Earlier this year, I sat through a roundtable discussion with one of Audi's board members. He repeated ad nauseum that Audi differentiates itself from its competition by putting emotion into its cars. I chuckled quietly to myself. In my mind, Audi distinguishes itself by putting fantastic interiors - and a calculated lack of emotion - into its cars.
A few weeks later, I drove a new R8 for the first time, and found myself laughing for an entirely different reason. It was actually fun! The executive wasn't full of it: cold, collected, and unemotional Audi had thrown a huge chunk of emotion at the R8, and it stuck.
And now we find the Clubsport. Where in the name of all things holy did this thing come from?
Now, I've been accused of being an emotional person, and I've also been accused of being a little insane. I think, to be honest, those two qualities are closely related. And the fact that Audi mentions that they're considering making this concept a production car vindicates that belief. Audi is nuts.
Here's what you need to know: The TT Clubsport Quattro is powered by a 300-hp version of the 2.0T found in other TTs. Unlike those other 4-cylinder TTs, though, this one has all four of its (twenty-inch) wheels connected to the s-tronic, dual-clutch transmission. The power boost comes courtesy of a modified intake manifold, but the coolest addition to the TT's engine bay is a strut-tower brace that doubles as a coolant reservoir.
Absent from that engine compartment are the ABS and air-conditioning systems (which were moved to the interior) and the usual plastic engine cover. Inside the car are three-inch-wide, four-point seatbelts, a gated shifter from the R8, and, um, no windshield.
This TT has a track 3.2 inches wider than a standard TT, so it isn't likely to roll over. Which is a good thing, since there are no A-pillars, and the roll bars are the same height as the seat. If it were upside down, though, the TT would leave Daytona Grey stripes on the road - a color seen first on the RS4 and S8.
But let's hope the only marks the TT Clubsport Quattro leaves are on people's hearts. This is the type of car that can certainly do that. You may now say "Audi" and "Emotion" in the same sentence without making me laugh.