I'll be the first to admit that anyone who hopes the Audi TTS will provide the same sort of hard-edged, visceral driving experience as the Porsche Boxster is bound to be disappointed by this, the sportiest and fastest TT ever conceived. But I'd also venture that probably half or more of Boxsters are sold to people who are buying them for the prestige of the Porsche badge and for the fact that the Boxster is cute and agile and a roadster. Sorry, but that's the truth. I've known people who've purchased Boxsters for precisely those reasons. These are the sort of people for whom the TTS is also a logical choice. They want the prestige badge, they want the looks, they want the luxury, they want those gorgeous seats upholstered in baseball-mitt-style leather, replete with the thick exposed stitching.
If you can get past the fact that the TTS is not a Boxster, there's a lot to like here, starting with the fact that this sucker is FAST. Very fast, indeed. And the 265-hp version of Audi's ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mates beautifully with the DSG transmission: all you get is seamless, nonstop, bountiful power and neck-snapping acceleration. What's more, the little exhaust blip when you shift manually using the paddle shifters is altogether enchanting.
You'd still prefer a Boxster? Good for you. But don't feel sorry for, or act condescendingly toward, any fortunate person whom you see driving around in a TTS. They knew exactly what they were buying and why they were buying it, and more power to them, literally and figuratively.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor