By rights I should be feeling a bit peeved at the moment.
No sooner had I taken delivery of my new Audi TT than the German firm announced an even more sporty TTS version.
But then I started to read a little more about the TTS, and decided I needn’t feel quite so peeved after all.
You see, my TT may only be the “entry-level” model, but it’s also the pick of the range.
The TTS, which goes on sale later this year, shares the same 2.0-litre turbocharged FSI petrol engine as my TT, but offers 272bhp compared to my 200 – that’s what you call some serious remapping.
But despite being 72bhp down, my TT is still a fun and sporty car.
Front-wheel drive and that sparky engine make it more enjoyable to drive than the current range-topper – the V6 quattro model with 250bhp.
And my TT certainly makes the most sense as a user-chooser’s car.
CO2 emissions of 183g/km place it in the 22% tax band, resulting in a benefit-in-kind tax bill of £189 a month for a 40% taxpayer.
True, it’s not cheap but it’s also not breaking the bank for a sports coupé wearing a premium badge.
This TT is aimed squarely at young professionals who are perhaps a couple of rungs up the corporate ladder.
To narrow down the buyer profile even further, they won’t have any children and will undoubtedly covet the four-ringed logo on the front grille.
But despite being aimed at young, childless people, the TT is not impractical.
The rear seats (suitable only for those under four-feet tall) have a split/fold mechanism for the backs, meaning you can fold them down and create a surprisingly large load area.
Two full sets of golf clubs can go in without having to remove the woods and there’s still room left over for shoe bags and a change of clothes.
It’s also fairly easy to justify financially. With a few more miles under its wheels, the TT should start returning upwards of 34mpg (so far we’ve covered less than 2,000 miles together and already I’m reaching an average of nearly 32mpg), its residual value forecast of 48% is at MINI and Porsche Boxster levels, while the £25,000 front-end price is not over the top for a sports coupé.
However, my car has got a few extras which have bumped the price up by five grand.
The Audi Magnetic Ride at £1,150 (the jury’s still out on this switchable suspension system), larger
18-inch alloys at £1,100 (a TT on 17s looks very under-wheeled) and an upgraded sat-nav system costing £1,650 are the main indulgences, although heated seats (£250) and an iPod connector (£150) are essentials I couldn’t be without.
I’m looking forward to trying out the new TTS, but in the meantime I still look forward to every drive in my TT.
It’s pretty much a perfect car in my eyes.
The manufacturer’s view
The TT would not normally be regarded as a typical fleet car, but due to its iconic styling and image, combined with great monthly rentals (largely driven by the highest RVs in class), the TT continues to enjoy strong demand from the user-chooser community.
2007, the first full year for the new TT (coupe from January and roadster from March), delivered a record volume in the UK of almost 10,500 sales.
Of those, more than 25% were to fleet with the majority of these to the financial services industry.
Iain Carmichael, head of fleet sales, Audi UK
Equipment and options
- Leather/Alcantara sports seats
- Central locking
- Climate control
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- ISOFIX/front airbag de-activation
- Front/side airbags
- Retractable spoiler
- Split/fold rear seats
- Aluminium interior trim
- On-board computer
- Radio/CD player
- Metallic paint £500
- Audi Magnetic Ride £1,150
- 18-inch alloy wheels £1,100
- Satellite Navigation Plus £1,650
- Heated front seats £250
- iPod connection £150
Price (OTR): £25,200
Price as tested: £30,000