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2001 Audi TT Coupe Road Test

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Khatir Soltani

From the exterior, the metallic silver test car looks as if it was machined from a solid chunk of billet aluminum. Sensuous curves clash with raw, edgy cuts and slices - traditional it's not. That said, the aggressive design pulls inspiration from the legendary 520 horsepower Auto Union Silver Arrows that dominated pre-war GP racing - Auto Union being the parent company of Horch, Audi, Wanderer and DKW, that eventually, through a myriad of owners and name changes, became Audi.

Based on Audi's superb A3 platform, which is also the basis for Volkswagen's Golf, Jetta and New Beetle, the TT is wonderfully agile. Driving quickly in city traffic has never been easier, that is once you get used to the car's limited visibility. Virtually nothing upsets the TT's stability, due in part to Audi's Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP4) and its 17-inch, 6-spoke cast alloy wheels with optional 225/45 performance tires. Pounding rain and slippery road surfaces that would intimidate most cars only encourage the little Audi to accelerate harder. Slam it hard into a 90-degree corner and then inanely apply the brakes - the TT will walk you through like you're on a Sunday stroll. Try that move in almost anything else and you'll be transforming body panels into shards of shrapnel as you leave the road to meet your maker.

Audi enhanced the TT's stability further by fixing a rear deck spoiler. Although it interrupts the TT's clean aesthetics, the added downforce keeps its tail on the ground during high-speed maneuvers - something the previous model seems to have had trouble accomplishing according to reports from Europe. A speed-sensitive mechanically raised spoiler, such as on Porsche's Boxster, would be more attractive if it could be made to fit.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
As a car enthusiast, he tests and compares vehicles from different categories through the eyes of the consumer, ensuring relevant and objective reviews.
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada