AW Vehicle Review - 2004 Audi TT 3.2 quattro DSG

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Ahead of the Game: Audi's trick DSG is the best F1-type transmission yet

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    By MAC MORRISON
    (08:30 March 15, 2004)

    WE’VE SEEN THE FUTURE, AND IT IS good. Audi’s 2004 TT 3.2 quattro boasts V6 power (a TT first), revised suspension and subtle yet aggressive bodywork changes, which include a new front spoiler, rear wing and diffuser. When we got our hands on a test car, though, we went straight for the paddles.

    Those steering-wheel-mounted gear selectors are connected to Audi’s Direct Shift Gearbox, the only transmission available with the V6.
    Europeans can specify a six-speed manual, but Audi says it has no plans to offer that option in America. With two concentric clutch discs and two input shafts, one inside the other (each shaft takes three gears), the DSG allows for simultaneous engagement of two gears, if only for a fraction of a second. The two big advantages this gives over conventional single-clutch systems are uninterrupted power flow to the driven wheels and smoother shifts.

    The DSG is without doubt the smoothest electrohydraulic transmission we’ve tested. Full automatic mode? Have no fear; there is no head-snapping jerkiness, no driveline shunt. Drive in anything approaching normal style and, chances are, you won’t be able to tell this is not a torque converter-equipped automatic.

    Select manual mode via the center console-mounted gear lever and it is more of the same. Open the throttle and pull the right paddle (or tap the lever) to upshift, then stomp on the brakes as your left hand flicks down through the box: Brap, brap, brap. For the most part, the software does a good job matching engine revs to road speed, although you often feel a bit of mismatched engine braking when you grab second and first gears. But let the speed drop a little more before you select the low ratios and the action smooths out.

    Our biggest disappointment with the DSG is in manual mode, when the computer auto-upshifts at redline. Since the engine develops its 250-hp peak at 6300 rpm—very near to the 6400-rpm rev limit—the software can beat you to the upshift punch when you try to achieve maximum power. Practically no time passes between 6300 and 6400 rpm, so you must be ultra-predictive with the right-hand paddle. We were also chagrined when we tried to activate launch control.

    After several failed attempts, we discovered an amendment to the owner’s manual instructions: “Due to a production change, your TT 3.2 is not equipped with launch control.” Thank Audi North America (Euro cars get launch control), its lawyers and product planners for mitigating your fun.

    That omission aside, the TT 3.2 quattro is not missing much. The torquey, narrow-angle V6 is the same VR engine used in Volkswagen’s R32 and Porsche’s entry-level Cayenne, and churns out 236 lb-ft at 2800 to 3200 rpm. This powerplant is precisely what the car begged for since its introduction. Throttle response is Ginsu sharp, and Audi claims a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.4 seconds. Really, though, it is in the mid and upper ranges where this V6 TT feels most fun, even during automatic operation. Activate the full auto sport mode, which mimics an aggressive manual driving style by automatically blipping the throttle for downshifts, and selecting—and holding—the lowest practical ratio for any speed (you can manually select gears in auto mode by tapping a paddle).

    At 80 mph, the box holds fourth gear at 5000 rpm. Not great for fuel economy or noise levels, but you likely won’t require a downshift when you want to move out.

    The car’s revised suspension (larger anti-roll bars, increased spring and shock rates) and six-cylinder power provide drivers with more of everything we like about lesser TT models. Handling is sharper than in those cars and there is loads of quattro-aided grip, although the overall balance is still biased toward understeer. As with all TTs, steering feel is decent but has room for improvement; we wish for a bit more on-center precision.

    Minor faults aside, this is easily the best stock TT we have driven, and we imagine Audi could quickly rectify the annoyances, perhaps for 2005. Or sooner. After all, the future is now.

    2004 AUDI TT QUATTRO
    AS-TESTED PRICE: $44,190
    POWERTRAIN: 3.2-liter, 250-hp, 236-lb-ft V6; awd, six-speed twin-clutch electrohydraulic manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 3351 pounds
    0 to 60 MPH: 6.4 seconds (mfr.)

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  2. Scream_Phoenix

    Scream_Phoenix Handsome Boy Model

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    very disappointing that the transmission shifts for you, but sounds very cool other wise :eek3:
     
  3. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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  4. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    no ford no care!

    j/k awesome car
     
  5. Jericho

    Jericho Active Member

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    nice, TTs are cool
     
  6. Jericho

    Jericho Active Member

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    it's not
     
  7. hondaluva

    hondaluva likes free hugs...

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    we FINALLY got the serious TT here in the states, and I love to see how that matches up against the SLK and the Z4.
     
  8. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike OT Health Guru

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    It is NOT a chick's car.
     
  9. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike OT Health Guru

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    I still prefer the 225 1.8T engine.
     
  10. hondaluva

    hondaluva likes free hugs...

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    really?

    balance of the car or something?
     
  11. Chadder007

    Chadder007 OG Diamond Member

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    When TF is this car going to be redesigned??? Also its too slow for a 3.2 liter engine compared to the Z4's 3.0 liter. :fawk:
     
  12. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike OT Health Guru

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    It's just really easy to tune. 270 hp with just a chip. 325 hp with a chip and 96+ octane.
     
  13. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    Soumds :cool:. It's about time they put a engine with a little punch in the TT.
     
  14. FryingPan

    FryingPan Certified Thread Killer

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    I want one sooo badly :(
     
  15. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike OT Health Guru

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    I prefer to shift my own :)

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  16. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    :rolleyes: Have you ever driven an SMG or Ferrari F1-type tranny equiped car?
     
  17. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike OT Health Guru

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    Of course. I actually just took this pic last month when the valet brought the car out for my brother-in-law.......

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  18. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    Nice! I was asking because I find that most people that comment about sequential gearboxes as you did have not actualy even driven one. I see you are an exception. At any rate, I have driven manuals all my life both on and off the track and have to say that I prefer my SMGII equiped M3 over my previous manual one. It was very different at first but now that I have learned the intricacies(sp?) I feel I drive a lot smoother/faster and it is just as much fun to me as a manual. It's hard to beat downshifting three gears in an instant, outbraking someone into a tight corner while they are only just finishing their first or maybe second downshift. I think the Audi system with its dual clutch sounds even better than SMGII and I'm sure it will set the benchmark for future sequentials.
     
  19. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike OT Health Guru

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    I'm all about heel/toe while braking into a turn and shifting down a proper number of gears while matching revs. No shifting while turning.... and then punching the gas out of the turn.
     
  20. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    I like how my car matches the revs for me (although when downshifting into tight low gear turns like Turn 11 and Laguna, it still helps to heel/toe to smooth it out). Also, now having to take my foot off the gas during upshifts is fun also. Who shifts while turning, BTW?? It's all about getting all your braking and shifting done well before the apex then rolling on the gas as early and smoothly as you can while you negotiate the turn.
     

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