Thursday, April 06, 2006

HoTT Stuff: 2007 Audi TT Revealed

Finally. It's here.

The speculation is over. The 2007 Audi TT has been unveiled for the world to see, and you know what? It looks good.

The most obvious (and controversial to some, at least) change is the integration of Audi's new corporate face onto the teardrop-shaped TT. Personally, I like the distinctivness that the shield grille has brought to the Audi fleet, and the TT is no exception in this regard. In short: it works.

As expected, the Shooting Brake Concept did give us a taste of what was coming, as it incorporated the new hood, headlight design, and a modified version of the new grille. The TT actually improves on what we saw with the Shooting Brake, incorporating foglights into the side intakes on the lower fascia, similar to what you see on the A4. In addition to being functional, this adds nice detail to the front end and keeps it from looking overly flat.

My first thought upon seeing the rear view (the photo, at least) was, "Porsche 911." The taillight shape looks like something that would be right at home on one of Stuttgart's finest. I'm not sure this is a good thing for the Audi, because the 1st-gen TT was truly unique. Nothing on it made me think of another marque.

I'll withold judgement, however, because one publicity photo is not nearly enough from which to formulate a properly informed opinion. Assuming the TT is in New York next week, I'll see if I have the same reaction when I look at it in person.

The rest of the rear end is predictably clean. The dual exhaust tips are housed in a matte black area under the rear bumper and the self-deploying rear spoiler is completely invisible when retracted.

Power comes from a choice of either the 2.0 FSI turbo 4-cylinder, which generates 200HP, or the 3.2 liter V6 which adds another 50 horsepower. The TT 2.0T is a front-driver, whereas the TT 3.2 includes Quattro AWD as a standard feature. Customers will be able to upgrade from the standard 6-speed manual to Audi's dual-clutch S tronic gearbox. Also available as an option on the new TT is Audi's magnetic ride system, which sets the car's suspension characterictics by electrically charging magnetic particles inside the oil stored within the shock absorbers. Very fancy. Regardless of what engine/tranny/suspension combo buyers select, I think it's safe to assume that fun will be had by all...

The new TT's interior evolves the "circle" theme introduced by its predecessor. The vents, once again, are all round, with robust looking aluminum bezels surrounding them. Brushed aluminum accents trim the gauges, steering wheel, pedals and center console area. The HVAC controls, shifter boot surround, and main audio controls are also all round, continuing the TT's signature interior design theme. Best feature: the racy, flat-bottomed steering wheel, which, according to Audi, makes ingress/egress easier. The original TT was no picnic to get in and out of, so I'll take them at their word.

Other available options include navigation, bluetooth, adaptive lighting, and a parking aid system. Audi is also touting the new audio system, saying that its control surfaces and interface define a new generation of car audio technology.

To summarize, the new TT appears poised to be a resounding success. It incorporates Audi's new corporate styling queues without sacrificing the car's distinctive identity. You look at it, and it's obviously a TT.

Now, how long until we get to see the convertible?

Press Release: The New Audi TT Coupe

Prior Coverage: Audi To Unveil New TT Thursday

All photos courtesy of Audi AG.