Audi TT 8S 3rd generation BASE PRICE USA $43,825-$52,825 BODY TYPE Coupe, Convertible Weight loss is good for pe...
Audi TT 8S 3rd generation

BASE PRICE USA $43,825-$52,825
BODY TYPE Coupe, Convertible

Weight loss is good for people, and even better for cars. Audi trimmed nearly 100 pounds from its TT. The result is a more serious, performance-oriented roadster, especially if you opt for the 292-hp TTS. Along the path to higher performance, however, the TT lost some of its exuberant individuality. From the outside it looks like just another Audi. Inside, though, there are intuitive controls in an attractive dashboard, making the TT an even more pleasant place to be.

Base Engine 2.0L/220-hp/258-lb-ft turbo I-4
Opt Engine 2.0L/292-hp/280-lb-ft turbo I-4
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD
Transmission 6-sp twin-cl auto
Basic Warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
IntelliChoice 5-Yr Retained Value 49%
A cool coupe that’s lost some of its personality
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  •   Jarkle reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    The very same day? Somebody at Audi has a mischievous streak a mile wide. Knowing that Porsche’s downsizing crusade has caused disquiet in petrolhead quarters, they waited for the official reveal of the latest, rather muted four-pot 718 Cayman S, and then pounced. The TT RS would be a true red-blooded sports car, they said. With 395bhp and a snarly five-cylinder engine. Sounds to us like a declaration of civil war, but one thing’s for sure: the folks at Audi’s performance division must have been quietly sniggering into their macchiatos.

    / #2016 / #Porsche-718-Cayman-S / #Porsche-718-Cayman / #Porsche-718 / #Porsche / #Audi-TT-RS / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT / #Audi-TT-8S / #Audi-TT-RS-8S /

    Porsche is putting a brave face on it, talking up the new forced-induction boxer fours’ extra power and torque, increased flexibility and improved on-paper economy. But the fact is that, as with the 718 Boxster, in swapping out the preceding naturally aspirated flat-sixes it has essentially emasculated the Cayman by lopping off a pair of its most precious assets, removing the tantalising hint of the exotic that all six-cylinder engines represent in the process. And it’s apparently done so in the pursuit of efficiency; an admirable ambition but one that must rank well behind a sonorous soundtrack and chasing the needle to the redline in terms of importance to dream-achieving sports car buyers.

    With this and the primarily-turbo 911 line-up, it’s starting to look like cool-groove Porsche, the company that so captivated James Dean, Steve McQueen and the like, has been replaced by a more corporate entity, beholden to the eco-weenies and bean counters. This would be unsettling enough on its own – but at the same time Audi, the epitome of corporate conformity with its same-again design and mass premium marketing, is increasingly prepared to stick two fingers up at the regulators when occasion demands it. Just as the R8 remains available with a free-breathing 5.2-litre V10 while all around others are downsizing and slapping turbos on their supercars, so the new TT RS retains its charismatic five-cylinder engine while VW Group stablemate Porsche adopts a more prosaic piston count.

    Some of you are probably screaming already: the RS also has a turbo, and it’s the TT range-topper, whereas the 718 Caymans so far confirmed are merely the bread and butter. It’s true, GTS and GT4 Caymans are still to come, and intel suggests the latter at least may stick to six-pot power. Yet as Porsche’s sporting purity message begins to shudder under the strain of all that extra ancillary plumbing, the choice between a middle-ranking Cayman S and the top dog TT is surely in danger of swinging towards the brand that has been making a virtue of Vorsprung durch Technik for decades. Especially once you also start to compare their vital statistics more closely.

    Pricing for the TT RS – which will come in both Coupe and Roadster variants, thereby putting it into position to ruin the 718 Boxster S’s day as well – won’t be revealed until later this year, though we understand it’s likely to cost just north of £50k. A basic Cayman S will set you back £48,834, or £50,756 with seven-speed PDK. Since the TT RS is S tronic only, possibly the presence of a six-speed manual will help the Cayman keep its driver’s edge – it remains mid-engined and rear-wheel drive, of course, versus the TT’s theoretically more anodyne front-engined, four-wheel drive layout. No doubt, the Porsche will have sensational handling; for this substantial revision of the existing platform, the springs and anti-roll bars have been made stiffer, the dampers retuned, the steering becomes 10% more direct, and the rear tyres are half an inch wider. The options list includes Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with a 10mm ride height reduction, Sport PASM (SPASM?) with a 20mm drop, and the usual Sport Chrono Package and Porsche Torque Vectoring electronically-controlled limited-slip differential.

