Before the R8 supercar became the darling of Audi performance and passion-filled motoring, the TT stood as the driver-centric vehicle in the German luxury brand’s line-up. First offered as a roadster in 1998 with a hardtop coupe coming later, the Audi TT presented the design, performance and equipment to be a fun-loving beast on the road exhibiting the sharpest measure of quattro all-wheel drive. While the car’s eye-catching design and ample performance has remained, there has recently been a long wait for Audi’s response to improving on what has been the winning formula known as the TT sports car. Teasing a view of the new TT’s interior at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show among their showcase at the exhibition earlier this year, Audi has removed the covers off the entire vehicle for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Premiering as the third-generation Audi TT to the world, the Geneva introduction of the new vehicle is realized as a stouter performer and a beacon for Audi’s innovative technology.
As is the case of iconic automobiles such as the Porsche 911 and Ford Mustang, the Audi TT must have presented a touchy situation for car designers. With the traditional TT look being so acclaimed, any attempts to modify the appearance had to be performed for a greater good. In addition, too much change would alienate the crowd who had adored the previous two generations of the Audi TT. Fortunately from what has debuted in Geneva, a harmonious balance was found. In coupe form, the essence of the familiar Audi TT remains but some modern touches. The all-new Audi TT receives a bold Singleframe grille with a hexagonal shape. Redesigned headlights do not directly adhere to other Audi products but includes the company’s innovation lighting technology. Standard equipped with Xenon plus, Audi’s Matrix LED headlights will also be available on the new TT (the latter‘s appearance in the United States is still pending regulatory hurdles).
Improvements in the shaping of the new TT sports car’s Audi Space Frame and the application of aluminum and light steel have provided a leaner third-generation vehicle. Compared to the previous TT, Audi claims to have shaved over 110 pounds of weight when creating the new sports car. The body structure has not been only location where engineers of the new Audi TT have been able to create a lighter weight machine. Efforts placed into weight savings has also been found in the interior with standard seats weighing more than 11 pounds less.
Revealed in January, the interior of the all-new Audi TT is a mergence of sportiness, ergonomics and comfort. Audi wanted to create an aircraft-like appearance with the dashboard layout for the new TT as they developed a cockpit consisting of streamlined controls. The highly visible large circular vents along the dash panel stylishly contain the operational controls for the air conditioning. Gripping onto a flattened rim steering wheel with multifunction controls, the driver of the third-generation Audi TT is presented with a fully digital instrument cluster. Described as the Audi virtual cockpit, a 12.3-inch TFT display eliminates the need for the typical center screen by presenting lists and even maps directly in front of the driver. Standard with MMI radio, the Audi TT will also feature an available MMI touch as well as the MMI Navigation plus unit. Connectivity with 4G LTE technology will support the high-tech in-car solutions for the Audi TT.
In addition to the base TT Coupe, Audi is showing the TTS version for the third-generation sports car. Featuring an increased array of standard features such the dynamic driving system, magnetic ride control, automatic air conditioning and a special aluminum fixed-caliper braking system, the Audi TTS continues to be suited for the performance-seeker.
The powerplants for the Audi TT and TTS have been heavily sweetened in the newest incarnation of the sports car. Still a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, gasoline powerplants feature the enhancement of Audi valve lift system allows the coaxing of even greater horsepower. With a front-wheel drive or a quattro all-wheel drive version set to be available, the 2.0 TFSI engine on the Audi TT will generate 230 horsepower (a 19 horsepower improvement over the outgoing vehicle). For the new TTS, output from the engine is rated at 310 horsepower. Still short of the Audi TT RS, the 45 horsepower boost allows the Audi TTS model to launch from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds. A third 2.0 TDI has also been announced for the Audi TT producing 184 horsepower and stubborn 280 pounds feet of torque. North American buyers of the new Audi TT can at least expect to find gasoline engines available for purchase. Fans of stick shifters will rejoice with the existence of six-speed manual transmissions being offered on both the TT and TTS model. Audi’s S tronic dual-clutch transmission is optional on the new version of the sports car.
The global premiere of the Audi TT in Geneva has largely focused on the 2+2 passenger Coupe as well as the TTS Coupe. Left out but certainly to be not neglected, Audi would be entering a heap of trouble if they do not debut the convertible roadster variant of the Audi TT. Until that time, the 2014 Geneva Motor Show will have a number of other fine Audi creations to delight the eyes. The Audi S1 and S3 Cabriolet as well as a TT quattro sport concept are premiere vehicles appearing as part of their massive display that also featured the latest R18 e-tron quattro prototype sports car.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
It used to a major event in a teenager’s life when they earned their right to drive an automobile on public roads. Though the far-reaching capacity of mobile computer technology for items such as smartphones and tablets have contributed to the open road being less sought-after of today’s youth, it appears soon the an Audi vehicle will decide it can drive itself taking you along as a passenger.
In a recent announcement delivered as part of a presentation at the 2013 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a unique Audi configured with sensors and with the capacity to compute decisions previously left to a motorist has graduated to a pivotal step in advancing driverless cars. The specially equipped Audi TTS becomes the second autonomously piloted vehicle to be rewarded with a “driver’s license” for the state of Nevada. Though technology company Google awarded the first such license to a driverless vehicle, Audi celebrates their vehicle‘s operating permit as being the first acquired by a venture involving direct involvement from an original equipment manufacturer in the automotive sector.
In partnership with Stanford University, Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab have jointly outfitted an Audi TTS sports car with self-driving technology initially for a specialized challenge. Taking the vehicle to Pikes Peak Colorado in 2010, the driverless Audi TTS would negotiate the historic and tricky hill climb course. Consisting of 156 turns over a 12.42-mile stretch, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb course has been recorded as a test of drivers and machines since 1916. The pilot-less Audi TTS sports car’s was successful in completing the course in just 27 minutes. Equating to an average pace of 27.6-mile per hour, the Audi TTS mark comes nowhere close to effectively challenging the human-navigated winners for the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb of this past August. However, this should not take away from the fact the autonomous Audi TTS was nonetheless successful in its 12.42-mile journey.
Through their presentation at the 2013 CES, Audi’s plans for self-piloting driving and parking have become apparent. As the Audi TTS is awarded its license to operate on Nevada public roads, real-world evaluations of the self-driving electronics should produce some of the most desirable data on when some, if not all, elements of this experimental vehicle test bed will influence the next Audi products.
Information, photo and video source: Audi AG, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb