Concept cars, what a disappointing bunch. All those grand ideas trumpeted at auto shows and then we end up getting the Honda CR-V as well as other common conveyance made lukewarm by focus and meetings groups. Not the Audi TT Coupe, though.
Either bydetermination and luck, or some both, what began as an intriguing design study translated into a road-going model with little compromise, essentially a light re-drawing in the roof line. And it may even be argued that the production version looks better for it. The idea was to create a desirable car that might still be affordable for many people. The eye of the beholder notwithstanding, the Audi TT has generally been desirable and used versions have grown to be more affordable on a regular basis.
As the Audi TT moves into its third generation, the first (code-named 8N) retains a purity of design, an integrity where subsequent face-lifts would only stray from the original point and lessen the impact. This aesthetic angle is amongst the many pleasures of Audi TT ownership. Never underestimate the thrill that always occurs when walking as much as the door while taking in its shapes and proportions, clicking the vehicle open, and stepping inside. It’s a thrill that continues from the cabin, for the reason that interior received just as much styling skill and attention to detail as that striking exterior. The design team included J Mays, Freeman Thomas, and Peter Schreyer, all of whom have become leading figures within theirOnly a couple of ergonomic downsides. The roof’s leading edge is low, so overhead traffic lights are hard to see and a cricking of the neck may be involved. And think about this compact coupe a two-seater despite those little seats in the back. Only those really small or with a crush on their chiropractor would even attempt to squeeze themselves in.
Although the first-generation Audi TT will always be held up as one example of great car styling, its underpinnings are the same as the MkIV Golf (platform PQ34). Didn’t necessarily make it the driving machine of anyone’s dreams, even though this helped with affordability. Still, the 225 version with all-wheel drive makes decent progress (zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds) with reassuring grip. These were recalled and re-engineered, including the addition of a rear wing, suspension tweaks, and ESP, though early European models had issues with high-speed stability.can be another staple of your VW Group: a 1.8L turbo four. This unit has been tried,tuned and tested, and thrashed by now. It’s a well-known quantity that can handle high miles as long as it gets the proper maintenance. More about that in a moment. It’s also a prime candidate for an ECU re-flash or even an upgraded turbo system.
Through the factory, this 20-valve engine powered the 180 and 225 versions. Those numbers are based on the metric PS rating (pferdestarke), which results in 178 and 222 hp. Torque is 173 and 207 lb-ft, respectively. The lower-power version is easy to distinguish from the outside: It only has one exhaust pipe as opposed to the two in the 225, which also has a larger K04 turbo and a second intercooler. The base 180 is really a front-drive model, with all-wheel drive as an option. Drivers shift their own gears: five within the 180, six in the 225.
A V-6 version was introduced for 2004. It makes 247 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque from 3.2 liters of naturally aspirated displacement. It came coupled to the then-new DSG dual-clutch transmission. It’s fast as heck, includes a stiffer suspension, and all-wheel drive is standard.
Let’s return to maintenance. There was a class action suit claiming that the timing belts within the 1.8L engines of several ’99 to ’03 VW and Audi models failed prematurely. Be especially wary of this aspect, although an agreement was reached.
Audi TT timing belts should be replaced at least every five years, maybe every 36 months or 60,000 miles, just to be on the safe side. It’s a good idea with a brand new purchase whose service history might have grown sketchy to budget for a belt change along with a tensioner. While it’s in the shop, replace the factory water pump with a stronger aftermarket alternative.
Tired front suspensions will make noises going over bumps and the TT is not light, so take note of the braking system as well. Examine the alloy wheels for scuffs, probably good ammunition for price haggling right there. The TT is low, so look underneath in case it’s been scraped against those curb stops in parking spaces. The lowest level entails further for that driver to fall into the seat, so inspect the left bolster for wear.
The instrument panel was the subject of more legal action, working on Audi TT models built between 2000 and 2005. Examples for sale could well be working with less than its full complement of pixels. Specialist companies offer a complete rebuild for about $350, not including the cost of removing and refitting the instrument cluster, plus shipping.
A ’00 180 with front-wheel drive is valued at $2,900, but good luck finding one in the classifieds for your little. Buying a V-6 version requires something in the area of $12,000. Occupying a sweet middle ground between those two, a ’03 225 with all-wheel drive is booked at $6,460. Out in the real world, spending around $ten thousand will purchase a decent example. With plenty of parts available and prices remaining sane, now is a superb time to acquire what is destined to become a classic.