    But both Ben Barry and Georg Kacher have already taken issue with the 2.5-litre Porsche turbo engine after experiencing it in the Boxster S. While it may have an extra 25bhp and a torque profile that’s at once boosted by 37lb ft and flattened like Wile E. Coyote after encountering The Road Runner in a steam roller (310lb ft @ 1900-4500rpm), it simply does not stir the soul like its predecessor. And that has got to be a problem when there is a similarly positioned Audi coupe available for similar money that not only glories in the aural presence of a Group B era Sport Quattro but scorches 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds.

    Three-point-seven seconds. That’s as fast as the previous generation Audi R8 V10 Plus, the £1million Aston Martin One-77, the 707bhp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Jaguar XJ220, which used to be the fastest car in the world. Obviously there’s more to driving enjoyment than sprinting to the national limit, but it’s hard to ignore how that’s a whole half-second quicker than the very best Cayman S claim with PDK, Sport Chrono and launch control all activated. And the thing is, the TT’s Quattro four-wheel drive means it will do that all day, every day, in almost any weather, which has a kind of brutalistic appeal. The Cayman S gets its own back at the top end on the autobahn, promising 177mph all-in – though since the TT RS is still limited, when you pay extra to raise the 155mph leash to 174 it’s not the comprehensive vanquishing Porsche fans might hope for.

    The Audi is also more aggressive on the brakes. The Cayman S uses four-piston front anchors inherited from the 911 with 330mm discs, but the TT RS features 370mm floating front rotors and monstrous eight-piston calipers; the rear discs are 299mm and 310mm, respectively. That 2.5-litre inline five is 17% more powerful than in the previous TT RS, producing 354lb ft @ 1700-5850rpm as well as the headline 395bhp.

    The seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic has been uprated, too, with a heat exchanger to keep the oil temperature down and a new angle drive to the propshaft saving a couple of kilos. The conventional RS suspension set-up is 10mm lower than the basic TT’s, with RS Sport Audi magnetic ride variable damping as an option.

    Sadly there’s no sign of a ‘sport differential’ at this stage, something Audi has used to great effect on other performance models. The fixed rear wing can be dinked for the more subtle auto-extending spoiler of the standard car, apparently to no discernible disadvantage; either way you get a sizeable four-vane diffuser, framed by a pair of oval tailpipes, the volume of which can be controlled by a dedicated button on the centre console.

    Tech-wise, both Cayman S and TT RS now allow you to select the driving mode without taking your hands off the wheel – the Porsche following the lead of the latest 911, the Audi that of the latest R8. But only the TT RS features all-digital ‘virtual cockpit’ instrumentation and LED headlights as standard; you can upgrade to the latter in the Porsche, which Audi one-ups with a fully active Matrix LED option. The TT RS is also the first production car to feature super-thin OLED lighting at the rear, perhaps helping people identify the low-flying bolide that’s just dusted them…

    What’s more, our recent experience with a TTS long-termer suggests the TT’s MQB-derived platform has plenty of driver- engaging potential. This may not be a slam-dunk, but if Porsche isn’t worried, well, it should be.

    Mustang: Porsche’s other big headache

    THE NEW TT RS isn’t the only reason the Cayman should be fretting – Ford’s rhd Mustang is a massive hit. Over 3800 have been sold since order books opened last June, with demand actually increasing since the start of 2016 (nearly 500 sold in April alone). It’s currently the best-selling sports car globally, too. Seems buyers are being captivated by its compelling blend of all-American good looks, impressive interior, and strong value; prices start at just £31k. And the worst news for Porsche? 70% of UK buyers are choosing the 5.0-litre V8 model, yours for £34,995 with 410bhp. Does that four-cylinder turbo still seem like a good idea?

    In the Porsche corner Truly exceptional chassis, now stiffer, more power, more torque, better mpg and 177mph!

    In the Audi corner MQB chassis is a winner, more power, epic brakes, great noise, stunning cabin and 0-62 in 3.7sec!


