What's New for 2011
The Audi TT heads into 2011 with more power, a restyled front grille and standard leather seating.
One doesn't necessarily buy Louis Vuitton luggage simply for its high quality. Though such baggage is certainly well made, you'd likely find comparable quality in a good set of anything from your local Target. But for some, style is equal to function in their list of must-haves. For these buyers, there's the 2011 Audi TT, which is as much a head-turning statement-maker as it is a comfortable, reasonably athletic sporty car.
The Audi TT is available in coupe and roadster body styles, and both are fitted with Audi's sprightly turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Every TT also features all-wheel drive, a measure that gives this car not only confidence-inspiring handling in the corners but also more grip in foul weather conditions.
But for many, style is the Audi TT's top draw. The coupe has a sleek fastback roof line, while the roadster boasts nicely balanced proportions and the same artfully sculpted body. Top-grade materials are fitted inside, while the TT's design aesthetic, available two-tone color schemes and baseball-glove-style stitching add a level of flair that competitors can't quite match.
But as with Mr. V's bags, the 2011 Audi TT is pricey for what you get, particularly in regard to performance. Other appealing choices include the BMW 1 Series and 3 Series, as well as the Infiniti G. And alongside those roomier, more practical choices there is also Audi's own A5 coupe and convertible. It should also be noted that the 3 Series and G37 feature retractable hardtops, as does the BMW Z4 roadster, while the Audis both continue to use a soft top. In the end, though, the TT has enough substance behind its distinctive style to make it a worthwhile choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Audi TT is available as a 2+2 hatchback coupe or a two-seat roadster, both of which come in one trim level known as Premium Plus.
Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, summer performance tires, an automatic rear spoiler, foglights, adaptive xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming mirror, heated six-way power front seats (with power lumbar), a 50/50 split-folding rear seatback, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The roadster includes a power soft top, a power wind deflector, roll hoops and a cargo pass-through with a removable ski bag.
The Prestige package adds parking sensors, a dash-mounted MMI electronics controller, an interior ambient lighting package, a navigation system, heated front seats, an upgraded 12-speaker Bose stereo and a six-CD changer.
Other options include adaptive suspension dampers, different wheels and leather upholstery with baseball-glove-style stitching. The S line package adds different 19-inch wheels, S line bumpers, sport seats, special upholstery, a sport steering wheel and headlight washers. An iPod interface can be added to Prestige-equipped cars in place of the six-CD changer.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2011 Audi TT comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is also standard. The only transmission available is a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission that works like a traditional automatic or through driver inputs via the shift lever on the center console or shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
Every TT comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, side airbags and front knee airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
True to Audi's custom, the interior of the 2011 TT is beautifully crafted. The standard controls are straightforward and easy to reach, though the navigation system's dash-mounted electronics controller is a little unintuitive in its function and placement. The flat-bottom wheel and supportive front seats give the interior a sporty feel, while the coupe's hatchback design and fold-down rear seats offer practicality plus ample luggage space to the tune of 23 cubic feet with those seats folded. However, the coupe's backseat is only usable for parcels and those shorter than 4-foot-10.
The two-seat roadster has a lightweight fabric-trimmed power top that folds down flush with the rear bodywork, enabling the car to retain its clean lines with the top down. Also, the top's multilayer headliner and glass rear window help keep the car quiet and well insulated, though it's no substitute for the retractable hardtops offered by some rivals.
The 2011 Audi TT is only available with the turbocharged four-cylinder, a version of the Audi 2.0T that's shared with Volkswagen products like the CC and GTI. This year's engine is more powerful, and you'll notice the extra boost in torque, especially when driving around town.. The S tronic transmission is beyond reproach, delivering smooth and lightning-quick gearchanges.
All-wheel drive is a rarity among luxury sport coupes and especially convertibles, so those in frosty climes will appreciate the TT's all-weather traction. Handling is commendable, but hardly anything that'll remind you of a Porsche Boxster or Cayman. The adjustable-suspension option (which also includes adjustable steering effort and even a louder exhaust note) improves the TT's capability in this area without making the already firm ride unbearable, but we doubt many buyers will feel it's worth the price premium.