Audi’s decision to slot an entry-level engine option into its TT coupe range instantly makes the car look more affordable and seems certain to give sales a boost.
Whether buyers will settle on the 1.8 TFSI coupe or be up-sold to one of the more powerful options won’t be of great concern to the manufacturer but the car looks to be a worthwhile one in its own right.
Although less muscular than the 2.0-litre unit, the 1.8 TFSI engine still develops a very respectable 158bhp from 4,500rpm and a healthy 250Nm torque peak that remains available from 1,500rpm through to 4,500rpm.
The rapid shifting S tronic twin-clutch transmission is offered along with the six-speed manual gearbox and, thanks to fuel-rationing FSI direct petrol injection and energy recuperation, both versions also demonstrate a healthy dislike for petrol, with identical combined economy figures of 44.1mpg according to the combined cycle test.
The 1.8 TFSI Sport may represent the £24,070 entry-level point for petrol-powered TTs (undercutting the 2.0 TFSI Sport by a handy £3,000), but it’s still offered with the plusher S Line trim level, though the Black Edition treatment is reserved for the 2.0-litre models.
For Sport models, standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, electronic climate control, leather and Alcantara combination upholstery and a Concert audio system with single CD player and MP3/iPod connectivity.
S line versions upgrade with features including 18-inch alloy wheels, lowered S line sports suspension, a short-shift gearbox for manual versions, S line exterior and interior detailing and xenon headlights with LED daytime running lamps.
This may not be the aurally charismatic, free-revving engine that the purists might want in their compact sports cars but the smooth way it piles on its power and the availability of strong acceleration through almost the whole of the rev-range makes for an infectious driving experience. It excels when the road opens out but is also user-friendly in everyday conditions.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Coupe
PRICES: £24.070-£27,540 - on the road
INSURANCE GROUPS: 32
CO2 EMISSIONS: 147g/km
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 7.2s / Max Speed 140mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 44.1mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front & side airbags, ESP, ABS.
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Heightmm 4178/1842/1352