BMW 1 Series 2015 review
Malcolm Flynn road tests and reviews the updated second-generation F20 BMW 1 Series 118i, 120i, 125i, M135i hatch, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.
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Audi TT's third generation is chiseled, refined and deeply, deeply pretty. The second generation didn't have a lot wrong with it, but it wasn't an individual design and the detailing kind of got lost and the base models weren't that interesting to drive.
It also brings with it a truly innovative interior with a fully digital dash that has to be seen to be believed.
That substantial wedge of cash gets you an 11-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and USB, climate control, alcantara and leather trim, keyless entry and start, front and rear parking sensors with in-dash graphics, cruise control, Drive Select, powered front seats, sat-nav, auto xenon headlights, and wipers.
We also had metallic paint ($1400), fantastic matrix LED headlights ($1900), leather package ($800), some trim options ($470) and B&O sound system ($1200).
Like many other Audis, the TT feels like it was carved rather than built
Added to this was the Assistance package, which includes side assist, active lane assist, park assist, high beam assist and heated rear vision mirrors.
There's so much to look at on the new TT. The brilliant daytime running lights that reference Audi's Le Mans cars, the capless race-inspired fuel tank with the alloy cover and the bulging wheel arches.
The shape is flatter again than the second generation but it obviously, identifiably TT.
The interior is dominated by the view forward - the comfortable and in this case, alcantara seats face a dashboard design that takes some getting used to but, like the exterior, has some tremendous detailing. There's no central screen, that's all taken care of in the driver's instrument pod.
The air-con vents are turbine-shaped and when you view the dash itself from above you see that it's shaped like the wing of an aircraft. The vents are circular and in the middle of the central two are buttons and dials to operate the climate control. It's so simple but so clever.
The interior, like many other Audis, feels like it was carved rather than built.
The Audi TT has six airbags, stability and traction control, ABS, brake assist, tyre pressure indicator and fatigue detection.
The instrument pack is a screen powered by an NVIDIA processor. In its normal view, it looks like any Audi dashboard - clear, crisp and clean, with an info screen between the dials that handles trip, stereo and sat-nav. Press the "view" button on the steering wheel and the speedo and tacho shrink to the lower corners and the rest of the screen's real estate is taken up with entertainment, car info or the sat-nav, depending on your selection via the MMI dial and buttons on the console.
Slicing down a winding road is really a lot of fun.
It's very impressive and has been done just right - the frame rate is 60 frames per second, which means super-smooth graphics and no lag (no, you haven't fallen into a video game review, this is still a car) with a beautiful, clean graphics set. This dash would have required a massive amount of effort because the design team would have had to start from scratch.
The TT's aluminium skin hides a 2.0-litre TFSI turbo-petrol, good for 169 kW and 370 Nm of torque. The six-speed twin clutch transmission driving all four wheels will help whisk you to 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds. Fuel consumption is claimed as 6.4L/100km on the combined city/highway cycle.
Audi TT's new chassis feels brilliant at all speeds - taut but forgiving, it rides and handles better than almost any TT before. A recent experience with the previous-generation TT-RS was a useful reference point as the new car is better in every area.
Steering feel is now standard across most of the Audi range and the TT's wheel tells you a lot more than the old car's. Slicing down a winding road is really a lot of fun. The quattro system is rear-biased, meaning less understeer (also helped along by various electronic diff trickery) and more punch out of corners.
It has a tremendous ability to change direction and the transmission keeps the engine right on the boil. While it has an impressive straight-line performance, it's almost impossible to ruffle its composure in the corners. It can be hustled incompetently and still feel completely tied down to the road. Some super-stupid driving is required to get out of shape.
The car's weight has been kept down to 1410 kg, with liberal use of aluminium for the bonnet, doors, front guards and roof. There's also a lot more of the lightweight metal through the car to help the performance and offset the heavy quattro drivetrain.
All of that fades away when you're just pootling, though. Again, it's very accomplished and the slower pace will give you time to see all the admiring glances the new TT gets from passers-by.
The new TT is harder, faster and cooler. The old one was a bit flubbery and the design a bit timid, especially after the boldness of the original. With a mix of old TT and current R8, the looks are eye-catching and purposeful. Add to that the brilliant drivetrain and chassis and you have a proper sporting coupe that does it all.
Except keep back seat passengers happy. But when the drive is this good, who cares what they think?
|2.0 TFSI Quattro S-Line||2.0L, PULP, 6 SP||$41,100 – 52,580||2016 Audi TT 2016 2.0 TFSI Quattro S-Line Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport||2.0L, PULP, 6 SP||$41,100 – 52,580||2016 Audi TT 2016 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport Pricing and Specs|
|S 2.0 TFSI Quattro||2.0L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO||$44,900 – 56,760||2016 Audi TT 2016 S 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI Quattro S-Line||2.0L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO||$36,000 – 46,640||2016 Audi TT 2016 2.0 TFSI Quattro S-Line Pricing and Specs|