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    First-generation Audi TT

    / #Audi-TT-225 / #Audi-TT-8N / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT-Quattro / #Audi-TT-Quattro-8N / #Audi / #Quattro / #Audi-TT-MkI /

    I know, I know. You’re going to tell me that most alpha males would rather run a triathlon than an Audi TT. Girl’s car, too petite, a suburban trinket. But there’s more than one reason why you should lay down a first-gen TT before prices take off. Forget all the wearisome hairdresser clichés and remember that back in 1999 the world sighed in admiration at the TT’s design. One of the few concept cars that made it to production broadly unchanged, its timeless Bauhaus lines and modernist interior were universally praised and won a slew of awards. The TT was a game-changer.

    And few design icons look so cheap. Even low-mileage MkI TTs are still small change. A private seller in Uxbridge has a silver 2000 coupé with just 56k for £2195 while Surrey Hills Cars in Hampshire has a mint Olive Green 2001 roadster with 59k, one owner and full history for £3490 – and both are 225bhp versions. Spend some time trawling the online classifieds and you’ll find real bargains like the very early ’ #1999 V-reg 225bhp silver coupé with 60k being sold by Brian Whitcombe in Puxton for a just £2000.

    These millennial TTs are the purest and the earliest chassis number cars will become collectible. And if a sixty dash of 6.4sec and 150mph aren’t fast enough for you there’s always the 2003-on 3.2 #V6 and #2005 TT Quattro Sport. The 246bhp V6 cracks sixty in 6.2sec while the lightweight 240bhp Sport does it in 5.9. But the limited-edition 800-unit Sport is the one everybody wants with its contrasting roof colours and brace bar instead of rear seats. Prices have warmed up noticeably of late and you’ll be pushed to find even a mileagy one for less than £7k. As the rarest TT of all they’re the going to be the best investment and low milers could see £15k before long. But the most compelling reason to snap up a first-gen TT is that they’re so reliable and easy to own. Cambelts and tensioners need regular changes, anti-roll bar bushes wear, the frail standard water pump should be upgraded to one with a metal impeller and instrument pod failure is common so look for missing pixels.

    The best TT MkIs won’t stay this ridiculously cheap for much longer. Find a sharp sensible-mile TT with a continuous Audi history and you’ll be buying at the rock bottom of the value curve.

    COST NEW £29k 1998 UK

    VALUE NOW £3000 2018 UK
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    2014 TT Gen 3 2.0 TFSI Special K #Audi-TT-K-Custom has created an alternative to the Gen 3 TTS, this ultra-low, 2.0 TFSI… Words Davy Lewis. Photography Jape Tiitinen. MK3 TT 2.0 TFSI with 330hp.

    When it comes to Gen 3 Audi TTs, it’s the S and RS models that tend to get the lion’s share of attention. Which is understandable. The S makes a very healthy 306bhp, and the recently launched RS is a 395bhp powerhouse. But it’s fair to say that these two cool coupes command a premium price, too. You’ll need over £30k to bag a used S and over £53k for a new RS – and that’s before you begin ticking those must-have optional extras. But there is another solution... the TFSI model.

    This lower-spec #Audi-TT-K-Custom-8S comes with a perky 2.0 turbo, which makes a useful 226bhp. In S-line trim, it looks the part, with subtle body additions, nice alloys and spec’d up interior including sports seats. Best of all, used TFSI TTs start from around, £22k, so they’re far more accessible than the S and RS versions. What’s more, you can take power up to around 330bhp (more than a stock TTS) with some relatively simple tuning work.

    For Nicolas Konhäuser, the 2.0 #TFSI TT made perfect sense. As a seasoned car builder and CEO of K-Custom Tuning in Germany, he wanted something that he could play around with to demonstrate the potential of these non-S/RS models.

    Upon taking delivery of the brand-spanking-new Audi, Nicolas got it straight into the workshop. The plan was to create the first ultra-low Gen 2 TT, but without using air-ride. Perhaps not the most practical thing to attempt, but then this was an exercise in extremes, to show how far things can be pushed, which would in turn get the car and K-Custom Tuning noticed. I’m not for one minute suggesting that lowering your Audi to this level is advisable (certainly not with the roads and speed humps in the UK), but you don’t have to go to this level. And this TT can be raised up in the workshop, when not in ultra-low show mode. For example, you could achieve a more performance oriented set up that still offers a good balance of looks and handling instead.

    For the exterior, Nicolas wanted something that would set this Gen 3 TT apart from the rest. As ever, this involves treading the fine line between something that complements Audi’s original design, and getting it very wrong with tasteless additions. For Nicolas, the lines of the TT looked perfect from the factory, so he has merely added some carbon fibre goodies.

    We’re not just talking splitter or door mirrors though (however the mirrors are carbon, of course). No, he’s fitted a full carbon front bumper and wings. These bespoke items really do the trick of making the TT stand out, and they also save a fair amount of weight, which is a bonus. The bumper has been wrapped, around the lower intakes, but left in bare carbon elsewhere, which links in neatly to the wings. The exterior is finished off with a green wrap and an ABT rear wing.

    Inside things are nicely equipped already. It was ordered with the fantastic Audi virtual cockpit and sports seats with diamond-stitched Alcantara centres. Nicolas has fitted a rear roll cage, which lends the cool coupe a certain motorsport air. And that’s it.

    Although this TT certainly stands out for its looks, it isn’t merely an exercise in style over substance. Under the bonnet, the 2.0 turbo lump has been fitted with an HG Motorsport downpipe, performance exhaust and a carbon fibre intake. With new software, it makes around 330bhp, which is more than a stock TTS. The next stage would be a hybrid turbo, which would see power jump to over 400bhp, and take performance into TT RS territory. But, for now, 330bhp is just fine.

    In line with the newly found grunt, Nicolas has wisely upgraded the brakes. The eight-pot calipers came off an R8 and grip 365mm discs, so they’re designed for stopping a heavier faster car. Should stand the TT on its nose, then.

    And that’s about it. A Gen 2 TT that has the looks and power to punch well above its weight.

    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #Audi-TT-2.0TFSI / #2014 / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT-tuned / #Audi-TT /
    Audi / #Audi-TT-8S / #Audi-TT-HG-Motorsport-8S / #Audi-TT-HG-Motorsport / #H&R / #Audi-TT-2.0TFSI-8S / #MB-Design

    Engine 2.0 TFSI, #HG-Motorsport downpipe, performance exhaust system, carbon fibre air intake, re-map
    Power 330bhp
    Transmission 7-speed S-tronic
    Brakes Audi R8 8-pot calipers with 365mm discs up front, VW Passat R36 calipers with 360mm discs rear
    Suspension K-Custom #H&R-DEEP coilover suspension, 150mm with camber plates
    Wheels & Tyres 9x20in ET42 #MB-Design-LV2.3 deep concave 3-piece wheels, 225/30R20 Hankook S1 EVO tyres
    Interior #Heigo-Clubsport roll bar
    Exterior Carbon fibre front bumper, carbon fibre front wings, carbon #ABT rear spoiler
    Tuning contacts #How-Deep , #K-Custom , HG Motorsport

    Below: Hard to believe this isn’t on air-ride... Right: 2.0 TFSI now makes 330bhp. Left: Alcantara seats and half-cage. Below: Carbon fibre wings and bumper. Top: Rear end is seriously smooth....

    “The next stage will be a hybrid turbo...”
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    Early Adopter. The Gen 2 TT RS is fresh out of the factory, but German tuner, HG Motorsport, has already tweaked one of these fiery five-pots… The first tuned Gen 2.

    TT RS World's first tuned Gen 2

    There’s been a whole world of hype surrounding the new TT RS. Right from the off, Audi fans were hungry for info on the second generation car and speculation was rife. When it was finally unveiled, it was greeted with enthusiasm. Some may have baulked at the price once the options sheet had been subject to vigorous box ticking, but this is standard for an Audi. The Gen 2 TT came out very well in road tests, with even hackneyed motoring journos admitting it’s a good car. And they absolutely loved the engine. The only slight fly in the ointment (in the UK at least) is that this year’s allocation is limited to just 200 cars. Which is sure to make these things a rare sight on the roads (until next year).

