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Life hasn’t been simple for the Audi TT. The unique automotive was a stop-the-presses second in automotive historical past — a automotive so jaw-droppingly beautiful that I firmly consider it can stay an icon for many years to return. Due to that, the first-generation TT proved to be an extremely powerful act to comply with. At the same time as subsequent successors improved dynamically, that preliminary, instant-hit design was all the time the catalyst that drove the TT’s momentum.

Twenty years later, Audi hasn’t formally put the ultimate nail within the TT’s coffin, however the writing is clearly on the wall. The 20th Anniversary Version mannequin you see right here is likely to be the automotive’s ultimate act, and it is a bittersweet solution to say goodbye.

Nimbus Grey is a US-exclusive paint coloration, and appears nice with the gunmetal 19-inch wheels.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The 20th Anniversary Version brings a number of throwback design cues to the 2019 TT, impressed by the unique 1995 TTS Roadster idea. Aviator Grey or Nimbus Grey are the one exterior colours supplied — the latter a US unique — with matte silver Audi logos on the rear aspect sills. Out there as both a coupe or roadster, the 20th Anniversary mannequin will get the trick OLED taillights at present discovered on the TT RS, in addition to stainless-steel exhaust suggestions and 19-inch, 5-spoke wheels. The general look is fairly fetching, even when the present TT is not half the fashionista its progenitor was.

Inside, brown leather-based seats with yellow distinction stitching are distinctive to the 20th Anniversary automotive, and are speculated to be a kind of fashionable interpretation of the baseball-glove inside from the unique TT. I want Audi would’ve introduced again the actual baseball-glove seating, although. This brown/yellow scheme is okay and all, however form of appears like a half-assed try and recreate one of many coolest automotive upholstery therapies of all time.

In any other case, the 20th Anniversary Version is identical as another 2019 TT. Which is to say, largely unchanged from 2015, when the third-generation automotive went on sale. The cabin nonetheless appears to be like and feels fairly contemporary, with solely minimal switchgear on the dashboard, and I nonetheless get a kick out of the multifunction dials with digital shows contained in the round air vents.

Behind the steering wheel, you will discover Audi’s Digital Cockpit gauge cluster, with customary navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on this 20th Anniversary Version tester. I’ve all the time cherished Digital Cockpit — it is some of the stunning, feature-rich digital IPs out there at this time, and it is simple to manage through the rotary dial on the middle console or with the buttons at thumb’s attain on all sides of the steering wheel.

Audi says this brown leather-based with yellow stitching is meant to imitate the baseball-glove inside from the unique TT Roadster. It… form of works.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Sadly, driver-assistance tech is just about nonexistent. Fashionable options like adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping help are nowhere to be discovered on the 2019 TT. However hey, at the very least a backup digicam is customary. A wi-fi charging pad joins the roster this yr, too.

The TT Coupe comes with a four-seat configuration, although the rear seats are higher suited to grocery baggage than people. Within the TT Roadster, the rear seats are jettisoned so there’s a spot for the folding tender high to stow, although it does eat into cargo house. The trunk has 7.5 cubic ft of room, which is lower than what you get in a BMW Z4. It is a shallow space, too — coming residence from every week away, I may put my carry-on suitcase and a backpack within the cargo maintain simply advantageous, but when I had a passenger with me, they’d have been out of luck.

Curiously, the 20th Anniversary Version builds on the bottom TT, fairly than the warmer TT S or TT RS fashions. Which means energy comes from a 2.Zero-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch computerized transmission. (Mainly, the identical setup because the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI.) Quattro all-wheel drive shuffles energy round between all 4 wheels, and Audi says the TT Roadster can speed up to 60 miles per hour in a decent 5.5 seconds. The lighter Coupe, in the meantime, does the identical dash in 5.three.

After some preliminary lag, the engine provides sturdy mid-range punch. The transmission is sometimes lazy to downshift in its regular setting, however transfer the shifter to Sport and issues get noticeably extra responsive. The steering wheel-mounted paddles execute rapid-fire, do-it-yourself gear-changes, however the small, plastic flippers are clicky and unsatisfying of their motion. This drawback is not distinctive to the TT, both; Audi may stand to suit higher paddles to just about all of its sports activities vehicles — even the R8.

The TT is a superbly good automotive to drive, although in base guise it is higher suited to lazy, winding roads like California’s Pacific Coast Freeway; go away correct canyon carving for the S and RS. The suspension tune is agency, however not disagreeable. You will really feel pavement imperfections via the chassis due to the tires’ quick sidewalls, however on clean roads, the TT strikes an ideal steadiness between sports activities automotive and Sunday cruiser.

Audi’s Drive Choose toggle allows you to swap between completely different driving modes, although the deltas between every setting aren’t all that massive. The steering, particularly, is fairly mild throughout the board, and whereas the TT is fast to answer inputs, the general expertise is quantity than what you will discover in, say, a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Porsche 718 Boxster. The brand new, four-cylinder BMW Z4 poses an actual risk, too.

Certain, it is beautiful to throw the TT’s high again and drive via the Angeles Nationwide Forest on a phenomenal July day. However as I hug the corners of a few of my favourite roads, I might be mendacity if I stated I would not fairly be driving any of these aforementioned sports activities vehicles. The 2019 TT is best to drive than any model that got here earlier than, nevertheless it is not a standout in its class.

The 2019 TT Coupe begins at $44,900, whereas the TT Roadster is available in at $48,400, not together with vacation spot. If you need the 20th Anniversary particular, you are $52,900 or $56,800, respectively. Should you aren’t married to the limited-edition spec, I might advocate the $53,800 TT S Coupe, merely for its higher on-road manners. If it is the droptop you need, it oddly is not out there as an S anymore, so it is the bottom model or nothing for you.

The 2019 Audi TT is gorgeous to drive, however give me the first-generation automotive any day.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

As for these opponents, a Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring would not provide fairly as a lot cabin tech, however at $31,855, it is one hell of a cut price — and higher to drive, too. The BMW Z4 can be extra partaking than the TT, and has newer onboard know-how, for $49,700 to start out. Spend a couple of additional grand and you may step into the 718 Boxster, at $59,000, although with choices, the Porsche’s as-tested value can escalate rapidly.

The 2019 Audi TT is a superbly good automotive, however solely a mid-pack providing in a small class of luxurious roadsters. And whereas it was simple to miss the unique TT’s dynamic shortcomings as a result of it was so goddamn fairly — a rolling sculpture of contemporary artwork — the brand new model would not have that very same crutch, even when it is arguably higher to drive.

So when the TT will get the axe within the not-too-distant future, it will not be too onerous to say goodbye. I am going to all the time wax nostalgic concerning the TT, nevertheless it’s Audi’s unique icon that I — and automotive lovers all over the place — will keep in mind most.

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