Audi TTS: Armed to the teeth

Audi escalates the horsepower arms race with the 286hp/380Nm TTS quattro

audi_tts_1You’ve got to hand it to the folks at Audi Malaysia. They’ve certainly hit the ground running, earning their salaries by living up to the bold language sprinkled in their press releases. The latest one accompanying the introduction of the new Audi TTS (yet another new model in what appears to be an avalanche), the first ever S model to be introduced in Malaysia, the hard-charging coupe is described as “for the fearless” and “fearless by design”. In fact, its Head of Corporate Communications, Isaac Lee Mathew (above), labels the TTS as “a sports coupe not for the faint-hearted”. Wonder what they’ll call the TT RS when it arrives?

Bold promises backed by solid numbers

There’s clearly a horsepower arms race going on among the Germans, and the numbers are getting sillier by the day. For what is merely an S variant (don’t forget the RS), Audi has managed to coax 286hp and 380Nm from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine by strengthening its internals, adding a larger turbocharger along with a new intercooler. The result is the addition of 56hp and 10Nm on top of the base engine’s output of 230hp and 370Nm.

Helping the TTS lay down all the extra grunt is a Haldex-based quattro all-wheel drive system that primarily powers the front axle but is able to channel 100% of the torque to the rear wheels momentarily if the fronts slip. Transmission is the S tronic 6-speed, wet-sump dual clutch unit as found on the TT. That the TTS is capable of a sub-five-second 0-100km/h sprint (4.7s) is no surprise, that it can return a claimed 14.5km/l is.

Flash to go with the dash

Apart from the badge, one should be able to tell a TTS apart from its base model fairly easily. The grille has more chrome, the bumpers are new and they incorporate diffusers, side sills and wing mirrors are distinct, and of course, the giveaway will be those TTS-exclusive 19-inch forged alloys wheels. The futuristic TT cabin, already rather impressive on the base model, receives S trimmings on all major touch points including seats, steering, dashboard, on top of a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.


How much? This is the part where Audi Malaysia has by and large walked the talk with the introduction of keenly priced, well-spec-ed new models. For Porsche Cayman S-beating performance, the TTS is a strong proposition at RM389,900 (Cayman S starts from RM620,000!). And since the BMW M235i coupe is perpetually on “special order only” status, it would appear that Audi has the performance coupe space to itself…except that it has a trio of fire-breathing, compact AMG models to contend with, namely the A45, GLA45 and CLA45, with prices ranging from RM344,000 to RM397,000. While it isn’t a like-for-like contest in terms of body style, potential buyers, faint-hearted or otherwise, will make the inevitable comparisons as performances are on par. Do you dare choose the TTS?

Audi TTS
Price RM389,900 (incl. GST, w/o insurance)
Engine 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol, turbocharged, AWD
Output 286hp@5,300rpm, 380Nm@1,800-5,200rpm
Transmission 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox w/ shift paddles
Performance 0-100km/h in 4.7 sec, top speed 250km/h (limited)
Wheels/tyres 19in alloys, 245/35 R19
Safety 6 airbags, Dynamic Stability Control
Warranty 4-year/120,000km

Optional: Matrix LED headlamps (RM5,000); Rear view camera (RM2,500)