2009 Audi TT Coupe 2.0 Quattro

Lucky me - this is the third flavor of Audi TT I've sampled in a month, each for a weekend at a time. Interestingly, they've all been equipped in a similar fashion. 2.0T? Check. Quattro? Yep. DSG? You betcha.

And though that may suggest that all three-this TT and two TTS models - drove the same, that couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, the TTS models seem much more dynamic than the TT, which is utterly stupefying.

I suppose part of the magic lies with the TTS's engine tuning. In TTS guise, the turbocharged 2.0-liter pumps out a respectable 265 hp. In a normal TT, that figure drops down to a scant 200 hp. Power comes on strong once the turbo spools, but not as strongly as in the TTS, and peak torque is 207 lb-ft, down considerably from the TTS's 258 lb-ft.

The behavior of the DSG transmission didn't help change my impression, either. This car's gearbox felt sluggish, and gear changes were executed in a harsh manner. Neither TTS gearbox felt this way, which is odd, given Audi doesn't retune the S tronic transmission for TTS duty.

On the plus side, the TT's Bose stereo produces a rich, ample sound, leaving me thinking that the TTS coupe I drove had a few blown amplifier channels. I also didn't experience the Bluetooth connection quirks the last car exhibited, and the S-line sport seats proved themselves quite comfortable and supportive.

Still, I look at the $48,750 price tag and note to myself that a similar figure can also purchase a TTS. Sure, you'll sacrifice the nav system and LED reading lights, but you'll also be buying a TT that is more enjoyable on the open road.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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