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The Warsaw Voice » Society » March 21, 2007
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Passion and Technology
March 21, 2007 By Bartosz Grzybiński   
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The Audi TT is a rare combination of technology and emotion. The car's technical merits can be described in terms of horsepower, cylinders and valves. But, without emotion, these would only be dry technical data. Passion makes the TT a really attractive model.

Few automotive debuts have been as spectacular as that of the Audi TT. The car raised eyebrows when it hit the market in April 1998. Its muscular body was so different from those of other cars offered at the time that it immediately attracted attention. The coupe's soft, roundish shape, with headlights and taillights harmoniously melded into the body, was in stark contrast with the aggressive molding of the area above the wheels and the small windows, which stressed the car's dynamism and power. Even today the TT is considered to be one of the most attractive automotive designs, not only among sports coupes.

Can one be surprised that the second-generation TT, which was unveiled last year, harks back to the original in appearance? Even though the new TT is larger in every respect than its predecessor-it is 418 cm in length, 184 cm in width and 135 cm in height-it brings to mind the previous TT at first glance. The increased dimensions of the car, its large grille and upgraded headlights and taillights lend the body a more "masculine" look-something that some malcontents would say the first-generation Audi TT lacked.

The interior is not very spacious. Even though the car is registered as a four-seater (2+2), in reality only two adults can travel in it in comfort. The front sports-style seats are very comfortable and permit a wide range of adjustment. The back seats are only meant to be used in an emergency to transport children over short distances. Is this a drawback? Not necessarily. After all, this is a sports car, not a minivan. An undoubted advantage is its 290-liter luggage compartment, quite spacious for this type of car. Access to the loading area is easy thanks to a hatch combined with the rear window that opens high. The dashboard is stylistically sublime, and the finishing materials are of a high standard. The elegance and sporty nature of the car are stressed by the interior's aluminum inlay. Another attention grabber is a tri-spoked sporty steering wheel.

The test-drive unit was powered by an in-line turbocharged 2l/200 hp gasoline engine. The parameters of this engine, including its maximum torque of 280 Nm in the 1,800-5,000 rpm range, combined with the car's small weight (1,260 kg), guarantee excellent acceleration. The car takes only 6.6 seconds to accelerate from standstill to 100 kph, and achieves a top speed of 240 kph. The engine works quietly and smoothly and is very flexible. Fuel economy is also acceptable. After almost 1,500 km in the test drive, average fuel consumption was 9.2l/100 km (versus 7.7l/100 km according to the producer's official technical data).

Power is transmitted to the front wheels by a six-speed manual transmission. To retain stability at speeds of over 120 kph, the Audi features a small spoiler that pulls out automatically from the hatch to apply an additional load on the rear axle. After the car slows down to 80 kph, the spoiler hides back into the hatch (the spoiler can also be activated manually by pressing a button near the gear stick). The problem with traction control and an unstable rear, which plagued the first Audi TTs with front-wheel drive, has been resolved after the facelift-in a way that is both effective and attractive to the eye.
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