Flash Drive: 2009 Audi TTS Roadster
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Finished in pearl-effect black with a black top and 19-inch parallel-spoke wheels, the TTS Roadster looks meaner than you ever thought a TT could look. The rounded shape of the original TT was almost cute. But the second-generation TT is more sports car in both appearance and performance. The S model takes it to another level altogether. Audi's turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is already one of our favorite engines, and the TTS is powered by a 265-horsepower version with TFSI direct injection. Combined with the lightning-fast S tronic 6-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox coupled to Audi's quattro all-wheel drive, the TTS is fast and really fun to drive. Once it's moving, that is. From a standstill with the S tronic, I found that the TTS didn't always move right when I wanted it to, even though I was mashing the throttle. The interior is typical Audi, with sport seats and black and silver trim. –Mike Meredith
Wow! The Audi TTS offers a lot of performance in a small package, but also comes with a pretty high price that puts it squarely in the midst of some very good competition. Clearly, the TTS has styling to match any competitor. It looks low, taut, aggressive, technical and sophisticated. The visibly lowered suspension offers world-class handling; this Audi is a blast to drive, with secure handling that provides engaging and fascinating feedback through the steering wheel, while offering high levels of grip and a taut yet never jarring ride that never put a foot wrong. Driving in the country, the big turbo is perfectly matched to the quick semi-automatic transmission. But in city traffic, the big turbo and inevitable lag make it hard to slot the car smoothly through dense freeway traffic. –Paul Hagger
The TTS roadster is a blast to drive. The hotter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine really propels the car forward, and the quattro all-wheel drive makes anyone a confident driver. Even with spirited driving, I achieved 22 mpg in mixed driving. When the top is up, there is a major driver blind spot that can be avoided only by lowering the top. Fortunately, the top lowers quickly and can be accomplished at a stoplight. The passenger airbag has a smart passenger sensor in it, so infant passengers can sit safely in a car seat and the passenger airbag will disarm due to the low passenger weight. Headroom was decent inside the car, which was surprising considering how low the convertible top looks. As always, Audi made the interior look fantastic, with great aluminum accents and leather. –Joe Chulick
The TT Roadster is great fun to drive, and the new TTS easily takes things up a notch. Like the regular TT, the TTS features a quickly retracting soft-top and quattro all-wheel drive, but the S stands out from the crowd with quad exhaust pipes and 19-inch wheels. Our tester was black, which made it look even slicker. But as important as good looks are, the TTS really excels in performance. The turbocharged engine gets a boost of 65 horses, and it works great with Audi's S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Whether changing gears with the paddle shifters or letting the system handle things automatically, shifts are lightning fast, which not only makes for great performance, it also sounds fantastic, especially when downshifting. The TTS is a blast to drive, with a nice combination of driving comfort and excellent handling. And while you wouldn't expect much utility from a 2-seat roadster, the trunk is pretty small, especially with the top down. And then there's the price — the TTS Roadster can easily top $50,000, and while that is less than a comparable BMW Z4, it is still pretty pricey. –Perry Stern