Audi TT Roadster convertible - Engines, drive & performance
Only a Porsche Boxster is better to drive than the Audi TT Roadster in this class
The latest Audi TT Roadster features lots of new technology and equipment, but Audi has managed to keep it roughly the same weight as the previous version, which is good news for handling and performance. The roof mechanism, for example, weighs 3kg less than the one in the old car.
The Roadster does weigh 90kg more than the TT Coupe due to the stronger body needed to make up for the removal of the fixed roof. Happily, though, it’s hard to tell the difference between the Coupe and Roadster from behind the wheel. The Roadster feels very settled in corners, with hardly any body lean and excellent stability. Go for four-wheel drive and there’s lots of grip, too – although the TT is still not as exciting as a rear-wheel-drive BMW or Porsche.
As you’d expect from a sporty coupe, there’s a certain firmness to the suspension, but the Roadster doesn’t crash over imperfections in the road. If you shun the standard suspension and specify the firmer (and 10mm lower) no-cost optional S line suspension, you’ll notice bumps and ruts in the road much more.
Audi TT Roadster petrol engines
If you drive the TT smoothly and briskly, rather than on the ragged edge, it feels agile and is easily fast enough to provide driving enthusiasts with plenty of thrills. The TTS model delivers explosive straight-line acceleration, but the less powerful 242bhp 45 TFSI 2.0-litre model is arguably a better fit for public roads, because you can use more of its power more of the time.
The seven-speed S tronic gearbox feels much tighter, shifting gear exactly when you want it to in fully automatic mode and delivering lightning-fast changes when you take control in manual mode.
With this gearbox and four-wheel drive, the 40 TFSI 2.0-litre petrol model can do 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds. With a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, the same sprint takes 6.1 seconds.
If you're after the quickest TT Roadster on offer, though, it's the TT RS that you want. Its turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine produces 395bhp, pushing it on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. As an option, Audi will raise this to 174mph for around £1,500.