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The new 1.8-litre Audi TT Coupe proves to be an unbeatably fun-to-drive, bang-for-buck proposition.

08 Jan 2018


Having driven a fair number of cars over the years, I have come to the conclusion that, as a general rule, slower sports cars tend to be more fun. Think Mazda MX-5, for example.

And a crowning representation of this rule is the car you see here, the entry-level third generation Audi TT Coupe, powered by a turbocharged 1.8-litre engine.

Compared to its 2.0-litre sibling, which is also offered in both Coupe and Roadster forms, the Audi TT Coupe 1.8 TFSI S-tronic is $34,500 to $39,700 cheaper, depending on which bodystyle you go for (as of 28th December 2017).

The 1.8-litre turbo while not powerful by modern standards is a creamy and hardworking unit

But the appeal of this 1.8 goes way beyond its significant price difference. For starters, while it may only produce 180bhp and 250Nm of torque, 50bhp and 12Nm lesser than the 2.0, it's only 1.7 seconds slower from 0-100km/h.

That lack of outright pace is negligible on daily drives and is compensated by superior fuel economy of 12km/L and a more visceral experience from having to work the engine harder.

You won't mind doing so either, as the four-cylinder powerplant affords torque from as low as 1,250rpm. Power delivery is also smoother, and it's barely audible at a cruise.

Car's steering is quick and accurate but could do with a little more feedback

Interestingly, the car's keen-edged steering, low mass and compact dimensions are more than enough for it to dart around traffic and dance along Rifle Range Road in a highly planted manner, even at childishly irresponsible speeds.

More importantly, because of its front-wheel drive layout, the 1.8 also feels lighter on its feet than its quattro-equipped 2.0 siblings. Unless you're planning on chasing lap times up North, quattro is hardly necessary in Singapore.

And despite being the entry variant, Audi hasn't cut back on the inside of the car.

Audi Virtual Cockpit is crisp and easily the best digital cluster system in the market today

It's identical to that in the 2.0 we drove - driver-focused, neat as a button and finished in high quality materials typical of the Ingolstadt brand. In terms of design and construction from the driver's seat, there are practically zero faults.

For a compact coupe, it's also got a surprisingly spacious 312-litre boot, which expands to a very practical 712 litres with the rear seats folded. The only quibble is how tiny those rear seats are, which can accommodate your hand carry bags and overweight lap dogs at best.

Audi TT Coupe 1.8 TFSI S-tronic lets you feel a million bucks for a lot, lot less

That said, it's a flaw that does very little to damage the appeal of the car, which is its impeccable good looks enriched by the fact that an Audi TT can now be had for much lesser money, with better efficiency and just as much fun, if not more.
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Car Information

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Audi TT Coupe 1.8 TFSI S tronic (A)
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Price

: $214,780

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1798cc

Horsepower

:

134kW (180 bhp) / 6200 rpm

Torque

:

250 Nm / 5000 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) S tronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

7sec

Top Speed

:

241km/h

Fuel consumption

:

16.9 km/L

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