Road Test: 2017 Audi TTS – Third Generation Brings Refinement, Efficiency and Performance

Road Test: 2017 Audi TTS – Third Generation Brings Refinement, Efficiency and Performance

Review and images by Russell Purcell,

2017 Audi TTSIt’s hard to believe that Audi has been delivering the innovative TT line of automobiles to our shores for the better part of two decades, but the third generation car emerges with new levels of refinement, performance, and efficiency.

Styling is familiar, albeit carefully sculpted to improve aerodynamics and give the car cues more in line with its pretty stable mates. The new car is slightly shorter and narrower than the outgoing car, and it has been designed to ride lower and features a longer wheelbase.  The overall look is more aggressive than that of previous iterations, but manages to convey this sporty image without the addition of excess aero bits, vents, and spoilers. The car benefits from all new LED lighting front and rear, and TTS exclusives include silver mirror caps and quad exhaust pipes to maximize curb appeal.

On the inside you will find seating for four, although the rear compartment is best reserved for those of smaller stature with small feet, but the two front positions offer abundant leg-, hip-, and headroom for all but the tallest individuals.  Rearward visibility isn’t great, but some practicality has to be sacrificed in the name of beauty. Our test unit featured the Driver Comfort Package which includes front and rear parking sensors, a rear view camera, and Audi side assist (blind spot indicator) to help alleviate some of the visibility issues.

The cabin design is clean and uncluttered, and the overall quality of the fit-and-finish is impressive. You immediately notice that the dash layout has been simplified to the point that there are very few buttons, screens and switches visible. In fact, even the HVAC controls have been incorporated into the vents themselves!

Audi buyers tend to be tech savvy, so the TTS has been blessed with the introduction of one of the slickest instrument clusters to ever grace an automobile. The virtual cockpit features a stunning, high-visibility screen measuring 12.3-inches across, which effectively replaces a multitude of analog gauges, LCD screens and traditional meters. At the touch of a button the operator can completely alter this colourful display to best suit their needs, cycling between speedometer and tachometer information as well as navigation, infotainment, and camera functions. Taking in vital information is quick and efficient, as the screen is bold, bright and ultra-sharp.

Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) has been revamped to be more intuitive, and latest version greatly simplifies the operation of the navigation, radio, phone and media devices that comprise the virtual cockpit user screen.

2017 Audi TTS CockpitThe TTS is a driver’s car, so it comes fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-litre TFSI inline four-cylinder engine that produces a healthy 292 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque which is distributed as needed to all four wheels via Audi’s proven quattro all-wheel drive system. The car features the ultra-quick dual-clutch, 6-speed S-tronic manumatic transmission which comes with launch control, a bit of engineering wizardry that helps the car sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 4.9 seconds. Easy-to-reach paddle shifters make the act of traipsing through the gearbox effortless and instinctive as you go hunting for apexes on back country roads.

Also on board is the Audi drive select system which allows the driver to select from four individual driving modes – comfort, auto, dynamic or individual – to adjust the car’s performance and handling characteristics to best suit road and weather conditions, as well as the driver’s intent. To further enhance the car’s comfort and handling, the TTS features Audi’s three-mode magnetic ride system, which automatically adjusts the firmness of the dampers to suit the current driving situation. This clever system has three modes – auto, comfort or dynamic – which can also be manually selected by the driver using the aforementioned Audi drive select system.

Handling is competent and the car likes to be tossed into corners, where it exhibits just a hint of body roll at higher speeds. The ride is stiff, but comfortable, and when dynamic mode is selected, the driver is able to read the car’s intentions through the steering wheel and seat. Steering feel is light, but its action is precise, and the over-sized disc brakes deliver phenomenal stopping power.

The TTS represents the perfect package for those individuals who appreciate distinctive styling, embrace technology, and truly relish the act of driving.

Technical Specifications: 2017 Audi TTS

  • Base price (MSRP): $61,900
  • Price as tested: $69,090 (Includes Sepang Blue Pearl paint – $890; 20-inch 10-Y spoke wheels -$800; navigation package – $1,800; red brake calipers – $400; Driver Comfort Package – $ 1,400; pneumatic side bolsters – $300; Audi Lane Assist – $650; B&O sound system – $950; freight – $2,095.
  • Type: Four passenger, AWD coupe
  • Engine: 2.0L, DOHC, 16V Direct Injection TFSI I-4
  • Power: 292 hp @ 5400-6200 rpm
  • Torque:  280 lb-ft @ 1900-5300 rpm
  • Transmission: Dual-clutch, 6-speed S-tronic manumatic
  • Brakes (front/rear): Disc / disc
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h – 4.9 seconds
  • Fuel consumption (L/100 km): city 10.3; highway 8.7
Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests
Tags: 2017, Audi, TTS