Sorted, sort of 20 years on, and facing an exciting new rival, the TT gets only tiny tweaks

THE THIRD-GENERATION Audi TT has had it easy in terms of competition, but looming large in its rear-view mirror is the driver-focused Alpine A110 – a two-seat coupe brimming with more historical petrolhead significance than the start/finish straight at Reims.

The solution? A mid-life facelift, of course. That means a new grille, two new colours and a fresh selection of wheels. S-line spec and above get vertical bumper inlets and vents, while Black Edition cars can have the fixed wing from the TT RS as a no-cost option.


> Price £45,000 (est) > Engine 1984cc 16v turbocharged 4-cylinder, 302bhp @ 5400rpm, 295lb ft @ 2000rpm > Transmission 7-speed auto, all-wheel drive > Performance 0-62mph 4.5sec, 155mph n/a mpg, n/a g/km CO2 > Weight 1285kg > On sale Autumn 2018 > Rating ★ ★ ★ ★

Inside there’s an enriched standard kit list full of things you might assume were standard anyway – driving modes, enhanced Bluetooth, light and rain sensors, multiple buttons on the steering wheel, heated door mirrors and light-up USB ports, plus an upgraded version of the Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation.
In reality this is a light refresh, with the most interesting developments happening under the bonnet – namely the removal of the previous 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesels, making the TT a petrol-only affair.

The 227hp version benefits from a power hike to 242hp – eerily close to the Alpine’s output – but we’re driving the TTS, which actually has less power than before. Thank the fitment of a particulate filter for that. You only get 302bhp now, but it’s 0.1sec quicker to 62mph thanks to a faster- shifting S-tronic gearbox. Shop elsewhere if you want a manual version – that’s gone too.

While the updated quattro-only TTS coupe is overall a sharper buy than ever, it’s no match for the engaging and agile A110’s dynamics. But, as ever with a TT, there’s still so much else to enjoy about driving and living with it.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio