a small, front-drive roadster with pristine German heritage keep the motoring
world's fires burning? If it's a sculptured, seductive Audi TT, we'd bet that
it still can.
was a few years ago, when there was only the hardtop coupe version, it needed
a bent body entrance and exit. Once one got used to the low brow line and tiny
interior and settled instead on controls, the world of driving fun began to unfold.
It zipped. It sped. It cornered with a sense of abandon. It even bred imitators.
The roadster that followed opened a whole new world above the deepset headliner.
And with lots of competition in the wings, it was time for even more.
'04, the overall look remains classic, what Audi calls "performance art."
Think Teutonic types like supermodel Heidi Klum or Kill Bill's Uma Thurman (sans
the Kung Fu attitude) who exude under-control grace with every fine-boned move.
Think pop diva Beyonce, with unbridled excitement traveling in perfect form. Such
similarly channeled fire remains present in TT's cool-hot exterior design.
Audi adds more punch to the present package with a husky 250-horsepower 3.2-liter
V-6, angled to fit the TT's compact engine compartment. It's the first time Audi
has mated such power with its diminutive two-seater sportscar. It also uses a
newly-developed six-speed transmission called Direct-Shift Gearbox or DSG, inspired
by motor racing. According to Audi, it senses the next upshift to be engaged either
as manual or automatic and keeps a smooth flow of power or permits a launchpad
start. Audi even calls that super performance feature "Launch Control,"
for slingshot takeoffs and high rev driving. With Audi's four-wheel-drive Quattro
system added, capability is expanded even more.
think the TT designation comes from Tourist Trophy, a legendary 1905 auto race
Audi won then used as inspiration for the current model. Such heritage-based driving
comes in reasonably-priced packages, from $33,250 for the base 1.8-liter four
to $42,900 for the top breed V-6. And if you thought Matrix Reloaded was a futuristic
blast, try the top-of-the-line TT on for size.