2001 AUDI TT COUPE (2)

The TT is unexciting underneath but the manual shift and meaty steering ensure driver engagement.

What is exciting about the TT is the cool, minimalist cabin. Combined with the Bauhaus exterior design, it gave Audi a late-90s game-changer in the coupe category, taking attention off cars like Chris Bangle’s polarising Fiat Coupe.
Subsequent TTs have enjoyed evolutionary design so this Mk1 still looks pretty fresh in its late teens. At this age, condition and service history are everything, and if you can cope without navigation, a well-equipped standard car leaves you wanting little more.
The TT’s looks will be sufficient for some, meaning the 132kW 1.8T engine is either adequate or more than adequate depending on how keenly you pedal. The sumptuous leather seats are as good as they look: well-shaped, heavily bolstered, supportive under-thigh for tall drivers, and very comfortable over distance, not that the TT has been doing much more than cafe crawls and short motorway trawls over summer.
It’s been a scorcher, of course, so thankfully the air-conditioning is very effective and very quiet on higher fan settings. The factory Audi Concert system is fine (you can use the six-stack CD changer or play an old-school cassette), and switches and controls are beautifully detailed and solid in their operation. All work just as they should. Overall quality seems bombproof, which speaks volumes of new-millennium quality control at Audi’s Hungarian assembly line.
How refreshing to have a classy leather steering wheel free of buttons and to be able to shield the head unit by turning down the TT embossed metal flap, an obvious highlight of the centre console. How can a cabin of this age possibly look so good, someone asked.
Rose-tinted specs set aside, body control is so-so when you hustle the TT and the brakes are not those of a sportscar. But the feelgood factor remains so strong that we can easily overlook the modest athleticism. Yes, those plump round arches could easily house bigger wheels, which might sharpen things up, but we feel it’s best to keep this budding modern classic entirely original and enjoy a decent ride quality.

Own an Audi TT? Share your experience: keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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AUDI TT 1.8T

VARIANT 1.8T Coupe

COLOUR Silver Sea metallic

UPHOLSTERY black leather

ENGINE 1798cc 4-cyl turbo

POWER 132kW (178bhp)

TORQUE 235Nm from 1950rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual, FWD

0-100km/h 7.5 secs

WHEELS 16-inch five-arm alloy

LENGTH 4.04m

WEIGHT 1240kg

EMAIL keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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