The Audi TTS occupies an awkward spot among our favorite sports cars — somewhere between the Porsche Cayman S, Jaguar F-Type and even the less-powerful Audi TT.
It's a matter of preferences and choice: manual transmission and mid engine handling of a Porsche, manual and sleek look of a Jag, or less power but high fun factor of a base TT.
The redesigned TTS for 2016 — there should not be significant chances in the '17 — has more chiseled front with angular headlights and grille. But when comparing to competitions, the TT/TTS has somewhat generic lines.
The TTS in many ways is a mini version of Audi's R8 performance coupe. It packs the same 2-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine as the TT, but it's rated at 70-plus more (292) horsepower. Couple that power with Audi's standard all-wheel drive, a low ride height and suspension goodies such as magnetic dampers and selectable ride settings and you have one of the best-handling compact coupes on the market. It's seductively easy to dart in an out of traffic with instantly responsive steering. You just have to think about changing lanes, it seems, and the car is there. Don't worry, with our car's Vegas Yellow paint, fellow motorists will see you coming. (And so will the Highway Patrol, so watch your speed.)
As much as we like the handling and performance, the highlight is the tech-laden and snug interior. It's here that the TTS shares a lot with the big-sibling R8. Example: The 12.3-inch "virtual cockpit," which is the driver's gauge cluster, also is the infotainment screen, which frees up dash space. This being an Audi, of course, it also has the MMI control dial, which is now on the console. The cabin does have a backseat, but it's really more for parcels than people. And in such a driver-centric car, who is going to haul around passengers? The materials and fit/finish are excellent. Peter especially liked details such as the rotary rims on the circular vents that control air flow. Our TTS had the optional Bang & Olufsen audio system, which is a lot of sound for a small cockpit.
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