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Audi TT revs up for Geneva auto show

Mon, 03 Mar 2014

Audi has unwrapped its new TT at a media preview proceeding tomorrow’s Geneva motor show, revealing the new look, contemporary interior and updated mechanical package the German coupe carries into showrooms when North America sales get underway later this year.

The third-generation TT has an all-new exterior design. The car is again a three-door liftback and has the same basic dimensions as its predecessor, but is subtly sleeker with more precise detailing and crisper lines. The front end is more aggressive and has a more angular grille, new trapezoidal-shaped headlamps with more prominent LED internal graphics, a contoured clamshell-style hood, and added structure to the lower section of the bumper.

Further back, the new TT has the outgoing model’s prominent wheel flares but gains larger wheel houses for bigger wheels. A defined shoulder line, Audi calls it the Tornado line, runs from the headlamps through to the taillights. The rear end is less rounded than before, and the rear lamps more angular.

The new car is marginally smaller at 164.6 inches long and 72.1 inches wide -- less than an inch shorter and less than half an inch narrower. The 53.3-inch height carries over.

A unique version of parent company Volkswagen’s MQB platform underpins the new TT with a 1.5-inch longer wheelbase. Weight-saving efforts include a floorpan made of hot-formed high-strength steel and cast aluminum. Additionally the hood, fenders, roof, doors and tailgate are aluminum. Audi says the new car weighs about 2,712 pounds, about 110 pounds less than the old TT.

The new Audi also has a more-sophisticated two-plus-two interior and a new digital instrument panel without a center-mounted monitor -- all vital information is directly in front of the driver. The car rides on a new, bigger platform, so interior space is up.

New four-cylinder engines include a revised version of the old car’s 2.0-liter turbo four with 38 more horsepower for 306 total in the TTS. Other changes include a faster-reacting fifth-generation Haldex four-wheel drive system and, in a move Audi’s research and development boss Ulrich Hackenberg suggest makes the TT more responsive than ever, a new aluminum-intensive chassis with variable damping and variable ratio electro mechanical steering. Base TTs use a 2.0-liter turbo four delivering 227 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. The S should hit 62 mph in 4.7 seconds; top speed is limited to 155 mph. Six-speed manual or dual-clutch gearboxes are available. Base models are front-wheel drive with Quattro all-wheel drive optional, while the S has Quattro standard.

By Greg Kable