The sports character demonstrated by the exterior design is continued inside the car, where purity was also the driving element. Racing bucket seats are provided for both occupants. Together with four-point belts that are three inches wide, these offer both driver and passenger excellent support, even in extreme driving situations – on the racetrack, for example. The generous use of aluminum is characteristic of Audi. This starts with the steering wheel which is adorned with a twin-spoke crafted from this lightweight metal. The pedals are also made of aluminum and exhibit a grooved structure. They consequently not only afford a better grip, but also help to save weight. Foot rests are provided for both driver and passenger in the TT clubsport quattro.
The gear lever gate adopted from the new mid-engined sports car, the Audi R8, and the aluminum gear knob are a joy to behold. This lightweight metal is also used for the door pull and the door opener, both of which are cut-out, a feature which further underlines the interior’s purist character.
The sill area has also been restyled compared with the production model. Rather than being interrupted by a sill strip, it now emphasises the width of the car. A new door sill trim located further inside the car, along with floor mats sporting the TT logo as an aluminum inlay provide further visual highlights. The surrounding strip on the top shoulder is also made of this lightweight metal.
The Audi designers came up with a special idea in the field of entertainment. Instead of the middle of the three round air vents in the upper part of the dashboard, they integrated an interface here, designed among other things for the B&O MP3 player BeoSound 2. The round player built by Audi’s premium partner fits exactly into the circular opening and is a sheer delight for the senses, both visually and acoustically.
The instrument cluster is very different from the one in a production model. The vertical needles and color graphics are the eye-catching features. The clock and odometer have been omitted in keeping with the car’s underlying purist philosophy.
The racing character of the Audi TT clubsport quattro is underscored by its technology. The Audi engineers have packed the 2.0 TFSI engine with even more power than the 260 hp familiar from the Audi S3. The turbocharged four-cylinder unit with petrol direct injection breaks the magic 300 hp barrier. Thanks to a modified intake manifold, it has been possible to get even more power out of this highly efficient engine (which was “Engine of the Year” in its class in 2005 and 2006). Power is transferred to all four wheels, making the TT clubsport quattro the first new-generation TT with four-cylinder engine and quattro permanent four-wheel drive.
The transmission is also new in this performance category. Thanks to its dual clutch, the S tronic direct-shift gearbox changes gear virtually without interrupting the flow of power, a process that goes unnoticed by the driver. The six gears can, however, also be changed manually, with gearshifts taking just fractions of a second.
Anyone opening the bonnet will be met by a fascinating sight. Thanks to a lack of cables and auxiliaries, the engine compartment looks extremely clean. The engine has deliberately not been hidden under a cover. The cross brace running above the engine is a technical stroke of genius. It not only makes the car more rigid, but also contains the coolant expansion tank. The ABS system has been moved from the engine compartment to the interior. The air conditioning and activated charcoal filter are not to be found in the engine compartment either. A racing air filter ensures that the engine takes in a sufficient amount of air. The exhaust system has been adapted to suit the car’s sporty performance: the specially tuned exhaust emits the genuine sound of motor racing.
Ceramic brakes are fitted in the TT for the first time. These are absolutely non-fading and enable countless sharp braking maneuvres without any loss of stopping power. Once again, Audi has taken advantage of its superior wealth of experience: ceramic brakes are already offered for the RS 4, the A8 and S8 (Not available in U.S.), for example, and are enjoying increasing popularity with customers.
The Audi TT clubsport quattro is a purist driving machine that combines the performance of a sports car with a unique design language. It consequently remains a TT on the one hand, while at the same time demonstrating just what is possible with such a fascinating production vehicle. The possible small-series production of this model is being considered.