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2000 Audi TT Review

The Car Connection Expert Review

AUSTIN, Texas — With the design and mechanical verve so evident in the stunning new Audi TT, can true blue-eyed-soul for Germany’s perennial number three be far behind?

For all its turbocharged powerplants, sophisticated quattro four-wheel-drive systems, and athletic designs, Audi hasn’t made a car that has truly captured all of its brand essence since the Quattro Coupe stormed into existence in the early 1980s. Packed with technology and imbued with great four-wheel-drive handling, the Quattro Coupe was a universal symbol of what Audi wanted to be known for: the art of technology. Since then, Audi’s vehicles, from the lowliest 80 sedan to the sharpest A8, have shown flashes of brilliance – but none have sparkled from stem to stern.

With the TT, Audi has rediscovered the elusive formula of technology and passion that can shoot a brand’s profile into the stratosphere, even without selling hundreds of thousands of cars. Other four-ring fans may argue, but in our minds the TT’s mechanically pure lines and harmonious performance make it the best Audi offered yet in the U.S. – the first Audi with the soul of a world-beater.

 

Style and substance

The chief element it its success, regardless of its hot 180-hp turbo four, is the TT’s styling. Melding elements of the VW Beetle, Porsche 911, and Audi’s own quattro coupes, the TT has made a graceful transition into reality from its conceptual birth at the 1995 Frankfurt auto show. Elemental lines – stylized parallelograms surrounding circular headlamps, side cutlines that delineate the engine bay (especially in our tester’s silver paint), and graphically grabbing wheel styles – tautly define the TT’s road stance.

 

2000 Audi TT interior

2000 Audi TT interior


The forms of the TT’s cabin are functional, too. The tubes running atop the dash behind the center air vents, for example, are the center-channel audio speakers.

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