Ann Arbor - When the Audi TT concept coupe made its debut at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show, we swooned like everyone else, and, like most of you, we spent the late 1990s counting the months until the TT's U.S. debut. We were thrilled that the production car remained so true to Freeman Thomas's original concept, and our design editor, Robert Cumberford, even named the TT our 2000 Design of the Year, a decision with which the rest of the magazine staff wholeheartedly concurred. But after running our eyes over the TT's Bauhausian exterior and our fingertips over the cabin's aluminum accents for the hundredth time, one question remained: Was there any substance, performance, value, and practicality to back up the stunning looks? Only a Four Seasons test could tell.
The TT coupe bowed here in May 1999 as an early 2000 model with front-wheel drive, but we decided to wait for Quattro. We had few regrets about choosing the 180-horsepower version of Volkswagen/Audi's 1.8-liter turbocharged four rather than the hotter 225-horsepower model. Senior editor Joe Lorio found that he "really liked the engine, with its well-integrated turbo," and even preferred it to the 225.... Read full article