All style and no substance. That's been the knock on the Audi TT from Day One. Sure, it was a rolling museum sculpture, but it could also get gutter-balled at a traffic light by your average Toyota Camry. Kind of hard to look cool after that.
To remedy the problem, Audi has added a V6 option along with bigger, more powerful four-cylinder engines. They helped, a little, but none of the various drivetrains turned the TT from a stylish coupe into a real sports car.
The 2009 Audi TTS is the latest attempt to reshape the car's image. Although not a full RS version like the TT shown in Geneva this spring, the TTS gets a high-output version of the 2.0T four-cylinder along with a standard six-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive.
It also sits lower on a retuned suspension with adjustable magnetorheological dampers. Our test car also had a set of sizable 19-inch tires and wheels. Click through to see if all the new hardware turns this TT into a real performance coupe or just another pretty Audi.
Vehicle: 2009 Audi TTS
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed dual clutch
Engine Type: Inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,984cc (121 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 265 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 258 @ 2,500
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc
Steering System: Electric speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson struts
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 255/35ZR19 96Y
Tire Size (rear): 255/35ZR19 96Y
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: ContiSport Contact 3
Tire Type: Summer
Wheel Size: 19-by-9 inches
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,229
0 - 30 (sec): 2.2
0 - 45 (sec): 3.5
0 - 60 (sec): 5.2
0 - 75 (sec): 7.6
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.5 @ 102.83
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.9
30 - 0 (ft): 28
60 - 0 (ft): 113
Braking Rating: Very Good
Slalom (mph): 71.4
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.92
Handling Rating: Excellent
Db @ Idle: 48.5
Db @ Full Throttle: 82.3
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 71.1
Acceleration Comments: Must use Sport mode and launch control to get quick acceleration times as it scrubs a full second in the quarter-mile thanks mostly to quicker shifts.
Braking Comments: Solid, consistent pedal, dead straight tracking, good, short distance.
Handling Comments: Skid pad: Perfectly calibrated ESP is virtually unbeatable. Different chassis tuning (which allowed off-throttle rotation) might change this, but this is still an awesome handler. Slalom: Extremely rapid response to inputs. Goes exactly where it's pointed. Feels solid and confident in fast transitions.