Review: Audi’s TT Roadster is designed for hot and cold weather

PRETTY BABY: Is there anything better than cruising the Maine coast in a convertible? The 2016 Audi TT Roadster is the answer to every driver’s top-down fantasy.
PRETTY BABY: Is there anything better than cruising the Maine coast in a convertible? The 2016 Audi TT Roadster is the answer to every driver’s top-down fantasy.
Audi

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Another ninety-degree day in what is turning out to be a scorcher of a summer. It’s almost too hot to drop the top on your convertible. I did say almost, for I am driving topless in a beautiful Scuba Blue 2016 Audi TT Roadster. No way I’m not going to let a little hot air keep me from enjoying open air motoring in this groovy sports car.

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Yes, it was hot, but our Audi TT’s air-conditioning system pumped out an amazing amount of cold air even with the top down. I was totally comfortable, my only worry being if my sunscreen was up to the task.

The first leg of my journey was along a costal Maine road. The scent of sea air wafted into the car, making me feel more in touch with nature with the top down. Soon though, it was time to take the Interstate and head home. While waiting for a stoplight on Route 1, I hit the “top up” switch and, in a flash, the Audi TT was completely enclosed. I still had time to turn down the AC before it became too cold.

Our Audi TT has a 2.0 Turbocharged 220 hp four-cylinder engine and the 6-speed S tronic transmission. Although you might expect a few more horses under the hood of a sports car, the TT Roadster will get to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. This also holds true for the Audi TT Coupe.

My conclusion: the 2016 Audi TT Roadster was very capable and loads of fun to drive. Oh, and comfortable too, which you can’t say about some sports cars. Like all Audis, the seats are great, but the TT also had Audi’s Magnetic Ride system. The TT’s adjustable shock absorbers contain a blend of hydrocarbon oil and tiny magnetic particles. This allows the driver a choice of comfort, performance, or a blend of both driving modes. While New England has some best sports car driving roads in the country, they are not always in the best of repair, so it’s nice to have options. In addition to adjustable shocks, the transmission up-shift, throttle, and steering response are also adjustable.

COCKPIT CHARM: Audi is know for its luxury interiors and the TT Roadster does not disappoint. Many of the car’s functions can be accessed on the steering column.
COCKPIT CHARM: Audi is know for its luxury interiors and the TT Roadster does not disappoint. Many of the car’s functions can be accessed on the steering column.
Audi

Another standard feature of note, is the Quattro AWD system. This offers the owner of the Audi TT four-season sports car motoring. While your neighbors’ Miata and 370Z slumber in the garage over the winter, you and your TT can frolic in the snow. You will need, however, a set of winter tires, because the TT is shipped with summer performance tires. While figuring out the climate control system, I accidentally turned on the built-in neck-level heating system on the S Sport seats. Great for a top-down drive later in the season, but certainly not today.

Also, the Audi TT Roadster is high-tech. I’m not big on the “laptop on wheels” fad. However, Audi’s Connect system with online services did catch my attention. Especially the part where they use Google Earth 3D mapping with their MMI Navigation Plus System. With the Virtual Cockpit’s 12.3-inch TFT screen, you really do have the feel of being in an aircraft cockpit. The system even offers Google’s Street View mode. In conjunction with the MMI Navigation, you can write with your finger on the center console controller knob to search for address, POIs and more. The TFT screen also doubles as the car’s instrument cluster and many of the functions can be accessed through the steering wheel mounted controls. The TT also had steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters. I like using them, others don’t.

As expected from Audi, the car’s interior was of excellent quality and finish. I especially liked the diamond pleated S Sport seats, very cool. The Audi’s cabin also was exceptionally quiet with the top and windows up. So much so, that on secondary roads I kept the windows down a crack to hear the exhaust sound.

The styling of the third generation Audi TT is sleeker than past editions. It also offers more than a hint of the awesome Audi R8 sports car in its design. It’s base price starts at $46,400; my higher-end version clocked in at $54,700. I would love nothing better than to walk out the door each morning and find the TT Roadster sitting in my driveway.

Any quibbles with the TT? Well, there is not a lot of storage space. The trunk hold 7.9 cu. ft,, but it is long and shallow in design. You will have to be creative packing for an extended trip. On the plus side, having the top up, or down does not change the trunk’s capacity. Also, there is a standard rear pass through ski bag from the trunk to the cockpit. Which would work very well for my fly rods.

Maybe not a big deal in this era of falling gas prices, but the TT is rated at 30 mpg highway. Also, the EPA’s smog rating is 9, with 10 being the best. Moreover, the 2016 Audi TT gets Consumer Report’s recommendation.

The Audi TT with standard AWD is an excellent choice for a 4-season New England sports car.

[You can find local deals on Audi here].

2016 Audi TT Roadster 2.0T Quattro S Tronic

THE BASICS

Base price $46,400. As tested: $54,700 including destination. Fuel Economy: EPA estimated 23 city/30 highway/26 combined. Engine: 2.0 Liter I4. Transmission: 6-speed double-clutch shiftable S tronic automatic.

THE SPECIFICS

Horse Power: 220 @ 4,500 rpm. Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1,600rpm. Wheelbase: 98.6 inches. Height: 53.2 inches. Overall length: 164.7 inches. Curb weight: 3,373 lbs.

THE GOOD

Fun to drive, AWD, good looking with high-tech features.

THE BAD

Not a lot of storage space.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Sexy styling, smooth ride, good looking, nicely appointed.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER

Mazda Miata, BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster, Nissan 370Z, Mercedes-Benz SLK and Chevrolet Corvette.