TT 3.2 V6
dates : 29th August 2004
2nd September 2004
|Audi’s TT has been one of the
most successful models in the company’s history.
Launched here in 2000 with a powerful turbocharged
four-cylinder engine and the famous Quattro all-wheel-drive
system, the car was an instant hit amongst the
It says a lot for the styling that four years later the TT is
still very much an "in" car amongst the café
The new 3.2-litre V6 model was introduced a few months ago and
it takes the TT to a new level in terms of performance,
driver-experience and technology. One aspect of the original TT that could always have done with
improvement was its rather gruff, flat, four-cylinder engine
The new engine in the TT is an instant cure. Not only is it
more powerful than the turbocharged four-cylinder – at 184
kW it produces 19 more kilowatts – but it gives the TT a
soulful sporty sound that will delight the driver and
The V6 engine is a remarkable packaging job. To fit the motor
into the tiny snub-nosed engine bay, Audi engineers came up
with an extremely narrow cylinder bank angle of 15 degrees. It
features continually variable camshaft timing for a spread of
torque and high-revving capabilities and variable length
And the exhaust system too is variable. At low revs the noise
is muted, but a flap in the exhaust system opens to give vent
to the smooth-six cylinder sound which becomes a scream at the
6 500 rpm redline.
As good as the engine is, the aspect of this Audi that
enthusiasts will be talking about for years to come is its
Called the DSG or Direct Shift Gearbox, it’s a manual system
relying on conventional gears, but with an automatic clutch
This idea has been offered by the likes of Alfa Romeo, BMW and
Ferrari for a few years now, with varying degrees of success.
But whereas these systems make use of a conventional clutch
activated by a system of solenoids and hydraulics, Audi has
taken a completely different approach.
The DSG system employs two multi-plate clutches that are an
integral part of the gearbox.
These clutches enable the gearbox to select two gears
simultaneously, but with only one clutch engaged. When a
gearshift is made – either by the paddle shift on the
steering wheel or the central gear-lever the one clutch is
disengaged and the other engaged.
The result is the smoothest, fastest gearbox that has been
developed until now. It has none of the jerkiness or the
tardiness of gearshifts associated with the likes of the BMW
SMG and Alfa Romeo Sele-speed systems.
What’s more, the full-automatic mode which can be selected
operates like a true automatic – smooth with almost
And yet, thanks to conventional gears being used, there is
none of the performance loss associated with a fluid-drive
automatic gearbox, and the driver always has complete control
of the transmission if needed.
Thanks to complex electronic interfacing with the DSG gearbox,
the TT 3.2 is also comes with a launch control option which is
fun to use and not too hard on the transmission.
The suspension has been uprated to deal with the extra power
of the V6 engine. Coupled to the all-wheel-drive Quattro
system, it goes without saying that the TT 3.2 sticks to the
road like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.
The performance of the V6 is impressive. A 6,2 second 0-100 is
claimed and the top speed is an electronically-limited 250
A few styling clues denote the new TT. These include an
extended boot spoiler, larger air intakes, xenon headlights
and re-styled 17-inch alloy wheels, while 18-inch wheels are
available as an option.
Inside, the cosy cockpit still feels fresh, even though some
of the retro touches such as the bright metal struts and vent
surrounds look a little contrived in 2004.
Priced at R416 500 for the coupe and R465 000 for the
convertible, the new V6 DSG TT remains competitive in the
sports car market despite many new models being launched in
the past 12 months. The TT shape has aged well and the new
engine and transmission will keep it fresh for a good few
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