2018 Audi TT Driving Impressions

The chassis is aluminum and steel, a design in pursuit of good handling, and the TT comes out fairly nimble and balanced. The progressive steering with variable ratio and variable electric assist allows quick flicks in switchbacks and mountain hairpins, while contributing to stability on the freeway. However road feel is a bit lacking.

The handling is fairly balanced despite an a less-than-ideal design, with the engine extending forward of the front axle, making weight distribution 60/40 front/rear–nose heavy. With that limitation, it’s inevitable that the TT will understeer, when it’s being pushed in corners.

The faster TTS uses a magnetic suspension that’s firmer than the TT’s while delivering a better ride on rough pavement. But still we want more road feel.

At 75 miles per hour a rear spoiler rises from the deck. Audi says it generates 110 pounds of downforce at 155 mph, which means you’ll never feel it. But it looks cool.

The TT RS is ready for the track. Its turbocharged 5-cylinder engine (Audi has a long history with winning five-cylinder racecars) makes a whumping 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet torque, to get to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds using launch control to keep the tires from spinning. The larger engine actually puts more weight up front, but its power can be used to compensate for understeer. Quattro allows it.

The available Dynamic Plus package for the RS includes carbon ceramic front brakes, and fixed dampers instead of the magnetic dampers. The fixed dampers are firmer and lower the stance. The package also includes a carbon fiber engine cover, and an electronic release in top speed to 174 mph from a mere 155. Track only please.

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