    With 400hp (395bhp), 0-62mph achievable in an eye watering 3.7secs, and a top end of 173mph (when derestricted), the performance credentials are impeccable. However, the tuning and aftermarket industry has been champing at the bit to begin tweaking this rapid fivecylinder and this, my friends, is the first offering.

    Unveiled at the recent Essen Motorshow, it’s HG Motorsport’s take on the TT RS. It represents a package of bolt-on upgrades that are designed to enhance the TT RS’s already desirable character. It’s clear that the revised 2.5 #TFSI unit has big potential, so HGM began by removing some of the restrictions. Their demo car has been fitted with a bespoke sports exhaust featuring 89mm pipework and a more efficient air intake system.

    This should improve the flow of air and gasses, but also allow that sonorous 5-pot to really howl when provoked. A larger, more efficient intercooler joins the party and should help to reduce temps – something that will become essential when the next stage of tuning arrives. A larger diameter downpipe and lightweight carbon fibre intake system are being developed too, with the downpipe promising significant potential gains. No power figures are available for the initial hardware upgrades, but once it’s been fully mapped and tested, we’ll update you. One thing’s for sure – once large turbos and supporting upgrades are added, we’ll be seeing new TT RSs with upwards of 500bhp.

    Of course, being a show car at Essen, the exterior needed something to show it isn’t factory spec. HGM has achieved this with a set of beefy 9.5x20in threepiece alloys. The Schmidt FS-Lines have a real supercar style to them and look great with matt spokes and polished barrels. These high-end alloys sit very neatly within the TT RSs arches, thanks to the substantial drop on KW Variant 3 coilovers. The exterior of this black coupe is finished off with some HGM graphics. So there we have it – the world’s first tuned Gen 2 TT RS. It doesn’t have a huge amount of upgrades, but it makes a statement and I don’t think it’ll be long before we see plenty more…

    Above: Virtual cockpit. Below: The 5-cylinder powerhouse.

    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #Audi-TT-RS / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #2017 / #Audi-TT-RS-8S / #Audi-TT-RS / #Audi-TT-8S /

    Engine 2.5 TFSI 5-cylinder, #HG-Motorsport performance exhaust system, uprated intake system
    Transmission S-tronic
    Suspension #KW-Variant-3 coilovers / #KW
    Wheels #Schmidt-FS-Line / #Schmidt 9.5x20 3-piece alloys with 245/30x20 Hankook Ventus S1 Evo tyres
    Contacts #Audi-TT-RS-HG-Motorsport
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    ‘If you are told that a certain person has designed a car, then this will be wrong. Cars are designed by teams, not individuals’. #Audi-TT #design / #Audi / #2016 /

    This was one of the first things which Dany Garand said when I spoke to him in Ingolstadt, just after the new TT had first been shown to the public at Geneva. In fact, Dany is the leader of the team which is responsible for the design of the TT, but he emphasises that it is very much a team effort. As with most other new Audis, it took six years from the initial briefing meetings to the actual production of the car and the first four were spent on finalising the design, while the last two were concerned with turning the designers’ ideas into a production vehicle.

    Garand explained that one must not look upon the new TT as a development of the Series 2 TT. This is far from the truth and the initial meeting about the styling of the car showed that there was a need to go back to some of the basic design features of the original model which many regarded as more sporting than its successor.

    As a result, there are certain styling features which are throwbacks to the original TT. When the Series 2 was introduced, it was clear that there was no longer a sharp division between the panel beneath the rear window, and the rest of the body. Instead, there was a smoother line with no evidence of a notch. Now, the original theme has been pursued, with a definite change of contour just beneath the rear window.

    Although the styling of the area beneath the rear screen has reverted to something close to that of the original TT, the construction method is entirely different. When the first TT was produced, the top cabin section was welded to the basic body and so that crease between the two sections was actually a weld line, both sections being steel. Now that aluminium panels are used, the crease has been re-introduced, but there is no joint, the whole area being a single aluminium panel.

    The side sills no longer flare upwards towards the rear and are much more parallel to the ground, emphasising the solid stance of the new model. The roof is longer and flatter than before, and the lengthened wheelbase, a consequence of the MQB modular platform, brings the wheels closer to the extremities of the body. With virtually all Audis, the designers keep to a ratio of one third for the top section with the roof and windows, and two thirds for the body below the waistline. This proportion is an essential part of the styling character of Audis. With the new TT, however, the ratio has been pushed just a little further, with the top section occupying just less than one third of the side view, and the area below it being higher. This slight change in proportions makes the TT look more sporting.

    I asked Dany whether any thought had been given to giving the TT flared wheel arches, rather than the ‘stuck on’ sections which have been characteristic of the first two models. He explained that this idea had been explored, as were many different options, but it was felt that the ‘separate’ wheel arches had become a characteristic of the TT and it would be unwise to change them. Exactly the same argument applied to the point where the front wheel arches cut into the sides of the bonnet. Because the bonnet is now an aluminium pressing, it has less strength than the earlier steel panels and so there was some pressure to do away with this notch as it might weaken the bonnet. In the end, though, the cut-out was retained.

    Another feature which is a throwback to the first TT is the use of two tail pipes, one at either side. Admittedly, the lowpowered versions of the original TT had just one tailpipe, but the Series 2 had a pair at one side and it was felt that the twin pipes of the original made more of a statement about the character of the car. That is why the new model has two pipes, and these are the same for all models, with the exception of the TTS which has two pairs of pipes, but at the same positions. And, whereas the Series 2 TT had a rather bland version of the original TT fuel filler, that fitted to the new car is much more like the earlier version.

    I asked Dany about the front end of the new TT, suggesting that, with its aluminium transverse ribs, the grille of the TTS looked rather heavy. He explained that the design team wanted the TTS to be immediately recognised for what it is, and so the front end, with the more decorative grille, and the back end with its four tailpipes, would make it distinctive.

    I think that moving the four rings to the bonnet itself, like the R8, has been a good move, but I still feel that the front grille is too dominating. Notice that the bevels at the top corners are bigger and more sharply executed than any other Audi so far. Throughout our conversation, Dany constantly referred to the ‘tension’ in the design. When I asked him to explain this he pointed out that all the major styling lines, like the tornado line which runs down each flank, are tightly drawn and that every aspect of the styling gives the impression that there is no wastage. One small feature shows the difference between this model and the two previous designs. The tornado line does not drop as it gets to the back of the car, but blends in with the shape of the rear light units Much the same is true of the front end styling, which has been devised so that it looks less rounded that before.

    The more I looked at the new TT, the more I realised that the design team’s efforts to give it more of the feel of the original, and a more sporting character, have certainly worked. It will be interesting to see what TT enthusiasts think when they get a closer looks at the new TT in the flesh. I have a suspicion that it will be well received and the Series 2 may well be regarded as the ‘soft’ one.
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    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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    MK1 TT
    1.8T with 353bhp

    WIDE BOY With big arches and 10.5x18in alloys, this 352hp TT has some serious road presence…

    The original TT still ranks as one of the most significant Audis ever made. When this curvaceous, bold design was unveiled back in the late 90s, it made a huge impact. Here was a production car that looked very much like the original concept, and it was available to buy. Not only did it look fantastic, its performance credentials were strong, too.

    The venerable 1.8 20v turbo found in the S3 8L saw some upgrades, which took it to 225PS (221bhp). This gave the cool coupe lively performance, matched to a slick 6-speed manual box. With quattro drive, it hooked up the power and was quick off the mark, as well as surefooted when the going got slippery.

    With heated leather seats, a very cool looking dash and xenon lights it was a very nice thing to own. Back in 1999, a new TT would have set you back almost £30k. Today, you can pick one up for under £2,000, making them a bit of a bargain.

    Laszlo, the owner of the TT pictured saw the potential with a TT immediately.

    Having owned a big old Mercedes, he wanted something, small and sporty that was also fun to drive. A TT made sense – it was the right money and offered lots of tuning potential. “I wanted to switch from the yacht like feel of the Benz, to a stiffer, lighter sports coupe,” he says.

    Things began slowly with a simple air filter upgrade and ECU remap. But having seen lots of big power Audis around, it wasn’t long before the silver TT was sent to respected local tuning firm, Turbotuning.

