2019 Audi TT Coupé 45 TFSI Quattro review - price, specs and release date
After just over four years on sale, the Audi TT has received a nip and tuck for 2019...
Priced from £38,605 | Release date now
Messing with an iconic formula can be a risky business. Whether it’s a soft drink, chocolate bar or a car, you risk public outcry and dwindling sales if you get it wrong. That’s why all but the hardened fan is unlikely to spot the differences between a 2018 Audi TT and a 2019 Audi TT.
Thankfully we have a keen eye – and a copy of the press pack – to let our dear readers know what’s new. Externally the answer is not a lot – the front and rear bumpers have been subtly tweaked, there’s a new radiator grille, snazzy new alloy wheels and a range of eye-catching new colours.
Jump up to S line trim and there are more aggressive bumpers front and rear with vertical air vents in both, another different set of wheels and an exclusive colour – Turbo Blue. But lets face it, there was nothing wrong with how the TT looked pre-facelift and if it ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But that’s not all. Gone is the old 1.8-litre engine that we favoured, having been replaced by the 40 TFSI; a detuned version of the 2.0-litre found in pricier models. Power is up to 194bhp and there’s no manual gearbox available anymore.
We’ll have to wait until another time to find out what that’s like, however. For the only ‘regular’ TT we’ve driven (the TTS we drove last year doesn’t count) is the 45 TFSI Quattro S tronic. In English, that’s a TT with a 242bhp 2.0-litre motor – 15 ponies up on the equivalent old model, four-wheel drive and a brand spanking new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Clear? We thought not.
2019 Audi TT Coupé 45 TFSI Quattro on the road
The combination of a punchy turbocharged engine, four-wheel drive and a relatively light weight make the TT a rapid little cross-country machine. Despite a liberal sprinkling of rain on the day of our test, the 45 TFSI was able to effectively deploy every last horsepower with very little fuss or drama.
Audi claims a 0-62mph time of 5.2sec and we can certainly believe it. The car charges up to the national speed limit with ease, making B road overtakes a walk in the park. It pulls strongly from low engine speeds but you have to get it beyond 4000rpm for it to fully wake up, which no real hardship in a sporty little coupé. We do wish it sounded a little fruitier, though.
Helping performance is that new seven-speed gearbox. Shifts are lightning fast, especially when you flick the TT into Dynamic mode, yet still smooth. Only a little low-speed jerkiness in traffic blots its copybook.
But straight-line pace is no good if you can’t go round a corner, something that the TT does rather well. A variable steering rack is standard, it gets quicker the more you turn the wheel and while not bristling with feedback from the front tyres, is well weighted and precise. That means that whether you’re negotiating Waitrose car park or tackling a country road, you can place the TT accurately.
Grip levels are exceedingly high and the four-wheel drive system generates immense traction so you’re fired out of tight bends with little fuss. Audi claims that up to 100% of the engine's output can be sent to the front or rear wheels, but the TT always feels neutrally balanced under power, with just the slightest hint of the back axle helping the car around corners.
2019 Audi TT Coupé 45 TFSI Quattro interior
Step inside the 2019 TT and you’ll find it even harder to spot the changes, mainly because they’ve left things well alone. Indeed, the main talking point is the addition of heated seats on Sport models and S line trim getting figure-hugging Super Sports seats as standard.
But like the exterior, we’re not complaining. For a start, the materials used feel rich and expensive with soft, dense plastics, satisfyingly precise switches and supple leather. Then there’s how it looks; a minimalist delight thanks to the clever integration of the infotainment screen and instruments. Not only is it simple to use, the ability to have Waze or Google Maps in front of you with the dials underneath is very handy.
But while front space is plentiful, the rear seats really are best left to children or adults that you really dislike. Better is the boot is big enough for a weekly shop and can be extended. Fold the rear seats down and (according to Audi) you can even move an oven thanks in part to the hatchback boot opening. Alternatively, you can fit a bike in as long as you take off the front wheel.