We've barely driven the new TT and Audi has gone and chopped the roof off, the new Audi TT Roadster joining the debuts at next week's Paris show.
Roadster the better for showing off that interior
Described in the official press release as 'openly sporty' this perhaps unfortunate turn of phrase will do nothing to curb sniggering among powerfully built types about the stereotypical buyer of two-seat roadsters. But we're above that at PH and wouldn't stoop to exploiting unfortunate translations for cheap laughs.
So we'll instead turn to the words of known romantic Prof Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's steely head of development. "The concept of designing a compact roadster following clear geometrical rules formed the original idea for the Audi TT in autumn 1994," he says. "With the new TT Roadster, we have developed this concept in a consistent manner and further improved the technical experience in the car." And to think Mazda offered us 'lots of fun' as a key development goal for the new MX-5. Sentimental fools.
310hp TT S Roadster gets all the goodies
For those harbouring dreams of wind in the hair AND adherence to clear geometrical rules the TT Roadster is clearly the one to go for though, the technical features broadly in line with the coupe
. So the range is headed by a 310hp TT S Quattro with S Tronic dual-clutch transmission, a 230hp 2.0 TFSI in S Tronic Quattro or front-drive manual form also available. As per
there's also a 184hp 2.0 TDI Ultra, all models slightly behind their hardtop equivalents on mpg and CO2 thanks to a c. 90kg weight penalty (the like for like figure comparing a manual 2.0 TFSI manual). This also impacts slightly on performance but we're talking tenths here and there, the additional steel bracing in the A-pillars, sills and between the suspension components increasing torsional stiffness as well as adding the necessary rollover protection.
The power-operated roof is 3kg lighter than before, fully fleece lined for thermal and acoustic insulation and can be lowered at speeds of up to 31mph too. Even with the additional metalwork in the rear bulkhead you still get through-loading ability too and roof up or down you get a full 280 litres of boot space. There's even a hood colour described as 'Jive' should the more stern black or titanium grey options not appeal.
A TT Roadster, following geometric rules yesterday
But even with Audi Space Frame aluminium panels over the steel MQB architecture it's clear there's none of the new MX-5's lightweight minimalism here but then the TT Roadster is a very different beast, even if many of the same stereotypes apply about being, well, openly sporty.
At least that'll afford opportunity to show off your fancy Audi Virtual Cockpit, the new multi configurable binnacle display flagged by Audi as one of the technical highlights of the car. As also seen on the Lamborghini Huracan and, of course, the coupe version of the TT too the display neatly declutters the dashboard and demonstrates Audi's mastery of interior design. Roof up or down and regardless of true sporting potential the TT Roadster will prove a nice place to be, probably the most important target it had to hit.