The Audi TT 2.0T was crowned the winner in the Fun Car category of the first annual Cars.co.za Consumer Awards, announced in Johannesburg on 14 January 2016.
What makes a fun car "fun"? Is it purely about performance and handling? To a large degree it is, but for this award we were looking for a total package that is not exorbitantly priced. This must be one for the petrolheads – a car that leaves die-hard enthusiasts smiling after every drive, because of the way it looks, handles, sounds and, yes, performs.
We were looking for a vehicle that cost less than R600 000 and the winner needed to deliver on a number of levels. The drivetrain of this car had to be responsive and reward driver inputs with immediacy and urgency. The handling had to be entertaining; sufficient steering feel and feedback was essential. The car also had to be aesthetically appealing and emit an evocative exhaust note. And, let's not forget that the standard features list had to be reasonably generous.
Why did the Audi TT win?
The Audi TT’s main appeal has always been its arresting design and quality interior, rather than outright performance and dynamics. In its latest incarnation, however, the Audi coupe's fun factor has been dialled up significantly. It's more agile and engaging than ever before, and offers such easily accessible performance and handling prowess that the TT is bound to please both the enthusiasts and poseurs. Thanks to a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol motor that delivers 169kW and 370Nm driving the front wheels through a slick S-tronic dual-clutch box, the Audi TT feels agile and nimble. 0-100kph should come up in about 6,0 seconds accompanied by a delicious exhaust note, of course.
In its latest form the TT is a more aggressive-looking machine with straight edges endowing the now familiar shape with some menace. From the square-cut grille to the edgy LED daytime running lights in the headlights, the new TT looks the business. It rides on neat 17-inch wheels as standard, but you can opt for 18-inchers (R17 040) or even wheelarch-stretching 19-inch items (R29 610). You may also want to select the dazzling LED Matrix headlamps (R30 030) or the S line kit (R22 380) to sharpen the looks further. Inside, the facia design sets a new standard for minimalism and high-tech features. It features a virtual cockpit – an entirely digital instrument cluster with loads of individualisation options. And the way the climate control displays are integrated into the vents is pure art. The alcantara/leather upholstery feels lovely to touch, too.
Cars.co.za co-founder Ross McIlroy with Audi communications representative Sameerah Bhabha.
At the price, the TT’s combination of style, sophistication, performance and features puts forward a very convincing purchasing argument. It’s a properly upmarket package that includes navigation, cruise control, climate control, a sound system with Bluetooth/USB/aux support, auto wipers/lights and even keyless access.
Opinion from the Judges
“Even in front-wheel drive form the new Audi TT delivers sufficient thrills to be considered a seriously sporting machine. And it does it all with such style and sophistication.” Hannes Oosthuizen
“The latest generation of Audi TT epitomises the sportscar category. Not only is it easy on the eye and brimming with technology, it’s also terrific to drive. Handling is darty and the backfires from the exhaust make for an entertaining combination.” David Taylor
“A front-wheel drive Coupe that somehow manages to mask the negative understeer perceptions. There’s seemingly endless grip and the most responsive dual-clutch gearbox I’ve ever driven.” Ashley Oldfield