If Sam puts the words 'what could go wrong' in the standfirst of an article ever again, someone tell him to remove them immediately. GL09 CCU has cost me a grand in the past month. I know who I blame.
Certainly it's not the previous owner - although it was him who opted to lower the car after he discovered one of the front springs was broken. Rather than replacing it like for like, he decided to fit something better - makes sense. Unfortunately making a low car even lower, the rear tyres had a tendency to scrape on the wheel arch liners. Obviously I knew at the time of buying I'd have to resolve the issue - but hadn't factored in quite how expensive it would turn out to be. The dreaded noise only happened a couple of times on the test drive; as soon as I cornered at a moderate pace, I was met with constant scraping. It was fine accelerating in a straight line at least, so insert Audi driver-related traffic light racing joke here.
It has taken me this long to rectify it as I've been deliberating whether to put the car back onto standard springs or go down the coilover route. Ultimately I've decided that I'm not going to take the TT on track as the PistonHeads Racing Team are pursuing a second season of EnduroKA and my time and money is going to be focused on that.
The next frustration was that the car had been so poorly set up on the lowered springs that it had destroyed a pair of Michelin PS4 tyres in less than 2,000 miles, so that was another line item on the bill. A big consideration for me when buying a car is having an independent garage that I trust to work on it. Thanks to a recommendation in the Kent forum when I had my TT Quattro Sport (cheers piecost76), I went back to Youngs Garage in Wrotham. Not only did they remember me from three years prior, but they even recalled what work they had carried out on my car. Impressive.
With new standard springs fitted, a set of rear tyres, a full wheel alignment and £1,000 down, I can finally enjoy the car for what it is. So while it feels like I've barely had a chance to go out and simply enjoy driving the TT, I've at least been able to enjoy it as a fine place to be. The seats are super comfortable on a long journey and the heated seat switch is currently enjoying daily use. The Navigation Plus system is pretty woeful and really the only thing that feels dated - in fact the nav in my Renaultsport Megane of the same era was better - but the Bose sound system is a considerable improvement over what I've been used to in recent years, even if it does lack the Bluetooth streaming that the Megane also had.
One of the reasons I bought my first Mk1 TT a decade ago was that I could drop the rear seats and get a bike in the boot. The fact the TT has retained this level of practicality must have played to its advantage over the past 20 years as, lets face it, no one buys an Audi TT to enjoy as a fully-fledged sports car. Even without driving a Cayman, I'd put money on it being the better car to drive, but at least luggage space is one thing the TT would win at in a game of Top Trumps. We're heading to Wales this week with a bunch of other Audis, so I'm excited to finally get the car on some of my favourite roads to simply enjoy driving it.
Car: 2009 Audi TT RS
Run by: Ben Lowden
On fleet since: September 2019
This month: Fixy, fixy
Last month:Buy, buy