Here's a sports car that might just make BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Nissan 350Z and even Porsche Cayman owners sit up and take notice: Audi's second-generation TT adopts lightweight aluminum construction, new engines and a thoroughly reworked chassis that on paper give the car the potential to mount a more serious challenge to its rivals.
Unveiled in Berlin, the new TT will once again be launched as a coupe, with a roadster version likely to make an appearance at the Los Angeles show in November. The sharp new styling, credited to young Spanish designer Jorge Diaz, was previewed on Audi's Shooting Brake concept unveiled at the Tokyo motor show last October.
The car is bigger and rides on a longer wheelbase, but the big news is the body is now fashioned predominantly from aluminum rather than steel. Audi claims the change sharpens handling and provides the TT with a more responsive feel.
The TT will be available with two gasoline engines: a 2.0-liter, 200-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.2-liter, 250-hp normally aspirated V6. Both are already available in the A3 hatchback. The former is offered with front-wheel drive, while the latter runs a Haldex four-wheel-drive system. Gearbox choices include a standard six-speed manual and an optional six-speed double-clutch unit.
Weight drops by 44 pounds in four-cylinder guise to 2772 pounds, and by a considerable 176 pounds in six-cylinder form to 3102 pounds. Audi claims the new car will deliver 0-to-62-mph acceleration in 6.4 seconds in 2.0-liter form, 5.7 seconds with the V6. Top speed is 149 mph and 155 mph, respectively.