I've heard a few rumblings about how the new TTS targets the Porsche Boxster, but to me, it feels like an exceptionally well-dressed Mitsubishi Evo. That sounds like a damning comparison until you remember that our Four Seasons Evo MR costs more than $40,000. For $10,000 more, the TTS offers similar turbocharged four-cylinder performance and all-wheel-drive handling prowess, but hides its economy-car origins much, much better. I'd also add that Audi's dual-clutch unit feels smoother than that in our Evo, and its 24-mpg combined fuel economy rating is a whopping 5-mpg better than our petrol-slurping long-termer.
What do you give up? In a word, steering. The lifeless, disconnected wheel in the TTS is no match for the scalpel found in the Evo. Also, the Evo MR is clearly priced out of the natural asking range for a hotted-up sport compact. The TTS, by adding ten grand in luxury and beauty to the same basic formula, doesn't become that much better a value.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor