What it is
Audi TT Roadster – 2008 Preview: Hollywood stars Molly Simms (Las Vegas) and James Denton (Desperate Housewives) sat in the 2008 Audi TT Roadster as the redesigned sports car was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, two beautiful people pretending to take a cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway in a new two-seat convertible. Audi didn’t need the extra star power, however, because the new TT is a good-looking piece of work in its own right.
What’s under the hood
The Audi TT Roadster is available with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder making about 200 horsepower or a 250-horse 3.2-liter V6 engine. The turbo four drives the front wheels and features a broad torque band, while the V6 is equipped with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Either version can be equipped with Audi’s Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, now called S-tronic. So equipped, the 2.0 gets to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds and the 3.2 rockets to the same velocity in about 5.8 seconds. Also notable is an optional magnetically-charged adaptive suspension system.
What it looks like
Though it’s lost some of the original’s character to modern crash regulations and fuel economy needs, the longer and wider new TT Roadster has gained the distinctive new face of Audi and an aggressive edge that it previously lacked. With the cloth top down, it creates its own tonneau for a finished look, and at speeds above 75 mph a spoiler deploys from the trailing edge of the trunk. When equipped with the power top, the TT turns into a rolling tanning bed in 12 seconds as long as the car is traveling less than 30 mph.
Like the outside, the TT Roadster’s interior is larger than before with added head and shoulder room and a larger trunk that’s available with an optional pass-through to the cabin. Standard equipment is generous, with the more powerful TT 3.2 model getting Alcantara and leather as well as automatic climate control. Options include a navigation system, Bose surround sound, and special aluminum styling packages. Head and thorax side airbags complement the dual-stage front airbags and Audi’s backguard feature for crash protection front, side, and rear.
What we think
Guys might actually buy the 2008 Audi TT Roadster, but not because Molly Simms endorsed it in exchange for a big, fat check. With more power, more room, and styling that resembles a sports car instead of a Volkswagen New Beetle, the Audi TT’s sales oughta soar -- even if it does still have front-wheel drive.
Photos courtesy of Ron Perry and Audi