|Audi TT Quattro 3.2 Roadster|
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Sheer sportiness, a genuine driving experience plus high power reserves - cue the new TT Roadster from Audi. The open-top sports car retains the distinctive lines of its tremendously successful predecessor, but instils them with even greater emotion, performance and dynamism. Audi offers a choice of two engines for its new TT Roadster. The 3.2-litre V6 power unit generates 184 kW (250 bhp) and is coupled to the quattro drive system as standard. The 2.0 TFSI engine, which blends Turbocharging with petrol direct injection technology, delivers 147 kW (200 bhp) to the front wheels. Both model variants can be ordered with the innovative S tronic dual-clutch gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual shift.
The chassis of the new Roadster is also built for impressive sporty performance. Its highlight is Audi magnetic ride, the optional suspension damping technology that allows drivers to choose between an uncompromisingly dynamic ride or more comfort-orientated characteristics. To mirror the puristic character of open-top motoring, the boldly styled body is crowned by a lightweight cloth hood. The TT Roadster 3.2 quattro comes as standard with a quick-action, fully automatic softtop which is available as an option for the 2.0 TFSI at a price of EUR1,015. Despite its lavish specification, the new Audi TT Roadster will be priced similarly to the outgoing model. It will be launched in Germany in spring 2007 with prices starting from EUR33,800 (incl. 19 % VAT).
With its rigorous geometry and clarity, the design of the first TT Roadster elevated it to the status of a cult classic. Audi has preserved the charismatic design idiom and carefully honed it for the new model. Whereas the tail end and the roof section seem to flow into one another at the rear of the TT Coupé, the soft top of the TT Roadster forms a clear contrast that gives the overall design a more geometric look. The body's lines brim with power and forward thrust. This impression is underscored by the athletic curves of the vehicle's flanks just as much as by the rising dynamic line above the sill area and the taut, muscular shoulder line. The eye-catching fuel filler cap positioned above the rear right wheel sports a classic aluminium design.
The face of the new Audi TT Roadster has an expressive feel. Wing-shaped plastic elements are embedded into the slanted, sharply tapered headlights to emphasise the three-dimensional depth of the lamp units. At the rear of the car, it is the large tailpipes and the wide diffuser which stand out. The tube-shaped reflectors seem to hover inside the tail light units. As on the Coupé, an electrically powered spoiler rises up out of the boot lid when the speed reaches 120 km/h. Compared to the model it replaces the new TT Roadster has undergone a growth spurt, with the new proportions accentuating its sporty nature. Length is now 4,178 millimetres (+ 137 mm), width 1,842 mm (+ 78 mm) and height 1,358 mm (+ 8 mm), while the wheelbase has been extended by 46 to 2468 mm. Despite the extra size, however, the drag coefficient of the 2.0 TFSI is just 0.32 with the soft top up.
Audi made a conscious decision to keep the cloth hood for the new TT Roadster. The soft top concept fits in perfectly with the philosophy of puristic open-top motoring and also offers a number of benefits over a folding steel hard top. The cloth hood, incorporating reinforcements made from steel and aluminium as well as a large glass rear window, has a very lightweight construction - not only does this reduce the overall weight of the TT Roadster, it lowers its centre of gravity too. It sleekly blends in with the car's lines and takes up only a small amount of space when folded down. Thanks to the new Z-fold, the front section of the roof lies on top of the cloth like a cover. It locks into place to lie flush with the body, dispensing with the need for a tonneau cover. The soft top is available in the colours black and dark grey.
The TT Roadster 3.2 quattro comes as standard with an electrohydraulically powered soft top, which is available for the 2.0 TFSI as an option. This version of the soft top opens in just 12 seconds at the push of a button, and can even be operated on the move at speeds of up to 50 km/h. The fully automatic hood incorporates an additional layer of soundproofing beneath the black headliner for even better acoustic and thermal insulation. The manually operated roof is operated by means of a central catch. A mesh wind deflector that extends and retracts electrically can be ordered as an option to smooth the airstream in the interior - none of the competitor models are able to offer such a convenient solution.
Like the TT Coupé, the body of the TT Roadster is also built on the principles of Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology, featuring a pioneering hybrid construction that showcases the brand's tremendous expertise in lightweight design. The body is made from 58 percent aluminium and 42 percent steel. This material mix makes the Roadster extremely light, with the 2.0 TFSI tipping the scales at just 1,295 kilograms when unladen. To ensure that the load is distributed evenly between the axles, the steel components are located principally at the rear of the body - the bulkhead behind the passenger compartment, for example, is made from steel. This particular component, which anchors the high-strength roll-over bars with their elegant plastic covering, has a fundamental role to play in the body's overall rigidity.
The side sills are also specific to the Roadster: they consist of extruded aluminium sections containing numerous reinforcing ribs. The A-pillars have been strengthened too and a high-strength steel tube integrated into the frame of the windscreen. Already impressive in the outgoing TT Roadster, static torsional strength has been more than doubled in the new model - this translates into outstanding vibrational comfort and precision handling. A full ensemble of restraint systems promise the greatest possible passive safety. In the event of an impact from the side, aluminium beams and padding in the doors are called into action along with the head and thorax side airbags. Two-stage full-size airbags and the Audi backguard system are on hand to limit the consequences of a collision from the front and rear respectively.
The interior of the TT Roadster is noticeably larger too, offering extra headroom and elbow room. The width at shoulder height is now 1362 mm, an increase of 29 mm. Deep-set sports seats provide firm lateral support for both the driver and passenger. The standard-specification leather sports steering wheel features a flat-bottomed rim. The optional Impulse leather trim with its distinctive topstitching already attained cult status when it was offered for the outgoing model; it is one of four different leather trim packages. The 3.2 quattro is upholstered in a combined Alcantara/Leather trim as standard.
The three circular air outlets and the dome shrouding the instrument cluster dials inject the cockpit with characteristic TT flair. As is to be expected of an Audi, the ergonomic concept is perfect and the workmanship of the very finest standard. The increase in the body's dimensions has also benefited luggage space, which has expanded from 210 to 250 litres in both the front-wheel-drive and the quattro variant.
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|Article||Image gallery (4)||Specifications|