PARIS -- If you live in the northern hemisphere, you're probably starting to lament the shortening of the days, the chilliness in the air and maybe even the leaves beginning to litter your lawn. In other words, it's hardly drop-top weather, but don't tell Audi, which has just chosen the 2014 Paris Auto Show to unveil the roadster edition of its new TT.
Introduced earlier this year at Geneva, theoffers the refined, typically minimalist styling on the outside that brings the car more in line with its late-model Auto Union siblings. With the Roadster model, little is changed on that front, the big story naturally being the lack of a roof.
The new electric power soft-top features aluminum and magnesium construction to save some 6 pounds (2.7 kg) compared to the outgoing TT's retracting hardware. But, still, at just over 2,900 pounds (1,315 kg) you're looking at a 200 pound (91 kg) penalty over the hard top. Still, Audi promises it's quieter than the outgoing model, and is the most aerodynamically efficient convertible in its class.
Power comes from two four-cylinder turbocharged motors. The base, a 180-horsepower diesel, offers a healthy 55 mpg, while a 310 horsepower gas-powered unit is optional. That one manages a (relatively) paltry 31 mpg, but will move the TT from zero to 60 in 4.9 seconds.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard, though a dual-clutch box is optional. Electronically adjustable suspension is also available if you don't mind paying extra for it, as is a new Quattro AWD system featuring a clutch-type center differential.
The interior looks largely unchanged from the TT coupe, which is a good thing. It features that same 12.3-inch virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel, which is one of the most futuristic pieces of interior tech we've yet seen in a production car. The TT Roadster also sports Audi's latest MMI interface.
The base TT Roadster is available for ordering in Europe now, with pricing starting at €37,900 (currently equating to around $47,900, £29,700 or AU$54,600). Pricing and availability in other regions isn't currently available, and if you want the hotter TTS Roadster, you'll have to wait until next year.