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Thread: Titillation at a price

  1. #1
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    Default Titillation at a price

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...79699,00.html?

    Published May 17, 2008

    Titillation at a price

    By CY CHEW


    HOW does one improve on a winning product? Carefully, it seems. On paper, the Audi TTS doesn't offer much more than its lesser brethren (higher power, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and magnetic ride are now standard equipment) - except that it is topped off with some minor restyling.


    Super sprinter: The TTS takes just 5.2 seconds to sprint to 100 kmh. Blessed with 272 hp and the optional S-tronic transmission - the most powerful Audi to date to be equipped with the clever dual-clutch gearbox - the 1,395 kg TTS is no slouch

    Nonetheless, the TTS is the new flagship Audi TT despite having only four cylinders. Don't be fooled. The TTS takes just 5.2 seconds to sprint to 100 kmh. Blessed with 272 hp and the optional S-tronic transmission - the most powerful Audi to date to be equipped with the clever dual-clutch gearbox - the 1,395 kg TTS is no slouch.

    In fully automated 'D' mode and under light throttle, shifts are fluid and imperceptible. Slide the shift lever into 'M' mode, however, and full-throttle upshifts commandeered via paddles located behind the steering wheel are crisp and faster than what most enthusiasts can muster. Downshifts are accompanied by a satisfying blip that is simply addictive.

    To coax an extra 72 hp out of the standard 1,984 cc four-cylinder engine, a larger turbo was prescribed together with reinforced internals and a redesigned intake tract/intercooler.

    With a high (for turbocharged engines) compression ratio of 9.8:1, maximum boost pressure of 1.2 bar is achieved rapidly.

    Driving the TTS, one is constantly amazed by the lack of turbo lag. It feels more like a hearty, normally aspirated 3.5-litre. The impressive 350 Nm of torque peaking at 2,500 pm no doubt plays a part in the linear power delivery. The exhaust note is inspiring too, albeit muted from within the cabin.

    And the cabin is a cosseting place to be in. The deep-set seats are supportive without being uncomfortable, although the lack of electrical assistance is surprising given the target audience.

    The rear seats are useless - except for midgets and friends desperate for a ride home - but Audi never pretended this was anything but a 2+2.

    Fit and finish are class-leading, and Audi's cutting edge magnetic ride damping helps ensure the road imperfections are well filtered out. This despite fat 18-inch wheels that cover platter-sized 340mm front brake discs for uneventful braking from unrestricted autobahn speeds.

    To make sure other road-users know you're driving the range-topping TT, there are three TTS specific colours - Solar Orange, Imola Yellow and Sprint Blue. That is if they don't spot the bespoke front bumper with larger redesigned air intakes and platinum grey single-frame grille. At the rear, a matching platinum grey diffuser flanked by twin tailpipes earmark this as the most powerful TT. Aluminium finished wing mirrors have always been an Audi 'S' car trademark and make their appearance here as well.

    In Munich, where the car was unveiled to the international press recently, the Audi TTS proved to be a more titillating rather than exhilarating drive - the car looks better but is too familiar and the power, while good, is not overwhelming.

    Furthermore, the estimated $30,000 premium above the standard two-litre TT seems a bit much to pay for a car that is already good enough.

    Audi TTS Coupe

    Engine: 1,984cc direct injection turbocharged
    Power: 272 hp @ 6,000rpm
    Torque: 350 Nm @ 2,500-5,000rpm
    Transmission: 6-speed S-tronic
    0-100 kmh: 5.2 secs
    Top speed: 250 kmh
    Estimated price: $230,000 (with COE)
    Distributor: Premium Automobiles, tel 6566-1111

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Titillation at a price

    What is so special about this 2.0T in the TTS is not that it is bigger but it is a VNT. Bigger turbo means more turbo lag but a VNT can minimise this turbo lag.

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