Summer springs briefly to mind again this week as the second generation Audi TT Roadster breaks cover, concealing radical new advances in construction and suspension technology beneath a subtle but total rework of the classic TT lines. The successor to the still coveted original TT Roadster, launched in the UK in 2000, opens for order in late November with prices starting from £26,915 OTR, and will arrive with its first UK customers next spring.
- Successor to acclaimed TT Roadster (international debut 1999, launched in the UK in 2000) expected to open for UK order in November 2006 – first deliveries in spring 2007
- Initially available with the 200PS 2.0-litre Turbo FSI petrol engine and front-wheel-drive or the 250PS 3.2-litre V6 with quattro permanent four-wheel-drive
- TT Roadster 2.0 T priced at £26,915 OTR and TT Roadster 3.2 quattro at £31,535 OTR
- 2.0 TFSI S tronic 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, top speed 147mph, 36.2mpg, 3.2 quattro S tronic 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds, top speed limited to 155mph, 29.7mpg
- Advanced Audi Space Frame construction blending 58% aluminium and 42% steel (Coupe 69% / 31%) for outstanding weight distribution and low kerb weight of 1,295kg (2.0 TFSI)
- 100% improvement in static torsional rigidity
- New fully automatic ‘hands-free’ roof operation with improved sound insulation
- Optional magnetic ride system for optimum handling composure
- Retractable spoiler maintains downforce to maximise stability
Like its coupe counterpart, the new TT Roadster is especially notable for its advanced hybrid Audi Space Frame (ASF) body shell blending 58 per cent aluminium and 42 per cent steel to minimise weight, maximise dynamic potential and allow full exploitation of the two powerful petrol engines available at launch. Thanks to the highly sophisticated new shell the four-cylinder version weighs just 1,295kg unladen, and body rigidity has increased by a factor of 100 per cent.
To minimise impact on the weight savings made through the new construction technology, the new TT Roadster retains a cloth hood – electrohydraulically powered in both versions – which is both lighter than before through the use of a new steel and aluminium support framework, and even more insulating thanks to an additional layer of soundproofing.
Incorporating a heated glass rear window, the soft top opens or closes in just 12 seconds, and can now be operated at speeds of up to 30mph. It stows even more neatly and space efficiently than before thanks to a new Z-fold system which stacks the rigid front section of the roof on top of the cloth to form a cover, ensuring that the hood sits completely flush with the body and eliminating the need for a tonneau. Operation is now also completely ‘hands-free’, with no need to attach or detach the hood to or from the windscreen rail. A powered mesh wind deflector is fitted as standard to UK TT Roadster models to streamline airflow through the cabin and minimise buffeting.
The new generation TT Roadster will be powered by either the 2.0-litre Turbo FSI petrol engine with 200PS or the 3.2-litre V6 petrol unit with 250PS. In common with the coupe, 2.0 T FSI versions are front-wheel-driven, and the 3.2-litre models distribute their power via the acclaimed quattro four-wheel-drive system. Six-speed manual transmission is a standard feature of both versions, with the S tronic twin-clutch automatic transmission (formerly known as DSG) available as a cost option.
Underpinning the latest Roadster is a new suspension configuration incorporating a multi-link set-up at the rear for optimum composure at speed. Helped by its wider track, and by new electromechanical speed-sensitive steering and a new high performance braking system, the advanced chassis permits dramatic improvements in the TT Roadster’s handling adjustability and overall agility compared with the outgoing model, combined with noticeable gains in ride comfort.
To amplify these major improvements even further, a futuristic magnetic ride system is also available as an optional extra for both TT Roadster models. The system’s sophisticated dampers are filled with a magnetorheological fluid containing minute magnetic particles that can be influenced by an electromagnetic field. By applying a voltage to the system’s electromagnets, the viscosity of the fluid is altered by the affected magnetic particles, increasing resistance to damper movement to iron out pitch and roll when necessary, and reducing resistance when ride comfort takes precedence.
Stability at speed is also enhanced by an electrically powered rear spoiler which helps to increase down force on the rear of the TT Roadster, and retracts to sit flush with the body when not required.
As was the case with the original TT Roadster, the list of standard equipment for both versions is comprehensive. It includes powered roof and wind deflector operation, sports seats with leather and Alcantara mix upholstery for 2.0 TFSI versions or full leather for the V6, electronic climate control, a new generation MP3-compatible audio system with single CD player, an RS 4-style flat-bottomed leather-rimmed steering wheel and a Driver’s Information System (DIS). In addition to full leather upholstery, V6 versions add front seat heating, an enhanced braking system, an exterior light styling pack and quattro four-wheel-drive. Alloy wheels are 17-inch Trapez design in the 2.0 TFSI or 18-inch 10-spoke design in the V6.