Family flair flies in sports mode

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

Gone are the days when one had to choose between style and family when buying a car.

My observation in a road test of the latest Audi TT was that today's customer can get both.

It was pleasing to have my son, sister and her daughter in the same car without losing the flair and feel of a two-seater. Ours was a 2,0T FSI S-tronic.

The extra back seats in the new Audi TT Coupe make a huge difference. On a Saturday jol, the kids jumped into the back seat and buckled up.

For me, this was a revelation. The new TT is a practical car after all for families, but I don't mean aunts and gogos. Just you, your partner and two children.

The styling of the new TT resembles its Italian competitor, the Alfa Brera.

The drag coefficient of the new Audi TT Coupe represents a remarkable advance on that of its predecessor.

Viewed from the front the new TT is more expressive and aggressive in appearance. Its defining element is the single- frame radiator grille surrounded by a narrow chrome strip, singling it out at first glance as a member of the Audi family.

Side on, the typical TT profile remains, though it has been given a more pronounced shoulder line and a slight wedged profile. The large diameter wheels fill the wheel arches convincingly.

At the rear, the design focuses on smooth, clearly defined surfaces. The large taillights remain while the rear bumper now incorporates a single, centrally mounted fog light.

The spoiler blends into the contours of the rear end, and when the car is at a standstill the only evidence of it is a barely noticeable lip.

At 120kmh it automatically moves up in an arching movement, driven by an electric motor, increasing negative lift at the rear wheels. It is automatically retracted when the speed falls below 80kmh. The driver can also operate it by a switch.

Setting the 2,0T FSI apart from the 3,2 V6 model is twin tailpipes to the left of the bumper. The 3,2 V6 has two chromed single pipes on either side.

The 2,0litre engine proved to be something out of this world. Move the gear lever to sport mode, and the TT is willing to fly.

Both models feature leather sport seats and a multi-function flat-bottom steering wheel as standard, as well as run-flat tyres, electrically operated windows and side mirrors, climate-control air conditioning, trip computer, remote central locking and a CD-based sound system.

Safety features include ABS-assisted brakes, ESP traction, stability control and six airbags.

The 2,0T FSI is priced at R365 000, and the top-of-the-range model is priced at just more than R450000.