When the original TT debuted in 1998, the small coupe made a huge style statement that propelled Audi into the spotlight. Although sportier and more luxurious coupes exist, the TT's design commands attention. 2021 may be the third-generation TT's final year of production, but it'll remain an indelible part of Audi's history.
Don't get an Audi TT if you seek superb sportiness or coddling luxury. Instead, get it for its nice everyday manners, usable cargo area, and timeless design.
The TT may look like a sports car, but the two-door can't run with the best on a twisty road. Lifeless steering and dull responses make it feel more subdued than exciting. Added power and chassis enhancements improve the TTS and TT RS, but those lack enough refinement and adjustability to earn track-ready credentials.
Audi is known for luxury, but the TT is a bit rough around the edges. Ride quality is unsettled on standard models, and tire noise is prevalent. However, interior styling and materials are excellent. The tech-rich cabin is a prime example of minimalist design.
The TT has everyday appeal with standard AWD and a usable hatchback cargo area. It also has two small back seats for transporting passengers in a pinch. Then there's its styling, which is what the TT has always been about. If you want to make a fashion statement everywhere you drive, check out the TT.
Get it before it's gone, though; 2021 may be its last year of production.
The TT features a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine producing 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, sent to Audi's Quattro AWD system via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In MotorTrend testing, the TT Coupe accelerated from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, while the Roadster did that sprint in 6.2 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy for both variants comes to 23/31 mpg city/highway for the 2020 model year; ratings for the 2021 TT should be similar.
In the TTS, that 2.0-liter I-4 is upgraded to 288 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque and again routes power through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and AWD. Audi estimates the TTS' 0-60 mph time at 4.4 seconds.
Audi's rally heritage is best represented by the TT RS' turbocharged 2.5-liter I-5 engine, which turns out 394 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. Like other TT models, it uses a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and AWD. MotorTrend measured the TT RS' 0-60 mph launch at 3.4 seconds. In 2020, the TT RS got a 19/29 mpg EPA fuel economy rating; the 2021 model should be similar.
Although Audi has stated the TT isn't long for this world, the iconic coupe's spirit may live on in a new electric sports car. Rumor has it the TT E-Tron (as it may be called) will be built on Volkswagen's modular MEB platform for electric vehicles. As with earlier TTs, style will be an emphasis, and a convertible variant will be offered. Instant torque from electric motors on each axle could make the all-electric TT the sports car it never was as a gas-powered car. Watch for the TT E-Tron to hit the market in a few years.
For 2021, all TT models have blind-spot monitoring as standard. Other safety equipment includes rain-sensing windshield wipers and eight airbags.
The TT is a hatchback, with a cargo area measuring 12.0 cubic feet. Larger cargo can fit inside thanks to standard 50/50 split-folding second-row seats.
Front-row headroom measures 37.1 inches in the TT Coupe, and 36.6 inches in the TT Roadster, which compares to 38.9 inches in the BMW Z4. Only the TT Coupe has a second row, which offers 33.8 inches of headroom. Front-row legroom of 41.1 inches in both TT variants is a bit less than the Z4's 42.2 inches. However, even just 28.9 inches of second-row legroom in the TT coupe is better than the Z4's zero inches.
New tech features are standard on the TT for 2021, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in navigation, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Also included on every TT: two USB ports, Bluetooth audio, a cell-phone signal enhancer, built-in garage opener, and HD radio. Audi's MMI infotainment system runs on the standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster display. The tiny displays at the center of the air vents are a cool detail. Also, newly standard for 2021 is a standard Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.