2006 Audi TT

Written by tonks on November 4, 2006

2006 Audi TTWith its rounded body and handsome, aluminum-trimmed interior, Audi’s TT still manages to stand out even without a major redesign since its debut as a 2000 model in 1999.

The TT was introduced as a 2+2 coupe and a roadster was added a year later as a 2001 model. It sacrifices the coupe’s petite backseat for the folding canvas top. Changes for 2006 are minimal, with Sirius and XM satellite radio compatibility now standard across the line. A red interior color scheme available on the coupe is also new.

The current model shares platforms with the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta and New Beetle. It’s nimble and balanced, with crisp handling, but lacks the athleticism of a Honda S2000 or BMW Z4, both of which have better weight distribution, thanks to their rear-wheel-drive layout.

The TT features a four-wheel independent suspension with 17-inch wheels and tires, four-wheel disc antilock brakes and variable-assist power steering that transmits good road feel through the car’s thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel, which tilts and telescopes.
Three available engines, each mated to a different transmission, offer a range of performance possibilities, from quick to downright fast.

Base models have a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower. It’s paired with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that can be shifted manually using the center-mounted shift lever. An electronic stability program enhances handling in extreme situations.

An intermediate model features a higher output version of the 1.8-liter engine producing 225 hp. This version also adds a more sophisticated rear multi-link suspension, a sporty six-speed manual transmission and Audi’s renowned quattro all-wheel-drive system, which improves traction on slippery road surfaces and cornering capabilities on dry pavement at the expense of fuel economy. Quattro models have slightly smaller trunks to accommodate the added all-wheel-drive hardware.

A 3.2-liter V6-powered version was added in 2003 as a 2004 model. This engine generates 250 hp and also comes with quattro all-wheel drive. It’s mated to a six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox transmission that affords manual shifting via steering-wheel- mounted paddles rather than a traditional clutch pedal and shift stick.

Unlike automatic transmissions with manual shifting capability, like the Tiptronic on the base model, the Direct Shift Gearbox is a true manual transmission, employing two clutches to maintain a continuous flow of thrust throughout the engine’s power range. By making the clutches work in tandem, Audi was able to circumvent the balky behavior plaguing other sequential manual transmissions.

Standard equipment on all three models is plentiful, with the usual suspects represented. A handful of available options include such luxuries as a premium Bose Audio system, satellite navigation system and 18-inch wheels and tires.

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