Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
After a week of excitement experienced in Audi’s TT coupe this past week it’s going to be difficult topping the climax I reached with the next vehicle. Nevertheless, that won’t take away the memories from the thrills and euphoria my Nano Gray Metallic TTS 2.0T quattro S tronic provided. At $58,100 ($51,900 MSRP) you certainly will get your monies worth!
The TTS offers instant gratification whether gazing at its healthy stature to putting the impeccable power-to-weight ratio through its paces on weekend drives. Yes, you can utilize the Audi as a daily commuter but there were more than a few times I had to leave it parked in the driveway to run errands and pick up the kids’ friends. Ideally, the vehicle is situated for the owner and one passenger for spirited drives a few times a week.
Inside the cabin the vehicle’s dome outline presents more headroom opportunity and aesthetically is synthesized with Audi’s typical howling grille, aggressive chin spoiler, sinister vertical LED headlights, quad circular pipes which are embedded within the rear diffuser, protruding wheel wells and a slick body kit. The 20” 10-Y-spoke designed forged wheels are tucked in 255/30 Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires ($1,000) and superbly synchronize with quattro all-wheel-drive. Additionally, silver toned mirrors and fuel filler door (aluminum-optic to be exact), the wheels, exhaust tips and the Audi 4-ringed logo sync up nicely in color scheme. Reminiscent of an R8 from the A-pillar forward the lightweight hood is indented with two striking creases that flow into the lights. This level of assertive aerodynamics showcase the TTS’ top performance potential as well as style and grace. Moreover, the adaptive rear spoiler can be activated manually by a switch on the center stack.
The 2-liter TFSI I4 engine with 292-horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque allows the TTS to literally fly when you’re ready for acceleration initiation. Paired with Audi’s 6-speed S tronic transmission, shifts can take place through the smaller steering wheel paddles or the manual feel of the Aluminum shift knob. Drivers have the option to set Audi Drive Select in various modes including Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. With either selection I felt the suspension to be firm and compliant. Zipping around corners at high speed was one of its simpler tasks and its grabby brakes slow down or stop the vehicle pretty aggressively with just light touches of the metal pedal. Zero to 60 can be achieved in 4.6 seconds.
Step inside and your fall down into the Express Red Fine Nappa leather seats ($500) with S embossing (also have adjustable thigh extenders). Pneumatic side bolsters hold your firmly in place during high speed maneuvers while the thick, flat bottom racing wheel conjures up memories of Audi Le Mans wins and premonitions of outgunning everyone on the road. But we are more sensible than that! Although the vehicle is small the ceiling is high due to its bubble silhouette. So I never felt cluttered or crowded behind the wheel. Red stitching highlights the black leather steering wheel, doors and middle console trim; interior lighting energizes the cockpit; and Brushed Aluminum matte inlays add luxurious touches.
Rear storage in the TTS is the antithesis of what you would expect in compact coupes. The stowage area is roomy enough for two carry on rollers and a few other small bags while its tailgate has a removable cover so items are concealed when closed. An upgraded Bang and Olufsen system ($950) provided more than enough sound. All controls can be handled from the wheel or the MMI touch rotary dial which is part of the $3,250 Technology Package. For example, both will pull up the main menu and allow you to choose Telephone, Media, Radio, Sound, Vehicle, Navigation, Map, Audi Connect and Settings. This takes place in the Audi Virtual Cockpit and replaces your standard instrument cluster with a 12.3” high resolution digital screen. Audi Virtual Cockpit has also found its way into the 2017 Q7, A4 and R8. Depending on the view you select the screen will emphasize that mode. For example, the map view can extend across the entire 12.3 inches or the speedometer and rev counter can be the central focus and highlighted in full size. Your climate controls are integrated into the large circular vents. Push the center dial “in” to scroll through the functions and rotate the circular outer ring to close or direct airflow.
The aforementioned Technology Package also provides the TTS with Audi MMI Navigation plus, Audi connect with online services, Audi side assist, Parking system plus with rearview camera, and auto-dimming and power-folding exterior mirrors. In fact I read a few online news articles on the screen while waiting for my daughter to finish soccer camp.
In all, the 2016 TTS is quite impressive. I surely enjoyed the drive!