Audi TT interior (2014) first official picturesWed, 08 Jan 2014
By Ollie Kew
First Official Pictures
08 January 2014 12:00
If you’re hankering after the new Audi TT, sit tight: this is the cabin that awaits you inside Audi’s new third-gen sports coupe.
Although it retains classic TT design cues like triplet central air vents, and the instrument binnacle’s rounded hood, this is a step-change for Audi interior design, nicking cues from the 2013 Sport Quattro concept and pointing to the future of all Ingolstadt’s cockpits.
The slim, almost Ferrari 458-like dashboard structure has come about through Audi ditching the central MMI (MultiMedia Interface) screen altogether. So, does that mean no sat-nav or on-board computer in the new TT?
Nope – it’s actually migrated to the driver’s instrument panel, creating a 12.3in configurable display that can show a full-screen map, render analogue speedo and rev-counters, or show information about driver assistance systems, in-car entertainment, or access the Internet. Audi claims the HD display produces 3D-effect graphics.
By shifting the screen more closely to the driver’s line of sight, Audi reckons it’s reduced the potential for driver distraction, and reduced the size of the dash in one fell swoop. The dashboard-diet is supposed to hint at Audi’s slimmed down, ‘Ultra’ lightweight technology – the latest TT is, after all, expected to be 60kg lighter than the old model. Meanwhile, the whole dashboard has been swept around to face the driver, like an old-school BMW’s. Could this hint at some real driver appeal in the new TT? Here’s hoping…
If the instrument display looks familiar, it’s because the 730bhp Audi Sport Quattro concept, displayed at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, used a similar layout – though the TT’s arguably is even more radical, and bound for showrooms, don’t forget.
Plus, that deeply dished, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and the simplified layout of the central tunnel (containing volume knob, MMI controls and an engine start button) are slightly Sport Quattro-esque. Now, if only Audi would build the retro-rally-icon too, it’d really be onto a winner with us enthusiasts.
Another neat, space-saving touch is to be found, of all places, in the air vents. The circular centrepieces double as the control system and display for the heating and ventilation, showing the temperature and direction of airflow, which is altered by twisting the knurled outer edge. A rather elegant solution to cumbersome knobs and dials hogging real estate on the main console.
Directly underneath, a solitary line of upward-facing buttons contains the toggles for the Audi Drive Select system, which tunes the car’s response to the driver’s liking, plus stop-start and parking sensors. In this display model, it’s all lined in rather natty aluminium garnish, though the production car will doubtless offer other finishes (including carbonfibre) at suitably extortionate expense.
The minimalist cabin is one more reason why the Audi TT is one of our Most Wanted cars of 2014. Click here to check out our complete Audi TT scoop, detailing what you can expect under the bonnet, on the outside, and from the driver’s seat.
We’ll see the rest of the new Audi TT in spring 2014: UK sales kick off this summer, priced from £26,000.
By Ollie Kew