The original Audi TT was released in the late nineties, and looking at it today, you really wouldn't be able to tell. The TT was one of the few production cars to closely resemble its futuristic concept design, unlike a lot of other cars that end up becoming incredibly watered down to satisfy the accountants behind the scenes.
Audi have been on the ball with the TT ever since, retaining that unique shape that distinguishes it from the rest. Removing the roof only adds to the enjoyment the TT delivers on a daily basis, all while you benefit from Audi's meticulous levels of build quality and interior design.
The Audi TT has always been praised for its bold and fresh exterior design that seems to resist the test of time with ease. Would you really believe the original MK1 was born in 1998 when you compare it to some of the cars of the same generation, even those of today?
Smooth bodylines, a sloping roofline and a range of imposing features (without being vulgar) all contribute to the TT's awe-inspiring design. And with every generation, Audi manage to take the design to a new level with sharper lines that aren't over-done. The colours available have always been a stand out feature for the TT, the most recent 'Nardo Grey' is a contemporary colour that looks utterly incredible. Removing the roof only adds to the occasion in a TT.
Audi know a thing or two when it comes to designing and constructing interiors. When was the last time you heard someone complain of rattles and poor build quality in an Audi? The TT as you can imagine is a lovely place to sit then. Nice low slung driving position? Check. Quality materials throughout the interior? Check. Clean design that isn't overly fussy without being sparce? Double check.
Opt for the most recent TT and you'll benefit from Audi Virtual Cockpit which can display the satellite navigation among other features. The colour and display are rich with colour and sharpness, it really adds to the premium feeling this car oozes.
Removing the roof from a car typically makes it worse to drive, it's basic physics because you are removing some of the vehicle's structural rigidity. However, Audi have managed to combat this issue rather convincingly with a stiff chassis that utilises extra bracing to prevent flex.
The result of this? The TT convertible is still an engaging and entertaining car to drive down some twisty back roads. The low slung nature makes the TT a fun car to drive everyday, yet refinement levels aren't compromised in the search for that entertainment. The best part about the TT is even with the roof up, you barely notice cabin intrusion from wind or road noise because it is so well-insulated.
Most sporty coupes that get turned into convertibles tend to lose a lot of their - already limited - storage space. Having said that, the TT convertible seems to fair pretty decently in this area. You still get various compartments around the cabin that you can actually put stuff in (and not just a box of lime flavoured tic tacs). And although the boot space is smaller because of the folding roof, you can still get your weekly shop in without having to spill over into the cabin.
Engines and transmissions
There's quite a few engine choices to choose from, which is great because you won't have to fork out extra for an unnecessarily large engine you won't use. The petrol engines suit the TT the best in our opinion, with the 2.0-litre turbocharged unit allowing for brisk progress and excellent economy.
Having said that, you can benefit from a turbocharged diesel engine too, which still provides plenty of low-down punch. This engine is best for long distance commuters, or those who enjoy outstanding economy. The critically acclaimed DSG gearbox is a firm winner because of its seamless shifts and engaging manual mode. Although a dedicated manual or auto are still available.
The Audi TT is one of the ultimate lifestyle cars because it is a classy and versatile car to own on a daily basis. Getting the roof down on a summer's day and driving down to the coast is one of the reasons the TT convertible is special. The decent amount of storage space and excellent levels of refinement also make the TT the perfect companion for those long distance weekends away. You'll even be able to enjoy the twisty roads along the way thanks to the potent engines and taut chassis.