    Price 2016 UK £50,756
    Engine 2497cc 16v turbo flat-four
    Power & Torque 345bhp @ 6500rpm, 310lb ft @ 1900-4500rpm
    Performance 0-62mph 4.2sec (4.4sec without Sport Chrono), 177mph, 38.7mpg, CO2 167g/km
    Kerbweight 1460kg

    Price 2016 UK £51,000 (est)
    Engine 2480cc 20v turbo inline-five
    Power & Torque 395bhp (rpm tbc), 354lb ft @ 1700-5850rpm
    Performance 0-62mph 3.7sec (Roadster 3.9sec), 174mph (155mph standard), mpg n/a, CO2 n/a
    Kerbweight n/a

    Still quite the looker! ‘Porsche may have blinked on powertrain but it’s held its nerve on design, the Cayman’s perfect lines helped by the mid-engine, rear-drive layout, which also makes a gift of those mega side intakes.

    What’s German for subtle? Those fat oval tailpipes look mean as you like, and you can adjust their volume via a switch on the centre console. Choose between fixed rear wing or active spoiler.
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  •   Davy Lewis reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Words Jarkle / Photography Chris Wallbank

    MILLTEK TTS 382bhp and big fun

    The Mk3 TTS is a great looking and highly capable car – but with some simple upgrades it can become so much more…

    The #Audi-TT is a deceptively brilliant car with a flexible range of engines and transmissions that mean it really can be all things to all men. Think about it, there are very few sports cars that can claim to be every bit as suited to hammering around the Nürburgring as they are pottering around town, and the TT manages both of these with ease. This amazing spread of abilities became more apparent with the recent launch of the third generation TT, a car that managed to well and truly banish any cruel associations about it being ‘nothing more than a Golf in a frock,’ going on to sell in huge numbers – and it’s only been on forecourts for a handful of months!

    One firm with an intimate knowledge of Audi’s iconic sports car is Milltek, the builder of beautifully balanced and exceptionally sonorous exhaust systems. The TT has long been a part of their product portfolio and the team at Milltek have built up something of a reputation for churning out well modified Audis; the TTS you see here being the latest example. “It’s hard to overstate just how good a car the latest TT is in standard guise; it’s balanced, tight and pretty much the ideal sports car. Making it even better without going too far and compromising one aspect was always going to be a challenge, hence why we spent so long perfecting every aspect,” muses Steve Pound, Milltek’s MD.

    This reluctance to dive right in is more than understandable and explains why the spec of Milltek’s TTS doesn’t include a massive aftermarket turbo, air suspension or wheels big enough to make a West Coast rapper blush. It’s devoid of these things because fitting them would almost certainly push it in one set direction, compromising its overall capabilities and rendering it a less capable car in the process.

    Don’t for a minute go thinking that this car is all show and no go though, because that’s far from the case. Key to this TT’s renewed performance is the Milltek system that now snakes its way out from the engine bay and under the car, before splitting into two and ending with an attractive twin tailpipe design. Even this could have been taken to extremes far too easily. Milltek could’ve opted for a massive diameter pipe with no baffles and boxes, an exhaust that would’ve been the automotive equivalent of tying sticks of dynamite to a bull’s horns, showing it a red rag, then chucking it into the proverbial china shop, before locking the door.

    “Making an exhaust that bellows and makes a huge noise, no matter how much throttle is being applied, is all too easy,” explains Steve with a chuckle. “Making one that actually suits the character of the car that it’s attached to, well, that’s a bit more involved!”

    The system consists of a 3-inch downpipe, high-flow sports cat, a Milltek Sport cat-back system, plus the previously mentioned twin tailpipes. The system manages to tread the fine line between sporty and fabulously vocal, with the resulting noise being aggressive without ever becoming intrusive. Put simply, you’ll have no problem using Milltek’s TTS on a daily basis, and quiet Sunday trips to the supermarket won’t suddenly give way to a noise not heard since the late ’90s, when the likes of the Subaru Impreza and Sapphire Cosworth were kings of the UK scene.

    The system also provides proven exhaling benefits for the deep-breathing inline four that dominates the space between the Milltek TT’s wings. What Milltek don’t know about performance enhancing systems really isn’t worth knowing, and the one strapped to the TT embodies a good portion of their hardwon knowhow. The high-flow sports cat is particularly impressive as it allows the TT to stay on the right side of UK emissions regulations without strangling performance or sound.

    That same four pot also features a VWRacing R600 intake and a Stage 2 APR remap. Both fall squarely into the ‘quality over quantity’ bracket, and both offer up demonstrable performance benefits thanks to their clever design and the careful nature in which they’ve been applied.

    The Volkswagen Racing cold air intake is especially trick, and features a double sized filter housed in a giant air box, the latter fed via a pair of carefully developed inlet tracts. The material inside the box itself is equally sophisticated thanks to a triple layer of TriFoam, a substance that’s commonly found inside the airboxes of F1 teams. Not only does the ‘domed’ design of this material provide increased surface area and contamination capturing properties, it provides even more airflow with lower restriction. The result is a high volume and unbroken supply of cold air funnelled directly from the atmosphere (i.e from outside the TT’s engine bay) to the engine itself, and as all good engineers know, cooler air in the cylinder equates to more power and more bang for your buck.

    “It’s easy to get stuck in the trap of thinking that all induction kits do the same job and therefore are the same, but that’s just not the case,” explains Steve. “We were careful to match the induction tract to the car and its eventual purpose and rough power output. The R600 is good for 600bhp, so we’re more than covered for the foreseeable future!”

    Those three innocuous sounding changes have left the Milltek TTS able to call on a thumping 382bhp of power and 387lb/ft of torque, but there’s far more at play here than mere grunt. Kneel down to inspect the front brake setup and you’ll be greeted by the welcome sight of eight-piston Brembo calipers and imposing 362mm drilled and grooved discs, with Project Mu high friction brake pads sandwiched in between. Not only does this give the TT the stopping power to match its newly hiked power output, it does so without making hauling it to a stop in any way daunting or ‘snatchy.’ Partly that’s down to the brakes themselves, but the fact that the whole car has been expertly corner weighted and balanced certainly doesn’t hurt either.

    We’ve said it before and doubtless we’ll say it again, but building a car like this TT, one that subtly balances performance with everyday, real world usability, takes a staggering amount of thought, planning and considered execution. As we’ve already said, humongous aftermarket turbo setups and other bolt-ons associated with massive power projects are notable by their absence and for once this is a good thing. Driving this car now is an utter joy, a brilliant way to get ‘back to basics’ and to re-connect with what makes hustling a well tuned car such an involving experience. The addition of the Milltek system, Stage 2 remap and VWRacing inlet lends the TTS a hit of extra aggression without ever becoming intimidating or intrusive, while the extra power that these modifications have gifted the car with is available across the rev range.

    A few short minutes behind the wheel are all that’s needed to confirm that Steve, the Milltek team and the guys at Bilstein, APR and VWRacing have more than delivered. Perhaps the ultimate proof of the transformation that’s been wrought is just how balanced everything is, and in this respect it doesn’t feel like a tuned car, certainly not in the traditional sense. Power comes in smoothly and all 382bhp is usable; the exhaust note is sporting at idle and raucous when you want it to be – i.e. when you’re pushing on – and there’s a pleasing induction ‘roar’ to be had when you plant the throttle. It handles well, (the comprehensive corner weighting and balancing evidently having worked a treat), and those beefy Brembos make short work of any excess speed carried into the corners. In short, it’s the ultimate all round, fast road car, one that’s utterly complete in every respect. Impressive? Sure. Fun? Absolutely!

    SPECIFICATION / #Milltek / #Audi-TTS / #Audi-TTS-Milltek / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT-8S / #Audi-TTS-8S / #Quattro

    Engine 1984cc DOHC16v 82.5 x 92.8 bore x stroke and 9.3:1 compression ratio, OE single turbo system, #Volkswagen-Racing-R600 cold air intake with high capacity air box, twin air induction tracts and fullyenclosed filter housing, Stage 2 #APR-ECU remap, #Milltek large bore downpipe and hi-flow sports cat, stainless steel cat-back system with twin tail pipes
    Power 382bhp and 387lb/ft
    Transmission OE six-speed manual with #Quattro four-wheel drive system
    Chassis OE suspension setup with springs and dampers, #Brembo eight piston front calipers with 362mm drilled and grooved discs, #Project-Mu brake pads, OE alloy wheels
    Interior Complete Nappa leather OE interior
    Contacts Millteksport / #APR

    Milltek TTS is a lot of fun Virtual cockpit

    Opposite page: Quad pipes look great / Left: Interior very well equipped.

    “...the resulting noise being aggressive without being intrusive”
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