    Here, the 1.8T was stripped down and rebuilt with fully forged internals including Mahle pistons and race spec bearings. The plan was to make the car as reliable as possible, so boost was held back to a relatively modest 1.5bar. Even so, with a Garrett GT2871 turbo, plus supporting upgrades, the TT made a very handy 352hp and 531Nm. Although we hear about plenty of 400+bhp models with large turbos, I have to say around the 350bhp mark seems to offer a great balance of performance and drivability for the road. I’ve been out in lots of TTs with this sort of power and they’re great fun. Plus, there’s less stress on the relatively small capacity 1.8-litre engine – something to take into account unless you liken spending time getting things fixed all the time.

    But there’s more to this TT than a decent bit of poke under the bonnet.

    Up front, Laszlo has fitted a set of six-pots from a Porsche 996. These big brakes required adapting to fit, but do an admirable job of stopping the little TT. With four pots at the rear and Ferodo DS pads, this thing scrubs off speed with aplomb.

    One area that any TT will benefit from upgrades is the chassis. In stock trim they’re quite soft feeling and set up for a neutral handling – as you’d expect. But with some tweaks, you can transform them. With a full complement of Powerflex bushes, the chassis and steering components now feel reassuringly tight, which translates into a much more positive feel to the steering and general handling. Bushes may not be the sexiest of upgrades, but they really do make a huge difference – especially on an older car, where the stock items are likely to be worn. With uprated anti-roll bars, the chassis is well set for hard use.

    One thing you can’t miss is the rather wide wheels. The 18in Japan Racing alloys are a huge 10.5 wide, which is why a set of, what the Americans like to call “overfenders” have been fitted. Some will love them others not so much, but you can’t deny they give this little TT serious road presence.

    A V6 TT front bumper has also been fitted together with the rear bumper insert, which looks much fresher. There’s also a V6 rear wing.

    Inside, Laszlo has really gone to town. The bucket seats have been trimmed in leather with yellow stitching with cheeky R8 logos. The R8 theme continues with the steering wheel and gearknob, complete with open gate.

    So there we have it. A Mk1 TT with an aggressive, OEM+ look, that’s also packing a nice punch thanks to the engine tuning – with the potential for a lot more should he wish to increase the boost and maybe fit a larger turbo.

    Top: Rear seats have been removed Below: 1.8T is forged and runs a GT2871.

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-TT-225 / #Audi-TT-8N / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT-Quattro / #Audi-TT-Quattro-8N / #Audi / #Quattro / #Garrett / #Garrett-GT2871 /

    Engine 1.8 20v turbo, Turbotuning shop rebuilt with #Eagle rods, #Mahle pistons, stronger bearings, low compression with rebuilt head, #Rothe turbo manifold, GT2871 Garrett turbocharger, 76mm exhaust system, custom exhaust with 90mm tips, custom intake, #Ramair filter, #HG-Motorsport intercooler 12-row #Motec oil cooler, F#orge BOV and boost controller, 630cc injectors, Walbro fuel pump

    Transmission 6-speed manual, stronger clutch with Kevlar disc, #Torsen rear diff
    Power 352hp and 531Nm at 1.5bar
    Brakes Porsche 996 fronts with 6-piston calipers, 4 piston rears, Ferodo DS pads and braided lines

    Suspension Custom rear control arms (GL), #Powerflex bushings all around, GL front strut bearing without damping, custom ARBs, #Eibach spacers, wheel bearings converted to studs, #Sachs dampers, custom air-ride setup with Viair compressor and #Airlift-Autopilot - #Air-Lift-V2 (tuned by #Fakukac )
    Wheels 10.5x18in #Japan-Racing-JR-11 wheels with 255/35 tyres
    Exterior V6 TT front bumper and rear insert, SEAT Cupra front lip, V6 TT rear wing, #EPMAN Racing bumper mount, Porsche green mirror housings, custom arch flares made up from Nissan SX kit
    Interior Bimarco bucket seats with Porsche-style leather upholstery and stitching, custom rear seat delete and crossbar, R8 steering wheel and gear knob, custom open gate, Osir gauge holder, Defi Stepmaster gauges, Porsche green details

    Left: Porsche 6-pots Below: R8 open gate gear lever.

    Right: R8 themed interior Below: R8 wheel and gearknob.

    “The TT made a very handy 352bhp and 531Nm”
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    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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