Last week it was my pleasure to enjoy a week road-testing the brilliant Audi TT (pictured left) powered by the usual 2.0L TSFI 230PS petrol engine. Once, back in the day, we would never have dreamed of considering a sports car with a diesel engine – it just wasn’t right, somehow. Oil-burners were for working vehicles, not recreation. How things have changed.
Now we really can have sports car desirability and agility with far fewer visits to the filling station and this is the genuinely winning formula which has just secured the frugal Audi TT TDI Ultra the ‘Best Sports Car’ accolade in the 2015 DieselCar Magazine Awards. It’s tempting to say – as it is a magazine about diesels – that, ‘they would say that, wouldn’t they’; yet the fact remains it appears to be true.
In the Ultra version of the acclaimed aluminium and steel composite-bodied Coupé the impressive 184PS output from the 2.0-litre TDI engine is bolstered by peak torque of 380Nm available between 1,750 – 3,250rpm, accounting for impressive in-gear performance which is closely matched to its TFSI counterparts, say Audi. Acceleration to 62mph is dealt with in just 7.1 seconds on the way to a maximum speed of 149mph. The potential for over 62mpg (but not if you keep trying for 62mph in 7.1 seconds) is also combined with the added benefit of a BIK threshold of just 21 per cent – the lowest in the TT model range – and a VED rating in band C (free for the first year and only £30 thereafter, at current rates).The centrepiece of the cutting-edge TT interior is the Audi Virtual Cockpit, a 12.3-inch TFT screen which uses the latest NVidia Tegra 30 graphics processor to display crystal clear media graphics and infotainment menus in full-screen when required. The Virtual Cockpit is fitted as standard to all models ( more on this in my full TT review next week), and crystal-clear navigation mapping can be optionally specified as part of the Technology Package, which also equips the system with a multitude of Audi Connect 4G Internet services.
Commenting on the award, Audi TT and A3 Product Manager Julie Salsbury said: “The new TT is now more focused than ever before, drawing on the huge success of its iconic predecessors and incorporating up-to-the-minute technology. Our jewel in our crown – the new TDI ultra model – encapsulates this sports car DNA with the added advantage of remarkable efficiency, and it’s tremendously encouraging to have these attributes recognised by the go-to publication on diesel cars.”