The TT has always divided opinion - some love it and some deride it as a hairdresser’s car. Shorthand for camp guys that wouldn’t know a good car if it whacked them around the head but just want to cruise through Kemptown posing for all they are worth, but this is totally unfair as it has always been a great car.
Its funky, fast, great looking and, OK, the early models were a tad camp but that is all in the past as the new model, that l first drove a while back in hard top form is so much chunkier and better is every respect.
Now we have the TTS convertible, which is the most rapid variant, and it retains great looks and adds a dynamic drive to boot. This third generation of the TT looks sensational with the roof up or down and to ensure your comfort, there is a pop up wind deflector and an air-scarf that seductively blows hot air against the back of your neck. The electric roof is down in a 10 second jiffy and stows away neatly and what is most impressive here is the amount of boot space you are left with. We travelled to the Lets Do Business Exhibition in Eastbourne, fully loaded with 8 boxes of magazines and assorted pull up banners and, amazingly, it all went in without having to jump up and down on the boot lid.
The drop top market is in the doldrums with global sales halved over the past five years so one might think it brave to pump out this new model but then the TT was always designed to be a drop top and l for one, think it is a great option. It’s easy to forget the thrill of driving roofless especially on a dark chilly night, flying under the trees along a B road with the heated seats blazing and Heidi Klum blowing hot air onto your neck. It is also surprising how much more you see with the lid off.
It does feel more energetic than previous models with wider wheels, tauter springs and magnetically controlled dampers, higher boost pressure, and a more pronounced willingness to rev. All this helps, as does the switchable quad-tailpipe exhaust and sound actuator, which fills the cabin with a sonorous full-bore roar.
It has a whiff of the R8 about it but possibly its baby brother and there is very little to dislike. The drive is as rapid as you would like it, in Quattro guise it is glued to the road and the low centre of gravity would make even Julian Cleary secure in chucking it around. I also love the SatNav that takes up the entire dash with the ability to alter the position and size of the digital dials.
Again, a proper manual gearbox although the six-speed dual clutch S-tronic auto box is not to be sniffed at and with 306 bhp at your fingertips, this thing will really fly. The electric rear spoiler pops up at 75mph which, sadly, gives Plod all the indication he needs to pull you over.
Admittedly, its not as quick as, say, the Porsche Boxster but it’s cheaper to buy and cheaper to repair and with the Boxster, there is always that feeling that everyone knows that you couldn’t afford the proper 911.
The only thing better - the TTRS is coming and for your delight and delectation, l will put myself out and review it for you.
Model tested: TTS Roadster 2.0 TFSI Quattro
Engine: 1984cc, 16v turbo
Power: 306 bhp
Performance: 0-62mph 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 155 mph
Economy: 32.2 mpg
As tested: £48,815.00