CarCorner Review: 2012 Audi TTS 2.0 Quattro Roadster


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By Cathy Droz and Bill Zervakos –

Introduced more than a decade ago, the Audi TT features an intriguing design, and the second-generation 2012 Audi TTS adds some substance to the style, with more power under the hood and sharper handling in the curves.

Offered as either a 2+2 coupe or a roadster, the TTS returns largely unchanged from last year. It uses the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the standard TT, but the use of an intercooler and a larger turbo helps kick output up to 265 horsepower verses the TT’s 211 hp. The TTS also rides slightly lower and benefits from a sportier suspension and standard all-wheel drive. As a result, the TTS brings much more of a fun quotient to the dance than the TT.

The all-wheel drive quattro system has been customized specifically to the TTS for faster response time. Unique body treatments, 19-inch wheels and black brake calipers provide the visual differentiation from the TT. Safety features include front, side and knee airbags, run-flat tires with pressure monitoring and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes and stability control.

2012 Audi TTS 2.0 Quattro RoadsterStandard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, summer performance tires, an automatic retractable rear spoiler, adjustable drive settings that alter suspension firmness, steering assist and the exhaust note, automatic xenon headlamps, LED running lights, automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic climate control, eight-way power sport front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

The TTS roadster adds an electrically powered convertible top, a power-operated wind deflector and a trunk pass-through with ski bag. The optional navigation system brings with it real-time traffic and a choice of either a six-CD changer or an iPod/MP3 player interface. Heated seats are a stand-alone option. My test car came with the NavSystem, Phantom Black Pearl paint and heated front seats bringing the base price of $50,000 to $53,870 with destination charges.

The 2012 TTS features a tastefully designed interior that makes use of top-notch materials. The navigation system’s dash-mounted controller placement isn’t as intuitive as some, but most other controls are straightforward and within easy reach. The seats are both comfortable and supportive, and although the roadster can accommodate only 8.8 cubic feet, it does feature the aforementioned pass-through with removable ski bag for longer objects.

The roadster’s folding cloth top might seem a bit outdated compared to the retractable hardtops found on some of its rivals but I for one appreciate the cloth top and it maintains the TT’s clean lines and folds flat into the rear bodywork. The multi-layer headliner and glass window also manage to keep the cabin quiet and well-insulated.

The 2012 Audi TTS boasts considerable performance improvements over the standard TT. The 2.0-liter isn’t the most exciting engine out there, and while its power delivery is quite broad, I was a bit disappointed with the turbo lag. The automatic dual-clutch gearbox worked well and my test car did come with Audi Launch Control, although I didn’t really have an opportunity to play with it.

The TTS zips through twisties easily and with a level of agility the TT doesn’t exhibit. That said there’s a pretty fair amount of competition in this segment so I’d suggest trying several to see which one fits your lifestyle.

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