Northwest NEWS

January 17, 2000

Features

Test Drive: 2000 Audi TT Coupe

2000 Audi TT

The 2000 Audi TT.

2000 Audi TT interior

A look at the interior.

2000 Audi TT engine

A look under the hood.

2000 Audi TT

  • $33,925

  • 1.8, 180hp DOHC turbo-charged 4-cyclinder engine

  • ABS anti-lock brakes

  • 5-Speed transmission

  • Front-wheel drive

  • ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation) traction control

  • Keyless entry

  • Gas mileage: 22 city, 31 highway
   Audi has built a brand=new powerful and unique sports coupe. The 2000 Audi TT is quite a car.

   First shown as a concept car in 1995 in Frankfurt at the German Motor Show, the rounded, flowing steel, aluminum, and black leather design of the Audi TT is described as "retro." With a rounded, race-car look, the Audi TT has a feeling of old, a feeling of new, and a sense of timelessness and classic design.

   I had to duck when getting in and out of this low-slung car, as did my passengers. Once you are in, there is ample leg and head room. The driver's visibility seems very limited at first with the wide, but low windshield, wide side bars, and small side windows.

   There is excellent road feel with the five-valve-per-cylinder, 1.8 liter turbocharged engine, five-speed transmission, disc brakes with ABS, and sports suspension. You can accelerate to 60mph in 7.4 seconds. The test model I drove had front wheel drive, but buyers have a choice between that or Quattro all-wheel drive.

   I really liked the tilt and telescopic steering wheel control. The gauges have a simple and basic look and are backlit with an automatic brightness control. They include the tachometer, electric speedometer, digital clock with date, fuel gauge, coolant temperature gauge, oil temperature gauge, and temperature.

   The front seats are heated with individual rotary controls that have a ring of illuminated dots that show up as you turn the knob. Mine was turned up to maximum this past wintery week. The round aluminum outlets and controls and leather padded support struts add to the "retro" look.

   The brake, clutch, and accelerator pedals are made of perforated stainless steel with rubber studs added for grip and looks. Interestingly, the accelerator pedal is electronic, not connected by a wire cable.

   The test model came with a 4-channel 175-watt amplifier Bose sound system with four speakers in the door and two 2-way rear speakers, and center speaker in the dashboard. The 6-disc CD player is located in a storage compartment next to the left rear seat. The car comes wired for a telephone.

   The split rear bench seat can be folded down for more trunk space. The hatchback-type trunk lid lifts up for 13.8 cu. ft. of luggage space. With the back seats down, there is a total of 24.2 cu.ft. With the Quattro option, the space is reduced to 10.8 cu. ft and a total of 18.6 cu. ft.

   The gas cap release is located in the center of the console. Consistent with the design, the aluminum fuel cap has exposed Allen screws. The cast aluminum wheels are racy looking and have spokes attached at the outer edge of the rim.

   This is the first Audi to be equipped with two side airbags, which are mounted in the front seat backs. They are in addition to the driver and front seat airbags, and give side, as well as front, impact protection.

   The Audi TT, which stands for Tourist Trophy--a car and motorcycle race--has already received national attention and won the following awards: 1999 Golden Tachometer for the Best Coupe, The Auto Channel, Aug. '99; Best of Category, Consumer Product Audi TT, I.D. Magazine, Jul-Aug. '99; and #7 of the Top Ten Cars for 2000, Fortune Magazine, Feb. '99.

   Audi claims "this is not another rich-boy toy, not another deep pockets rocket," and I agree. At a $30,000 base price, it has the look and features of a much higher-priced sports car. My test model was priced at $33,925 with the audio, comfort, and performance (Xenon high intensity headlamps, 17" cast alloy wheels, and 17" performance tires) packages.

   Nice car!