by Deiondre van der Merwe
Audi has had twenty years to build and improve upon the Audi TT range, and it continues to deliver a well-rounded performance coupe in the form of the TTS to US car enthusiasts in 2020. It shares a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the seventh-gen Golf R, and crams it into a beautifully designed compact sports coupe with no questions asked, and then marries it to all-wheel drive for a thrilling driving experience regardless of where you're going. The quattro has been reported as dangerously tempting and TT owners have been spotted launch-controlling their way through McDonald's drive-throughs all over America. Anarchy! All jokes aside, the TTS provides delectation even to those least interested in performance and emanates an undeniable charm, whether you like it or not. Rivals include the back-for-a-vengeance Supra and the Porsche Cayman, so the TTS is going to have to put in the work in order to maintain a strong position in the segment.
As a carryover model from 2019, the Audi adds very minor additions to its 2020 model and notably, this isn't a bad thing because last year's model was superb and came with a host of features that modern-day shoppers look for from a sport-focused coupe. An anti-theft system has been added to the TTS along with an immobilizer and motion sensor, which is a little late to the party, but you know what they say. Pulse Orange is added to the 2020 model as a standard color option and the Black optic package now boasts sporty anthracite-coated 20-inch wheels.
With just one trim level available for the compact coupe, the breakdown of pricing is simple, though adding additional packages comes with quite a steep dig into the bank account. The TTS has a starting MSRP of $54,500 and is only slightly more affordable than rivals including the Porsche 718 Cayman. Adding notable packages including the Competition Package and Technology Package quickly drives the price up to just over $60,000 and in certain cases, adds features already found on rivals. A $995 destination fee is compulsory with your purchase of an Audi TTS.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
A good blend of sport-focus and comfort is found from the driver's seat of the TTS, and while you can't expect pillow-like ride quality from a sports coupe, you're not going to need any vital organs replaced after a long journey. Adaptive dampers contribute to the manageable comfort levels and the coupe shares Audi's magnetic ride technology with the R8 and boasts adaptive shock absorbers for added comfort. If you're shortlisting sports coupes, you're not likely to have a cushioned ride as a top priority, anyway, but the TTS delivers nicely on ride quality if you resist the temptation of the attractive, ride-punishing 20-inch wheels. The Audi's all-wheel drivetrain delivers impeccable grip and never fails to have the coupe glued down to the road both through corners and off of the line, which gives it the upper hand over the tail-happy in comparison BMW M2. Steering is responsive enough but could use another look from Audi and doesn't provide as much real-feel as the Porsche Cayman.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The Audi TTS is a fantastically-designed pocket rocket that houses Golf R DNA in a compact coupe body and marries a more than capable engine to an all-wheel-drive system. So, this is a clear recipe for fun or trouble depending on who the reader is! The coupe does a great job of blending sport and luxury perfectly, but we need to bear in mind that the price tag that comes along with it might be the reason people opt for the only marginally more expensive but loads-more-value BMW M2 Competition. Notable downfalls of the coupe include the lack of a manual transmission option and rather stingy safety features that puts the coupe slightly behind rivals, but the TTS shines in terms of an overall engaging driving experience and it's a good purchase if you're willing to spring for the additional technology package that adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation.
Given that there is just one trim level available for the TTS, it makes choosing one quite simple. We'd definitely opt for the Competition Package that adds bigger wheels and much sportier styling to the exterior and interior for a pricey $3,100 but makes all the difference. We'd also opt for the additional pearlescent Daytona Gray hue of paint for understated elegance to contrast the added sporty styling and perhaps adding the Technology Package is a good idea, seeing as it adds must-haves like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
|Audi TTS Coupe||288 hp||23/31 mpg||$61,900|
|Audi TT Coupe||228 hp||23/30 mpg||$52,200|
|Nissan 370Z Coupe||332 hp||17/26 mpg||$30,090|
The Audi TT is essentially the detuned version of the Audi TTS and the two share similar features, which inevitably means that the TT is also cursed with limited safety features. But it does come with a $10,000 lighter price tag for consolation, and the gap in power figures isn't as large as you may think, with the two sharing the same engine and transmission - the TTS just has some added fiddling to make it quicker. Inevitably, the TT boasts slightly better fuel economy figures of 23/31/26 mpg due to less power, so if you'd like a fuel-savvy coupe that saves you a couple of thousands and you're willing to sacrifice on some power and sportiness, the TT is worth considering. But if you're after a powerful compact performance coupe, the TTS is the one for you.
The TTS and the 370Z are chalk and cheese in terms of ethos, with the 370Z still being aimed at those who want to feel connected to the car they drive. The TTS wants to have it all, the modern tech, the power, everything. And it pretty much delivers on that, but the result is not a purist's first choice. While the TTS is only available with a dual-clutch ransmission, the 370Z caters for both a manual and an automatic transmission. The interior of the Japanese coupe is noticeably more bare and to the point, and focuses more on channeling its inner race car, with more power from its naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 (that also annihilates the fuel budget). If we look at the bigger picture, the TTS coupe is the far better car. It offers way more luxury and technology, and doesn't skimp on power. Those who are likely to choose the 370Z probably weren't seriously considering the TTS anyway, but then again, they'd be happier in a Toyota Supra.
The most popular competitors of 2020 Audi TTS Coupe: