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Audi TT taps into diesel

Audi is working hard to produce a range of "hybrid design" vehicles.

Audi says the 2.0 TDI quattro coupe and roadster are the first production sports cars in the world to be powered by diesel engines. And it's quite a powerplant, if the numbers are any indication - the two-litre, four-cylinder offers 125kW of power and a decent 350Nm of torque. That's enough for a 0-100km/h sprint of 7.5 seconds and a 226km/h top speed for the 1370kg Coupe, or 7.7 seconds for the 1415kg Roadster, which claims a 223km/h top speed.

The TDI engine comes into its own on thirst. A fuel consumption figure claimed by Audi is just 5.3 litres/100km.

Both are built with what Audi calls “hybrid design.”

It uses an aluminium forward structure and a steel rear end, which the company says aids weight distribution.

The TDI version of the TT is on Audi Australia's wish list and was described as “likely” as the company wants to develop its turbodiesel presence in Australia. The TT range also will be expanded on the petrol engine front, with the introduction of a model with more performance than that provided by the 1.8-litre turbo four or the 3.2-litre V6.

A TTS quattro will soon be added to the shopping list, with a two-litre TFSI direct-injection turbocharged engine producing 200kW and 350Nm, which will be available from 2500rpm through to 5000rpm.

The two-litre powerplant has been strengthened and re-engineered to offer higher performance in the TTS quattro, with work done on the head, block, rods and pistons, with the turbocharger boost up to as much as 1.2 bar and an upgraded intercooler. The intake and exhaust systems have also been revamped to provide better breathing.

Although the torque figure is identical to the new TDI model, having 200kW of power on tap helps get the TTS to 100km/h in a claimed 5.2 seconds when driving through the optional dual-clutch S tronic gearbox, on the way to a top speed of 250km/h. The TTS also is fitted with a magnetic ride adaptive damping system, which Audi says will provide a decent ride quality in standard mode.

Opt for the “Sport” setting and the TTS drops its sports suspension ride height by 10mm and delivers dynamic handling, according to the German manufacturer.

Aluminium is used extensively in the front suspension construction and high-performance brakes sit behind the 18in alloy wheels. The TTS models are expected in Australian Audi showrooms from next month; June 2008.