From someone who owned and drove Porsches for daily transportation for most of 30 years, this may sound like heresy, but I found the 2008 Twin T Audi coupe a rare, refined experience to drive.
The turbo two-liter engine with the S tronic transmission makes this car an extraordinary machine, far removed from its predecessor in exterior appearance.
The original Audi TT body was overly simplistic, at best dull in visual excitement. The new TT has changed dramatically, with an interesting, aerodynamic fastback terminating with a variable, favorably aesthetic rear spoiler. The front of the TT is effective aerodynamically and aesthetically, in spite of adherence to the current fad in trendy grille shapes.
As with all VW and Audi products, driving is what this car is all about. The feel of the wheel, the quick throttle response and combination of suspension precision for amazing handling and braking put this car in the Porsche Boxter and BMW roadster class.
Acceleration is quick and precise, matching those Porsche and BMW models, and the TT is built with fabrication quality unmatched by any manufacturer, if our test car is representative of the norm. At speed, the car feels as stable at 100 miles an hour as most cars feel at 50, on a closed course, of course. Its quick steering, braking and acceleration provide the driver with a feeling of complete confidence in control. The car is an absolute joy to drive, either on the open road or in traffic. Driving the TT gives you a sense of superiority in performance capacity for virtually any driving situation.
Interior appointments are luxurious and tasteful, with leather where appropriate and quality materials used with obvious logical analysis. The interior abounds with sophisticated tactile qualities and communicates an impression of substantial strength and solid structure to withstand years of exhilarating performance. With a sticker bottom line of $38,470, the TT is an excellent value for any driving enthusiast.
If ownership of a sports car is contemplated anytime soon, make it a priority to visit with an Audi TT long enough to make its acquaintance, drivewise. ?
Automobile designer Jerry Cumbus is director of Automotive Research Center, a national association of auto designers, engineers and drivers.