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Audi TT: A look back (and forward)The Audi TT is one of the most recognisable sports cars on the road, we took a look back at its past to see how it formed its present.
-This is the third generation of Audi's Evergreen sports car, the TT. When it was originally launched in the late '90s, it was new and fresh on the road, but quickly became a favorite all over the world. It was an easy choice for people who wanted a solid, reliable trimming in sports car. No doubt, this third generation is gonna be a huge hit. But to understand why, you need to know where the TT came from. -This is an original Audi TT. Conceptualized in 1994, it came out in 1998 as a coupe, and '99 as a roadster. Its name comes from the Isle of Man TT or Tourist Trophy Motorcycle Race-- something Audi's forebears, NSU, used to compete in, and named its cars after, as well. In all, though, it's a happy looking little thing. -The TT came with a 1.8-liter engine, which could have up to 225 horsepower. You could also get a 3.2-liter V6 with 247 brake horsepower. Now, you can have it with front-wheel drive or Quattro four-wheel drive. And later in its life, you could have one of these, a limited edition lightweight Quattro Sport with a 1.8-liter turbocharged, 237 brake horsepower engine. All in all, it was a very good little motor. But the Mk1 TT wasn't without its problems. We should probably start with the big one, it's body. You see, when the TT was launched, its oil-blobbing water shape was very, very aesthetically pleasing. However, it wasn't great at high speed maneuvering. The story goes that when you were going at some pace in a TT and decided to say, turn, the body was so slippery with spin and flip and all kinds of noisy thing would happen. So, as a result of that, pretty much every TT was recalled to have a spoiler added, a suspension tweak, and ESP put on, as well. It's also the fact that because it was based on the Golf, many people dismissed its drive and just called it a "golfing drag." It's safe to say the Mk1 TT was an enormous success. You still see them around today, either utterly pristine like this car, or with a set of comprehensively alloys. Either way, it's safe to say it's aged pretty well. What this car managed to do was prove that Audi wasn't a company that just made premium German salons for premium German families, but also that it could create desirable aspirational sports cars. In 2006, though, Audi called time on the Mk1, and a new TT appeared. -This time, it was lighter, faster, slightly cleaner to look at and more Audi-ish. In the UK, there were two engines to pick from at launch-- a 197 brake horsepower 2-liter TFSI or a 3.3-liter V6 with 247 brake horsepower. The buzz at that time was the 2-liter car was actually better than the more powerful range topper. -Over its life, the Mk2 TT evolved. The base model got more power, and "S" model was launched. And in 2008, Audi put a 2-liter diesel engine under the bonnet, which meant you could have your sleek coupe but not have to pay all that much money to get at places. However, the idea of it is a little bit strange 'cause you get one person rocking up, saying, "Yeah. Look at my TT. Aren't I young, funky and-- lifestyle." And then they turn it on, it sounds like a taxi. Anyway, five years ago, Audi launched an RS model at the Geneva Motor Show. The TT RS came with an Audi heritage pleasing 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that produced a not inconsiderable 335 brake horsepower. It was really rather quick. But not as quick as this one. -This is the TT RS plus. It comes with largely the same engine but 355 brake horsepower. 0-62 happens in 4.3 seconds. And its top speed, because it's a plus, isn't the standard RS's 155 miles an hour. No. Its electronic limiter has been lifted to 174 miles an hour. It's very, very quick, indeed. And of course, being an RS, it's got all the RS badges everywhere and bits of carbon fiber and big vents and grills and all that kind of thing. But if you strip all that back, you still get the same instantly recognizable TT silhouette. A silhouette that harks back to a car that makes such headway in the late '90s. Now though, the Mk2 TT song is ending. So, let's have a look at the new one. -As usual, these things, the new TT is lighter and more powerful than the car it replaces. The base model is 50 kilos lighter than the old car. Thanks to Audi's extensive use of aluminum in its construction. Three engines are going to launch in the UK-- a 2-liter turbocharged petrol with 227 brake horsepower, a 2-liter diesel with 181 brake horsepower, or this. The TT S. A 2-liter petrol with 306 brake horsepower. 0-62 will happen in just 4.7 seconds. And they'll go on, obviously, to a limited top speed of 155 miles an hour. And the [unk] will be happy to hear the manual gearbox has come standard on these cars. But if you want the car to do the work for you, 6-speed dual clutches are an option. If those engines aren't really up your alley, then you're in luck because Audi has announced a new Quattro Sport concept. It's basically a TT as though it's built for the track. And it's got around and about 420 brake horsepower. It's based on a modified version of the Volkswagen group's, MQB platform. The same platform that the VW Golf and the Audi A3 are based on. It's also marginally smaller than the old car. Looks-wise, the Mk3 is very much identifiable as a TT. It has the same proportions, the same flared wheel arches, and that same silhouette that makes such an impression all those years ago. This thing's gonna sell by the bucket load.