Still some months away from arriving in dealers here, the 2011 Audi TT and its top-line TTS sibling will benefit from a number of functional and cosmetic changes aimed at bumping their competitive index of attraction versus foes like the BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLK. Each will continue in 2+2 Coupe and two-seat Roadster configurations with a sport-tuned suspension and Quattro all-wheel drive. However while all versions will match their respective 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injected TFSI engines with a six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automated manual transmission, Audi's continuously-adaptable magnetic ride damping remains a TTS standard but a TT option.

Visually, the 2011 Audi TT gets a mild facelift highlighted by reshaped bumpers, complemented by revised chrome accenting on its grille and redone foglamps and housings. Other new-for-2011 exterior touches include dual chrome exhaust tips as well a new Nougat Brown, Titanium Gray and Garnet Red paint. But the most significant tweak for the upcoming season involves stepping output of the TT's engine from 200 to 211 horsepower and increasing torque from 207 to 258 lb-ft. Audi didn't provide any EPA numbers for this more potent motivator, but indicated that it should drop 0-62 mph times for the Euro-spec 2011 TT Coupe from 5.9 to 5.6 seconds and it's likely that the 6.1-tick time for the existing Roadster will fall by a similar amount, both there and here.

Interior cosmetic trim variations on the 2011 Audi TT are subtle but add a bit more elegance to the package -- as well as a new "Sport" program button that varies the amount of power steering boost and varies the exhaust sound. On an even more subtle level, the optional Fine Nappa leather now boasts a thermal-resistant feature that can reduce its surface temperature by up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, literally a very cool touch for TT Roadster owners who live in hot-weather areas.

No changes to engine output in the 2011 Audi TTS, but the standard magnetic ride damping now offers a more pronounced spread between its "Normal" and "Sport" settings. The senior partner in the lineup builds on the base TT's exterior visual mods by adding its own distinctive front-end cues. Its revamped main grille gets new honeycomb-optic internal bars while the flanking fog lamp grilles now carry a chrome-enhanced honeycomb-optic horizontal brace bar. Expect the 2011 Audi TTS to appear in showrooms here in the fall with the standard TT models slated to arrive in the first quarter of next year. Pricing will be released closer to on-sale dates.

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