A cut above the rest?

Audi TTS Roadster

Model on test: £53,570

Way back in 1998 when Audi launched the original TT, it was a fantastic sports car – a little ‘bubbly’ in it’s appearance, but a great drive nonetheless. It quickly became labelled as a ‘hairdressers car’. I have no idea why this is meant to be derogatory, but the reputation stuck.

The next generation, launched in 2006, came with a big update on the looks front – gone were the bubbles and in were fastback style lines that gave it a much more aggressive poise, and a decent uplift in power and performance to boot. The 2014 facelift was a less drastic change, but kept the TT’s looks up to date. I reviewed the updated roadster in 2016 and was impressed, but this month saw me behind the wheel of the TTS – the sportier, styled, tweaked version and I was even more impressed.

In ‘Tango Red’ (where do they come up with these names…) and a black electric hood, it looked great, and promised a lot more performance than it’s standard counterpart, so I was keen to see if it delivered, especially with Audi’s Quattro system and more than 300bhp on tap from the two-litre engine.

Before I get on to the performance, I should run through the looks and the interior. Put simply, they are stunning. It’s a really great looking car that, in my opinion, is ready to take its place among the best of its peers. With the big chrome grill up front, the 20 inch rims, and the driver-centric dashboard and switchgear, it’s ticking all the boxes so far… but does the performance match the promise?

Thankfully it does.

When you press the starter, the engine comes to life and sounds fantastic, especially in Dynamic mode, which (possibly my imagination, but who knows) adds an extra growl to the exhaust note. From there, it’s all good – the gear stick is great, lots of perforated leather, also present on the d-cut steering wheel, and the switches are all quality chrome, so it’s a great place to be.

Also, quite frankly, it goes like stink too. I expected the TTS to not be too popular with passers by, but dropping the hood on a sunny afternoon drew compliments from pedestrians that I wasn’t expecting.

So a great car, fantastic engine, and lots of power on tap. If it fitted the kids too, it would have been perfect!

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