2009 Audi TTS Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
  • Highest performance variant of the TT

  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter with 272 hp

  • 0-62 mph in just 5.2 seconds

  • 6-speed manual or S tronic direct shift gearbox

  • Available in Summer 2008


The Audi TT first appeared in 1995 as a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show-looking like no Audi before it and like no other vehicle on the road at the time. Three years later, the production Coupe version was announced and it was soon followed by a topless Roadster. The second-generation TT, appearing as a 2008 model, utilized Audi's innovative Space Frame (ASF) technology to combine aluminum and steel in the chassis for improved weight distribution and handling. With a new high-output turbocharged powerplant and standard quattro driveline, the Audi TTS represents the pinnacle of the design. The TTS has been thoroughly reworked to be the most powerful and highest performance TT variant Audi has ever introduced.

Model LineupDesignated the flagship of the TT lineup, the new TTS is available in both Coupe and Roadster versions. To differentiate both from their lesser siblings, newly designed bi-Xenon headlamps feature a horizontal strip of bright white LEDs to serve as daytime running lights. The front grille is finished in platinum gray, and the front apron has been restyled with large air intakes. The rear bumper features a gray-colored diffuser trim, plus two sets of twin tailpipes protruding from the left and right of the vehicle's tail. Like all TT models, an automatic spoiler is designed to deploy from the rear of the tail at speeds in excess of 75 mph.

While the TTS Coupe features a traditional steel roof, the TTS Roadster has an electro hydraulically operated soft top that is able to open and close in just 12 seconds. With a large glass rear window, the top folds compactly into a "Z" shape without the need for a cover flap or tonneau cover. To rival the Coupe, the Roadster features additional matting between the headliner and outer shell to improve sound and temperature insulation. In top-down conditions, an electronically extending/retracting wind deflector is designed to shield both Roadster occupants from unnecessary drafts.

The interior of the TTS features standard leather/Alcantera deep-set sport seats with heating and height adjustment. Optionally available are seats covered in Silk Napa leather upholstery. Consumers may also choose the Impulse leather package with black trim and silver stitching in the Coupe, or Chennai brown trim and espresso-colored stitching in the Roadster. The instrumentation of the TTS reflects the sporty theme of the vehicle. Instruments have a gray background with white needles, foot pedals are metal, and the panels include aluminum trim. The sport steering wheel is leather, with multifunctional control buttons and a flat-bottomed rim. While the TTS Roadster is strictly a 2-seater, the TTS Coupe version offers split-folding rear seats to more than double luggage capacity.


Audi thoroughly massaged the 2.0-liter powerplant found in the standard TT Coupe and Roadster for duty in the new TTS. Now rated at 272 hp, and with 258 lb.-ft. of torque, it received extensive reengineering and strengthening. The engine block, cylinder head, pistons and connecting rods were all upgraded. The turbocharger was modified to provide up to 1.2 bar of boost into the engine, while the intercooler was optimized to lower the temperature of the compressed air. The intake and exhaust systems did not escape untouched either. Both were honed to improve airflow, and improve the exhaust note. The high-output 2-liter engine is now more powerful than the 250-hp TT 3.2 model, and it offers more torque. According to Audi, the new TTS can run to 62 mph in just 5.2 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, the maker adds.

The standard transmission in the 2009 Audi TTS is a traditional 6-speed manual. It is contained within a lightweight magnesium housing. The optional transmission is Audi's S tronic, a 6-speed direct shift gearbox (formerly called DSG). The S tronic operates using six gears and two clutches positioned behind one another. At high engine loads and engine speeds it is capable of shifting gears in just two-tenths of a second-faster than any human, Audi claims.

The drivetrain on all 2009 TTS models is Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. The heart of the quattro system is an electronically controlled and hydraulically operated multi-plate clutch that can redirect drive torque from the front to the rear wheels in milliseconds, the manufacturer says. The drivetrain has been specially reinforced for duty in the high-power TTS.

The front suspension design on the Audi TTS is a MacPherson strut with lower triangle wishbones. To save weight and reduce unsprung mass, most of the major components are of aluminum. The rear suspension is a 4-link design, manufactured from high-strength grades of steel. Working in conjunction with the suspension components is Audi magnetic ride, a technically-advanced adaptive suspension system. The fluid inside each shock damper is sensitive to magnetic currents. Voltage changes alter the physical characteristics of the fluid, rapidly changing the suspension settings. The driver is able to choose between two modes of operation: "Normal" mode offers a comfortable, well-balanced ride, while "Sport" lowers the vehicle by nearly one-half inch, and sets the suspension for a firm and controlled ride.

The braking system on the 2009 TTS is also designed for high performance. Large disc brakes with an anti-lock system (ABS) are standard on all four corners with the TTS emblem emblazoned on the black-painted calipers. Unique to the TTS, the ESP stabilization program has a special setting to enable controlled drifting. Standard wheels on the TTS are 18-inch cast aluminum with 245/40-size tires; 19-inch aluminum wheels are optional.

Ratings for the 2008 Audi TT
Ratings and details for all Audi models
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