Diecast metal with plastic parts
The Audi TT is a 2-door sports car marketed by Volkswagen Group subsidiary Audi since 1998, and now in its third generation. The first two generations were assembled by the Audi subsidiary Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. in Győr, Hungary, using bodyshells manufactured and painted at Audi's Ingolstadt plant and parts made entirely by the Hungarian factory for the third generation.
For each of its three generations, the TT has been available as a 2+2 coupé and as a two-seater roadster employing consecutive generations of the Volkswagen Group A platform, starting with the A4 (PQ34). As a result of this platform-sharing, the Audi TT has identical powertrain and suspension layouts as its related platform-mates; including a front-mounted transversely oriented engine, front-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive system, and fully independent front suspension using MacPherson struts.
The styling of the Audi TT began in the spring of 1994 at the Volkswagen Group Design Center in California. The TT was first shown as a concept car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show. The design is credited to J Mays and Freeman Thomas, with Hartmut Warkuss, Peter Schreyer, Martin Smith and Romulus Rost contributing to the interior design.
A previously unused laser beam welding adaptation, which enabled seamless design features on the first-generation TT, delayed its introduction. Audi did not initially offer any type of automatic transmission option for the TT. However, from 2003, a dual clutch six-speed Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) became available, with the United Kingdom TT variants becoming the world's first user of a dual clutch transmission configured for a right-hand drive vehicle, although the outright world first for a road car equipped with a dual clutch transmission was claimed earlier by a Volkswagen Group platform-mate, the left hand drive Volkswagen Golf Mk4 R32.
The Audi TT takes its name from the successful motor racing tradition of NSU in the British Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race. NSU marque began competing at the Isle of Man TT in 1907 with the UK manager Martin Geiger finishing in fifth position in the single-cylinder race. The 1938 Isle of Man Lightweight TT race was won by Ewald Kluge with a 250 cc supercharged DKW motor-cycle and the DKW and NSU companies later merged into the company now known as Audi.
The Audi TT also follows the NSU 1000TT, 1200TT and TTS cars of the 1960s in taking their names from the race.
The TT name has also been attributed to the phrase "Technology & Tradition".
Mechanically, the TT shares an identical powertrain layout with its related Volkswagen Group-mates. The TT uses a transversely mounted internal combustion engine, with either front-wheel drive with 'quattro four-wheel drive' available as an option. It was first available with a 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder 5-valve turbocharged engine in two states of DIN-rated power outputs; 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) and 225 PS (165 kW; 222 hp). The engines share the same fundamental design, but the 225 PS version features a larger K04 turbocharger (180 PS version came with a smaller K03S), an additional intercooler on the left side (complementing the existing right-side intercooler), larger 20mm wrist-pins, a dual tailpipe exhaust, intake manifold with inlet on driver's side, and a few other internals – designed to accommodate the increase in turbo boost, from roughly 10 pounds per square inch (0.7 bar) peak, to 15 pounds per square inch (1.0 bar). Haldex Traction enabled four-wheel drive, 'branded' as "Quattro" was optional on the 180 engine, and standard on the more powerful 225 version.
The original four-cylinder engine range was complemented with a 3,189 cc (3.2 L; 194.6 cu in) VR6 engine rated at 250 PS (247 bhp; 184 kW) and 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft) of torque in early 2003, which came as standard with the quattro four-wheel-drive system. In July 2003, a new six-speed dual clutch transmission – dubbed the Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG), which improves acceleration through much-reduced shift times, was offered, along with a stiffer suspension.