There is no mistaking the Audi TT shape and design. It is instantly recognisable to all. But has Audi trumped itself with the latest design study on the Clubsport Quattro? The intention behind the study is to design a purist version of the TT. Power is everything in this study.
It combines the latest technology with the most powerful of engines from the motorsports field. The development engineers’ intention was to design an elite, supreme TT, like nothing seen before. The hood and A-post have been removed and in their place is an all-encompassing low windscreen which is evocative of a speedster. The cockpit has a soft tinted window strip. The windscreen is panoramic and there are two ‘camel like’ humps behind the interior where the hood would otherwise be.
This further enhances the vehicle’s sports car image. The rollover bars have been flattened and are the same height as the sport seats. A single-frame grille with dramatic horizontal aluminium inserts, sits dominantly at the front of the vehicle. Unusually the four rings logo is positioned on the bonnet, whereas most Audi models have it mounted on the grille.
The TFSI engine is kept cool by large air inlets at the front of the vehicle. Daylight LED lights are an attractive design feature. On the rear bumper, a stainless steel silencer sits prominently at the rear. The look of the sporting race car is completed with the Audi RS4 like twin exhaust system with oval tailpipes. To reinforce a streamlined look, there are no door handles on the vehicle and the mirror size has been reduced.
Access to the vehicle is gained remotely and the doors pop open at the touch of the remote. Large wheel arches house 20 inch wheels with 265/30 R20 tyres with a track width of 80 millimetres, which is wider than the production TT tyres, and are a dominant feature of the study. Following the RS4 and S8, the vehicle is coloured Daytona Grey which complements the metallic grille and other features.
The eye is drawn to the striking brake callipers which are coloured bright orange, linking to the interior design where features such as the armrest, the rear of the bucket seats and the instrument cowl are highlighted with flashes of orange. With safety in mind, occupants are strapped into the vehicle using surprisingly comfortable four point belts which are three inches wide, ensuring full protection even on the race track.
In traditional Audi style, there is a generous amount of aluminium – on the steering wheel with twin spoke lightweight metal, the inlay the gear knob, inner cut out door handles and the pedals, which feature a grooved structure that help improve grip. The TT Clubsport Quattro also comes with foot rests for all occupants. The vehicle has a new mid-engine and uses the Audi R8 gear lever gate.
To emphasise the width of the car, the sill strip of existing Audis has been removed which serves to emphasis the width of the vehicle. The new door sill has an inside trim and the foot mats display the TT logo. The centre console is softly lit with visual highlights. When it came to the infotainment, the design team rejected the traditional middle trio of round air vents and instead designed an integrated console with features such as the B&O MP3 player and a BeoSound 2 sound system.
The circular player brings superior sound quality and was custom designed by BeoSound for this vehicle. In comparison with Audi production models, the instrument cluster has changed significantly. There are vertical needles and striking colour graphics that grab your attention.
In keeping with the purist ideology, both the clock and odometer have been removed. The 2.0 TFSI four cylinder with petrol direct injection engine has been super charged with power producing 260 bhp, reminiscent of the Audi S3.
This can exceed the 300 bhp threshold due to a modified intake manifold which was awarded ‘Engine of the Year’ in its class in 2005 and 2006. The power of this meaty engine is transferred to all four wheels, making it the first new generation TT with fixed four wheel drive and four cylinder engine.
The transmission sports a dual clutch and an S tronic direct-shift six gearbox seamlessly and automatically moves through gear changes. It can also be used in manual mode transitioning between gears with speed. The engine is certainly a sight to look at.
Underneath the bonnet, there are no untidy cables and auxiliaries. Instead, the engine sits proudly without a cover. The cross brace travels above the engine and has a dual role. Ingeniously, it contains the coolant expansion tank and reinforces the rigidity of the car. The ABS system has been relocated from the engine to the interior of the vehicle. The air conditioning and activated charcoal filter have disappeared.
In their place is a racing air filter that ensures enough air is fed to the engine. The exhaust has been fined tuned to produce a substantial motor racing sound. With the popularity of ceramic brakes on the RS 4, the A8 and S8, they make their first appearance on this TT.
The non-fading disks ensure precision braking at all times and absolutely shine on track cornering. The Audi TT Clubsport Quattro has managed to combine the known and loved features of the TT, but removed all the clutter and distractions. It has improved technology, speed and power and combined this with design and charisma. Audi has been now giving some serious thought as to whether a small-series production of this model could be made. We are watching this space Audi.