combination of style, comfort and fun. In the TT you'll find equally lofty levels of the three.You May Not Like This Car If...
If rear-wheel drive is the only way to go as far as you're concerned, or if you're looking for something to take to the track, pony up for the mid-engine, rear-drive, beautifully balanced Porsche Boxster or Cayman and be done with it.What's Significant About This Car?
Compared with its revolutionary predecessor, the all-new TT is bigger but lighter, more powerful but more efficient, more comfortable but more fun and somehow even more lust-worthy than the original.Driving It Driving Impressions
The 2008 Audi TT is the most well-rounded car in its segment. On winding roads with little traffic, every version is capable of coaxing grins as big as those flashed from any driver's seat. Like the coupe, the TT Roadster reacts instantly to steering input and then holds the road with a firm grip and minimal lean. Especially given its lower sticker price and notably better mileage, we actually prefer the lighter feel of the four-cylinder/front-drive combination than that of the heavier V6/all-wheel drive pairing. The impressive athletic ability of every TT is balanced by a surprisingly comfortable, downright pleasant highway ride. Even conversation is easy with the top down. The action of the manual transmission selector is fine, but the more time we spend with the automaker's wonderful dual-clutch transmission, the more archaic the old pedal-and-lever system feels.Favorite Features
S tronic Transmission
In stop-and-go traffic it's a smooth-shifting automatic transmission. On your favorite road or track it's a quick-shifting, no-pedal manual. Audi's S tronic dual-clutch transmission (the same transmission cousin Volkswagen calls DSG) is truly revolutionary.
Magnetic Ride Suspension
The Audi magnetic ride system is built around strut fluid containing tiny magnetic particles. By applying electricity to those particles, the fluid becomes thicker and the suspension becomes stiffer. When traffic is light and your right foot is heavy, the TT gets more athletic at the push of a button.
Whether or not you notice the new model's increased dimensions from the outside, you'll surely appreciate them inside. Contemporary design, premium materials and a wide array of color choices combine in a passenger cabin that furthers Audi's reputation for producing standout interiors. Base models feature sport seats covered in a combination of leather and suede-like Alcantara, brushed aluminum trim and a racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel that provides a touch more leg clearance on entry and exit, but mostly just looks cool.Exterior
The second-generation TT doesn't pack the visual impact of the original, but that's a common plight with sequels. It's no less stylish, though, with crisper lines and the brand's trapezoidal grille sending out a decidedly more contemporary vibe. The TT Roadster bucks the trend toward retractable hardtops in favor of a lighter cloth top, the powered version of which opens in 12 seconds and operates while driving at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. Although larger, the new TT is actually lighter and stiffer than its predecessor. Standard exterior equipment includes attractive 17-inch wheels and a retractable rear spoiler that extends automatically at 74 miles per hour.Notable Standard Equipment
Base model TTs feature Alcantara/leather sport seats, automatic climate control and an AM/FM sound system. For a CD player, power seats and other items, you'll have to pay extra. Standard safety equipment includes electronic stability control plus front and front-side airbags.Notable Optional Equipment
Some of the TTs more significant options include an Audi magnetic ride dual-mode suspension system, backup sensors, navigation, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, iPod integration, Bi-Xenon Adaptive Headlights and, on S tronic-equipped models, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.Under the Hood
With 250 horsepower, quattro all-wheel drive and a choice of six-speed manual or revolutionary dual-clutch manu-matic transmissions, a V6-equipped TT is one powerful, stable, tossable fun machine. Still, the front-end weight savings, lower price and 30-percent better mileage make the 2.0T model available exclusively with the dual-clutch gearbox and front-wheel drive the version we'd recommend for most. Both the 2.0T and 3.2 quattro models offer the Audi magnetic ride system that produces a noticeably firmer suspension at the push of a button.
2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100-6000 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29
250 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500-3000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (manual), 18/24 (S tronic)
The 2008 Audi TT Roadster starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of more than $37,000 ($2,000 more than the coupe) and will extend into the mid $50,000 range. Our Fair Purchase Prices have reflected real-world selling prices at or near sticker price. Fair Purchase Prices for the 2007 BMW Z4 Roadster range from about $37,000 to the mid-$50,000 range, while the 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK hardtop convertible ranges from more than $43,000 to well over $70,000. We expect the Audi TT to maintain resale value similarly to the Z4 and slightly better than the SLK.