2009 Audi TT Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 Audi TT was new.
Auto writers report that the TT's combination of power and comfortable handling make it a sports car that's easy to live with. Though competitors might offer better straight-line performance and sportier handling dynamics, few can match the TT's total package of sports performance, ride comfort, and luxury. New for the 2009 model year is the performance-tuned Audi TTS.
- "Audi TT is a luxury tourer that's closer to being a true sports car than its previous generations were. While Porsche's Boxster and Cayman might ultimately be sportier, the TT's more civilized demeanor might be just the thing for more casual motoring. Available all-wheel drive is an added bonus." -- Consumer Guide
- "The TTS drives like a very fast, very grippy, and very expensive Volkswagen GTI. We love the GTI, but we want a $50K roadster to have a bit more brilliance in the steering and a bit better chassis balance. Audi did what it could: it lowered the suspension, fitted adjustable magnetic dampers, and quickened the reaction of the Quattro system, but this is still no mid-engine sports car." -- Automobile Magazine
- "[S]hoppers interested mainly in performance will find the TT's price off-putting; cars like the Ford Mustang GT, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX STI all offer better bang-buck ratios. Meanwhile, for more sophisticated ride and handling, the BMW 135i or Z4, as well as Porsche's Boxster or Cayman, can outdo the regular TT models and should be tough competition for the forthcoming TTS. Still, for someone wanting a broad combination of performance, sophistication and style, the TT comes recommended." -- Edmunds
- "The TTS -- available as a coupe and a roadster -- is Audi's attempt to dial up the dynamics and win over the dedicated followers of fast cars as well as fashion." -- Motor Trend
Acceleration and Power
Test drivers, on balance, find that each of the TT's three engine choices operate smoothly and provide ample power. What's more, both its manual and automatic transmissions work well with their powerplants. Not surprisingly, fuel economy is better with the base trim than the S model.
The base-model TT 2.0 TFSI features a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine that produces 200 horsepower at 5,100 - 6,000 rpm and 207 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 - 5,000 rpm. An S tronic six-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to Audi, the TT 2.0 has a top speed of 130 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
The TT 3.2 features a 3.2-liter V6 engine that makes 250 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 236 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 - 3,000 rpm. Though a manual six-speed transmission is standard, an S tronic six-speed automatic is optional. Audi reports a top speed of 130 mph and a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of just 5.3 seconds with the S tronic transmission.
New for 2009, the TTS features a 2.0-liter I4 engine that generates 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque (between 2,500 - 5,000 rpm). Like the TT 3.2, a manual six-speed transmission is standard, but an S tronic automatic is also available. Audi claims that the TTS has a top speed of 155 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
The EPA reports a city/highway fuel economy of 23/31 mpg with the TT 2.0 coupe; 22/30 mpg with the TT 2.0 roadster; and 21/29 mpg with the TT 2.0 Quattro. The TT 3.2 nets 17/25 mpg with a manual transmission and 18/24 mpg with an automatic.
- "Acceleration is sprightly with either the 2.0T 4-cylinder or 3.2 V6. The 2.0T suffers from modest turbo lag and some torque steer off the line. Audi claims 0-60 mph times of 6.1 seconds for the 2.0T, 5.5 for the 3.2 manual, and 5.3 for the 3.2 automatic, all of which feel credible to us. Manual transmissions have pleasant, precise feel; automatics shift with impressive smoothness." -- Consumer Guide
- "If you can get past the fact that the TTS is not a Boxster, there's a lot to like here, starting with the fact that this sucker is FAST. Very fast, indeed." -- Automobile Magazine
- "Subjectively, it [TTS trim] feels faster, too. The turbo engine spins fast and free, all the way to its 6800-rpm redline, and the lightweight (just 3110 lb) coupe is agile and fabulously secure, even on the wet German roads encountered on our test. The fast-shifting S-tronic box -- which maintains drive even during the gear change -- complements the smooth four-cylinder engine perfectly." -- Motor Trend
- "The S Tronic can be driven like a typical, no-fuss automatic; drivers can also shift for themselves via either the console shifter or steering-wheel paddles. It's far smoother and faster-shifting than automated manuals found on vastly more expensive BMWs and Ferraris." -- Forbes
- "As a bonus, the four-cylinder TT coupe will return between 20 and 30 miles per gallon, even when driven somewhat aggressively." -- Washington Times
Handling and Braking
Overall, test drivers are pleased with the TT's handling dynamics -- though steering feel is an issue that's continuously mentioned. While Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system is optional for the TT 2.0, it's standard on both the TT 3.2 and TTS.
- "The impressive athletic ability of every TT is balanced by a surprisingly comfortable, downright pleasant highway ride." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The ride is smooth for a sporty car. Roadsters ride nearly as well as the Coupes. The optional magnetic ride suspension makes bumps more apparent, but not to the point of harshness. The convertibles have virtually no cowl shake. ... The only demerit to TT's excellent handling prowess is steering that feels a bit light. Otherwise, these sporty cars are extremely composed with strong, reassuring brakes." -- Consumer Guide
- "Ride quality in the 2009 Audi TT is much improved over the last generation. Steering is precise, although some drivers might find the rack devoid of feel. For most drivers, the 3.2 Quattro is a better choice, since it's faster and its standard AWD can effectively handle wet weather. But the 2.0 T is still surprisingly enjoyable, especially since it's now available with Quattro." -- Edmunds
- "This [TTS trim] is also the best-handling TT of all, a car of composure and confidence. But push really hard on winding and undulating roads, and the little Audi still lacks the ultimate composure of the brilliant mid-engine rear-drive Porsches (Boxster and Cayman). Nor does the steering serenade, as it does on Porsches and the better BMWs: It rarely does on a four-wheel -drive car." -- Motor Trend
- "With the adaptive suspension set to Sport mode, the [TTS'] ride gets jittery even on excellent German blacktop. There's a bit more body roll, but the car flows fast and evenly through bends with just a hint of understeer. Reset the ESP and you can drift the rear wheels slightly, balanced with a touch of opposite lock. Add to that a rorty exhaust note and beautiful auto-blip downshifts, and the grin was difficult to wipe from my face." -- Road and Track
- "With the liberal use of lightweight aluminum, Audi has been able to produce a performance car with real snap. And all-wheel drive -- good for not only bad weather, but also wet, gravel, or sandy roads -- is a major plus." -- Boston Globe
- "With 60 percent of its weight over the front wheels, the TT still has the predictable handling balance of a front-driver, but the all-wheel drive helps it power out of corners without having to constantly hunt for traction. " -- Car and Driver