Life hasn’t been simple for the Audi TT. The authentic automotive was a stop-the-presses second in automotive historical past — a automotive so jaw-droppingly gorgeous that I firmly consider it is going to stay an icon for many years to return. Because of that, the first-gen TT proved to be an extremely powerful act to comply with. Even as subsequent successors improved dynamically, that preliminary, instant-hit design was all the time the catalyst that drove the TT’s momentum. Twenty years later, Audi hasn’t formally put the ultimate nail within the TT’s coffin, however the writing is clearly on the wall. The 20th Anniversary Edition mannequin you see right here is likely to be the automotive’s remaining act, and it is a bittersweet strategy to say goodbye.Nimbus Gray is a US-exclusive paint colour, and appears nice with the gunmetal 19-inch wheels.
The 20th Anniversary Edition brings a number of throwback design cues to the 2019 TT, impressed by the unique 1995 TTS Roadster idea. Aviator Gray or Nimbus Gray are the one exterior colours supplied — the latter a US unique — with matte silver Audi logos on the rear facet sills. Available as both a coupe or roadster, the 20th Anniversary mannequin will get the trick OLED taillights presently discovered on the TT RS, in addition to stainless-steel exhaust ideas and 19-inch, five-spoke wheels. The general look is fairly fetching, even when the present TT is not half the fashionista its progenitor was.Inside, brown leather-based seats with yellow distinction stitching are distinctive to the 20th Anniversary automotive, and are alleged to be a form of trendy interpretation of the baseball-glove inside from the unique TT. I want Audi would’ve introduced again the actual baseball-glove seating, although. This brown/yellow scheme is okay and all, however type of seems like a half-assed try and recreate one of many coolest automotive upholstery remedies of all time.
Otherwise, the 20th Anniversary Edition is similar as every other 2019 TT. Which is to say, largely unchanged from 2015, when the third-gen automotive went on sale. The cabin nonetheless seems and feels fairly contemporary, with solely minimal switchgear on the dashboard, and I nonetheless get a kick out of the multifunction dials with digital shows contained in the round air vents.Behind the steering wheel, you may discover Audi’s Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster, with commonplace navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on this 20th Anniversary Edition tester. I’ve all the time cherished Virtual Cockpit — it is one of the vital lovely, feature-rich digital IPs accessible right this moment, and it is easy to manage through the rotary dial on the middle console or with the buttons at thumb’s attain on all sides of the steering wheel.Audi says this brown leather-based with yellow stitching is meant to imitate the baseball-glove inside from the unique TT Roadster. It… type of works.
Unfortunately, driver-assistance tech is just about nonexistent. Modern options equivalent to adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping help are nowhere to be discovered on the 2019 TT. But hey, not less than a backup digicam is commonplace. A wi-fi charging pad joins the roster this yr, too.The TT Coupe comes with a four-seat configuration, although the rear seats are higher fitted to grocery luggage than people. In the TT Roadster, the rear seats are jettisoned so there’s a spot for the folding smooth prime to stow, although it does eat into cargo area. The trunk has 7.5 cubic ft of room, which is lower than what you get in a BMW Z4. It’s a shallow space, too — coming residence from every week away, I may put my carry-on suitcase and a backpack within the cargo maintain simply advantageous, but when I had a passenger with me, they’d have been out of luck.Interestingly, the 20th Anniversary Edition builds on the bottom TT, moderately than the warmer TT S or TT RS fashions. That means energy comes from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated transmission. (Basically, the identical setup because the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI.) Quattro all-wheel drive shuffles energy round between all 4 wheels, and Audi says the TT Roadster can speed up to 60 miles per hour in a good 5.5 seconds. The lighter Coupe, in the meantime, does the identical dash in 5.3.
After some preliminary lag, the engine affords sturdy midrange punch. The transmission is often lazy to downshift in its regular setting, however transfer the shifter to Sport and issues get noticeably extra responsive. The steering wheel-mounted paddles execute rapid-fire, do-it-yourself gear adjustments, however the small, plastic flippers are clicky and unsatisfying of their motion. This downside is not distinctive to the TT, both. Audi may stand to suit higher paddles to just about all of its sports activities automobiles — even the R8.
The TT is a superbly good automotive to drive, although in base guise it is higher fitted to lazy, winding roads like California’s Pacific Coast Highway; depart correct canyon carving for the S and RS. The suspension tune is agency, however not disagreeable. You’ll really feel pavement imperfections by the chassis because of the tires’ quick sidewalls, however on easy roads, the TT strikes an important stability between sports activities automotive and Sunday cruiser.
Audi’s Drive Select toggle allows you to change between completely different driving modes, although the deltas between every setting aren’t all that massive. The steering, particularly, is fairly mild throughout the board, and whereas the TT is fast to reply to inputs, the general expertise is quantity than what you may discover in, say, a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Porsche 718 Boxster. The new, four-cylinder BMW Z4 poses an actual menace, too.Sure, it is pretty to throw the TT’s prime again and drive by the Angeles National Forest on a good looking July day. But as I hug the corners of a few of my favourite roads, I’d be mendacity if I mentioned I would not moderately be driving any of these aforementioned sports activities automobiles. The 2019 TT is best to drive than any model that got here earlier than, but it surely is not a standout in its class. The 2019 TT Coupe begins at $44,900, whereas the TT Roadster is available in at $48,400, not together with vacation spot. If you need the 20th Anniversary particular, you are taking a look at $52,900 or $56,800, respectively. If you are not married to the limited-edition spec, I’d suggest the $53,800 TT S Coupe, merely for its higher on-road manners. If it is the droptop you need, it oddly is not accessible as an S anymore, so it is the bottom model or nothing for you.The 2019 Audi TT is beautiful to drive, however give me the first-generation automotive any day.
As for these rivals, a Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring would not provide fairly as a lot cabin tech, however at $31,855, it is one hell of a cut price — and higher to drive, too. The BMW Z4 can also be extra partaking than the TT, and has newer onboard know-how, for $49,700 to start out. Spend a couple of further grand and you may step into the 718 Boxster, at $59,000, although with choices, the Porsche’s as-tested value can escalate shortly.The 2019 Audi TT is a superbly good automotive, however solely a mid-pack providing in a small class of luxurious roadsters. And whereas it was simple to miss the unique TT’s dynamic shortcomings as a result of it was so goddamn fairly — a rolling sculpture of recent artwork — the brand new model would not have that very same crutch, even when it is arguably higher to drive.So when the TT will get the axe within the not-too-distant future, it will not be too exhausting to say goodbye. I’ll all the time wax nostalgic in regards to the TT, but it surely’s Audi’s authentic icon that I — and automotive lovers in every single place — will bear in mind most.
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