Next year, a quarter of a century after we first rubbed our collective eyeballs at the sight of it, the Audi TT is about to go the way of all automotive flesh. 2023 will be its last year.
To commemorate this sad event, you could try to nab one of the eleven RS Iconics that are coming to the UK. If you succeed in that endeavour your Audi dealer will require at least £87,650. Alternatively, you could save yourself £86,155 on that by buying this week's Shed, a late-model Mk 1 (8N) TT Roadster for £1,495.
Mrs Shed has a bit of a thing for the Audi TT, and especially the Roadster version. At one point she owned not one but two of them, one white and one black. She thought they made her look glam as she was driving down the High Street, at least until a local wag Insta'ed some drone footage that he'd taken from directly above her in the white TT. She was wearing a wide-brimmed pink hat at the time. The rather cruel 'spot the boob' caption on the pic embarrassed the poor lass into immediately putting both cars up for sale. Even that went wrong for her when an interested party rocked up and innocently asked to have a look at her TTs, a statement that led to an unfortunate burst of saucepan-based violence and an evening spent giving a statement to the police.
Most of the TTs that limp into Shed's sub-£1,500 sights nowadays have been round the block at least once. Many of them have then been smacked around the face by the block for good measure, but this 102,000-miler doesn't have too much that 'tired of life' look. It's only done a couple of thousand miles in the last three years, with just 34 of those covered between November 2020 and June 2022. Not one word of admonishment has been written on the last three MOT reports.
It's not a quattro, but you might see the absence of all-wheel drive as a good thing. For a start it's one less item on the list of things that might go wrong, a list that could easily include (among other things) coils, instrument pixels and suspension. Another peculiar TT trait was the tendency for the handbrake button to fly off in disgust when someone attempted to renovate the handbrake trim. Weird.
To be honest the Mk 1's numbish handling never quite lived up to its concept-car looks, but a quick replacement of bushes, dampers, springs and anti-roll bars won't cost the earth and will greatly enhance the drive experience.
The other advantage of not having the Haldex on board is the weight saving. Quattro 1.8 turbo coupes weighed 1,410kg, did the 0-62 in 7.9secs and topped out at 140mph. Non-quattro 2WD cars were 130kg lighter, did the 0-62 in 7.8sec and went a couple of mph faster. All that and a 35mpg average from the 1.8 T motor which in TT 180 choon churned out 180hp, not the 165hp that the PH Classifieds bot has it down for, or the even less hopeful vendor claim of a Golf-like 150hp.
If you end up buying this TT, you might have to put up with the odd amusing request for a hair appointment. Obviously the headlamp lenses will need a buffing up at some point too, but other than that and the inevitable paint/lacquer imperfections you'd get on many a 17-year-old car there doesn't seem to be a lot to complain about here. It hasn't been chavved up or, apparently, beaten down.
While perusing the pics Shed saw something that surprised him: that thing where the central air vent pipes 'burst out' of the dash top. He'd genuinely never noticed that before. It's easy to forget just what a trend-setter the TT was when it arrived on the scene back in 1998, and what an impact it had on the design of many cars thereafter.
You may think that the TT look hasn't worn well but the number of them still coming up on Shed's radar week after week shows beyond any doubt that they physically wear well. Here's a true story. Four years ago, Shed pointed a villager in the direction of a green 180 Roadster that he'd come across. To his alarm, she listened to his ramblings and bought it. To his delight, she's still trundling around in it to this day having spent the square root of naff-all on maintenance or even cleaning materials in all that time. Maybe there's something in it. The so-called 'world's dirtiest man', an Iranian hermit, recently died at the age of 94 after bowing to local pressure to have a wash – his first in over 60 years.
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