The Audi TT is a sports car, produced by Audi since 1998 in Győr, Hungary, available as a 2+2 coupé or two-seater roadster, and now in its second generation.
The development of the Audi TT began in September 1994 at the Audi Design Center in California. The TT was first shown as a concept car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show. The design is credited to J Mays and Freeman Thomas with Martin Smith contributing to the award winning interior design. The TT received production approval with almost all the distinct and innovative design features in the concept remaining intact.
The uninterrupted lines and seamless curves of the concept were a bold departure from typical late 20th century design trends. A previously unused laser welding adaptation that enabled seamless design features on the 1st generation TT, also delayed its introduction.
Named for the successful racing tradition of DKW (Auto Union) and NSU, in the British Tourist Trophy. Most notable races include Ewald Clever in 1938 on a DKW with a Rotary Racketeer engine as well as NSU driver Werner Haas and Rupert Hollaus taking class wins in the 1954 Isle of Man TT.
1st generation TT (8N)
Audi TT (8N)
Platform Volkswagen A4 platform
Engine(s) 1.8L Turbo I4, 3.2L VR6
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2422 mm (95.4 in)
Length 4041 mm (159.1 in)
Width 1764 mm (69.4 in)
Height 1346 mm (53 in)
Fuel capacity 55 litres (14.5 US gal/12.1 imp gal)
Related Audi A3
The production model (internal designation Typ 8N) was launched as a coupé in September 1998, followed by a roadster in August 1999, based on the Volkswagen A platform used for the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and others. The styling differed little from the concept, except for slightly reprofiled bumpers and the addition of a rear quarterlight windows behind the doors.
Mechanically, the TT uses a transversely mounted engine with front or quattro four-wheel drive. It was first available with a 1.8 L turbocharged inline four cylinder 20-valve engine, with either 180 PS (132 kW) or 225 PS (165 kW). The engines share the same basic design but the 225 PS version features a larger turbocharger, an additional intercooler on the driver’s side, forged connecting rods, a dual exhaust, and a few other internals designed to accommodate the increase in turbo boost from roughly 10 psi peak to 15. quattro was optional on the 180 PS (132 kW) engine, and standard on the more powerful version.
Early TT models gained press coverage for a series of high-speed accidents in Europe. Reported crashes and related fatalities occurred at speeds in excess of 110 mph during abrupt lane changes or sharp turns. Both the coupe and roadster models were recalled in late 1999/early 2000 to improve predictability of the car’s handling at very high-speeds. Audi’s Electronic Stability Programme, and rear spoiler were added, along with suspension modifications. All changes were subsequently incorporated into future versions of the car.
The original four cylinder engine range was complemented with a 250 PS (184 kW) 3.2 L VR6 in early 2003, which comes with the quattro four-wheel drive system. In October 2004 a new DSG (dual-clutch) gearbox, which improves acceleration through drastically reduced shift time, was offered along with a stiffer suspension.
Audi also developed a lightened and more powerful “quattro Sport” model, with 240 PS (177 kW) and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).