A Lean Machine: The 2009 Audi TT

TT stands for Tourist Trophy, after an old series of races on the British Isles. But ‘Trophy’ summarizes things neatly with this car, the 2009 Audi TT 2.0T Quattro Coupe.

The Drive

Low, just 1352mm tall, the TT thrills with a front-row sensation of speed. Despite near record-breaking snowfalls during the week it was on loan, being so low was only a mild inconvenience. It climbs well, the all-wheel drive keeping it a four-season sport coupe. The 6-speed automatic transmission’s sport mode puts more power in your hands. But who wouldn’t prefer a stick? Helpful as the paddles are to zip about in traffic, I missed the physicality of shifting.

Design

Outside, it’s gorgeous with a bum that’ll make your girlfriend jealous. Inside, you the driver are the focus. The instrument cluster curves around you while the seat cradles you like a loving mother. The truncated steering wheel’s flat bottom, like an aircraft’s, panders to your inner boy racer fantasies. Passengers are an afterthought. May as well flatten the back ‘seats’ and expand your trunk space.

Power

Even with its 4-wheel drive, the TT is supremely light, designed with all the leftover meat of an anorectic ballerina. The TT’s inline 2.0L 4-banger produces 200 hp@5100 rpm and 207 lbs of torque per ft@1700 rpm. Not a lot of power. But in such a spare frame, it ostensibly means a rocket under your right foot. A highly responsive accelerator delivers 0-100km/h in a hair-parting 6.1 seconds. Consider driving in your socks for extra sensation.

Safety
Explore the Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP, cute). You depend on this feature in winter traffic. But in case there is no traffic, there’s an off switch for enthusiasts to experience over-steer. I experimented in an in an empty icy parking lot, out of town. Joy! The skid icon appeared in each turn, that beautiful back-end swinging like a salsa club at 3am.

Fuel consumption
See Trophy above and WIGYL* below. At 9.5 L/100km in the city, this purchase requires titanic rationalization. Even the more respectable 7 L/100km on the highway won’t put you near tree-hugger territory.

WIGYL* Factor
Yes, this car will get you attention from women. But you’d be surprised how many more guy friends than girlfriends you suddenly have when you drive it. Sorry.

Base price $49,350
Price as tested $59,600

*Will It Get You Laid?

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