In order to practice my religion, I have prayed to many a second comings of my chosen following. It all started while I was living in the most car hostile place on the planet, New York City with a BMW Roadster. Thinking I need to become more ‘religious’ I quickly traded in my 193 horse figure with a 240 horse version of the same figure. Then I moved to a slightly more car hospitable place, London, England and tried the most minimalist version of my religion and preyed in the church of Colin Anthony Bruce Chapman. Otherwise known as Lotus. This turned out to be exactly the ‘religion’ I was looking for. You, a very light car, just enough power equaled an entirely new way of life! Since then I have set about finding different derivations of it.
My quest has led me to Audi’s interpretation of my religion, the TTs Roadster. Let’s get it right out there; it checks all of the boxes of my chosen path. Sorta. Two seats, folding top and if I am really pushing it, a new fangled manual transmission.
That said, the real story here is not the basic religion but the variation that goes into the ‘S’ version of the base TT roadster. On paper, a turbocharger and 65 horsepower. But to give you a real idea of the difference, imagine two sisters. Both attractive and twins as in fraternal. However while one is a more studious perhaps heading off to Stanford for advanced studies the other is the wild child that has traveled the world as her education.
The wild child has added a couple of things beyond the numbers to make the TTs Roadster a more satisfying car. A suspension that is operated my magnets, bigger wheels and a very cool way of going from zero to fast short bursts at a time.
The latter is what seems to wake up this otherwise very fancy 4-cylinder car. To understand that, one needs to understand the one part of this car that doesn’t exactly fit my religion: The transmission. There is no nice way to say this. There is no traditional manual transmission on offer in the land of Uncle Sam for the TTs Roadster. You can have anything you want as long as it is the Dual Clutch automated manual. Now for you folks out there that want their roadsters al dente with a third pedal, you are not entirely S O L. Underneath it all, this is truly a manual transmission that does the clutch and, if your mood suits, the shifting for you.
That said, the combination of the 265 horsepower 4-cylinder, direct injected engine and the Dual Clutch transmission can be set to rev to 3200 rpm at a standstill. Why on earth would you want to do this? Because you can. That and one hell of a party trick that happens to launch this car to beyond most US speed limits in about 5 seconds.
Nice but as a wise automotive focused ad agency once said, power is nothing without control. So to add a tad over 30% more power to a roadster generally meant for light duty boulevard cruising could be dangerous. As such, this sister has a suspension system that is not only firmer but can be driver selected by applying electricity to very fancy small magnets. Something similar you see in other more expensive rides like Ferraris, it basically means you have tiny magnetic particles floating around the shocks like chunky soup. When electricity is applied, the whole thing gets firmer. The more firm it gets, the flatter and thus better, this car can go around corners – even with the extra power. As an added benefit, the suspension is slightly lowered when the sport mode is engaged. The whole thing works together to take a fun car and make it drive more like a go-kart.