Almost a carbon copy of the new hardtop coupé albeit with a canvas roof and the rear seats removed, the new Audi convertible will keep existing fans happy and might attract one or two new admirers.
Unveiled on Wednesday a week ahead of what was meant to be its official first airing at the Paris Motor Show in October, the new roadster, like its hardtop counterpart, is lighter, more angular and more powerful than predecessors.
It is available in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations and, for Europeans at least, with the choice of a manual or paddle-shift automatic transmission. North American customers will be getting the automatic box as standard.
However, all models will come as standard with Audi’s new virtual cockpit that minuses clutter and optimizes hi-tech — even the few remaining knobs double up as little display units for things like cabin temperature and air conditioning settings.
Under the hood, the same choice of engines offered in the coupé are available, the most powerful of which, a 2-liter turbocharged 306bhp unit, will power the initial top-of-the-range TTS model.
However, for the first time in the car’s lifetime it will also be available as an economically focused diesel that can return 65.7mpg when mated to a manual transmission. Let’s hope it sounds throaty rather than agricultural when it’s turning over; otherwise owners will think twice before dropping the hood and letting the engine sound into the cabin.
Still, the TT is as much about looks as it is about performance even in its latest guise. People who place performance ahead of styling will do what they’ve always done — go and check out the latest BMW Z4, Porsche Boxter or Mercedes SLK. Or, they’ll wait until next year to see if the TT will be getting a big V8 engine.