The front suspension of the TTS, with a track of 1,555 millimeters (61.22 in), adheres to a design principle that has already proved highly effective: a McPherson structure with triangular lower wishbones. The pivot bearings, the subframe and the wishbones are made from aluminum. This measure has cut the unsprung weight of the transverse links alone by 2.5 kilograms (5.51 lb). To increase the rigidity, the subframe is bolted to the body at six points. The level of servo assistance for the rack-and-pinion steering falls as the speed rises; its characteristics have been adapted to the dynamic overall character of the TTS.
Because the electromechanical system does not tap the power supply when the car is driving in a straight line, in contrast to hydraulic power steering, it operates very efficiently and saves an average of 0.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. With its precise, analytical operating principle, the steering provides good road feedback yet exhibits minimal sensitivity to excitation from the road surface. Its ratio of 16.9:1 gives it a sporty character.
The four-link rear suspension has a track width of 1,546 millimeters (60.87 in). Its design principle offers major benefits in terms of driving dynamics, because it separates the cushioning of longitudinal and transverse forces. The longitudinal links absorb the driveline and braking forces, and their relatively soft mounts permit good ride comfort. On the other hand, the three wishbones per wheel – the spring link, the upper wishbone and the tie rod – are attached very rigidly to the subframe, benefiting the handling characteristics.
All links are made from high-strength steel grades. Separate coil springs and dampers provide vertical support.
The Audi TTS comes as standard with 18-inch cast aluminum wheels that sport the five-arm parallel-spoke S design and are shod with 245/40-size tires as standard. For winter driving, the same size wheels are available with winter tires or with 17-inch tires that are compatible with snow chains. A number of other wheel variants are optionally available, including an exclusive 19-inch cast aluminum wheel designed by quattro GmbH.
The large wheels conceal high-performance sport brakes. The ventilated disks on the front wheels measure 340 millimeters (25.67 in) in diameter and 310 mm (13.39 in) at the rear. The brake calipers are painted black, with special TTS badges at the front. Their sport brake pads guarantee high friction.
Audi magnetic ride – crisp and versatile
The TTS rolls off the production line equipped with yet another high-tech solution — the Audi magnetic ride adaptive suspension system. Circulating inside the damper pistons is a special fluid containing minute magnetic particles. When an electrical voltage is applied, the oil’s flow properties change the characteristics of the suspension.
Audi magnetic ride works adaptively, meaning that it adjusts automatically to suit the prevailing conditions. The driver can select one of two suspension settings. In “Normal” mode, when oil viscosity is high, the TTS offers a well-balanced, comfortable ride. In the “Sport” setting, meaning low viscosity, the TTS harnesses all of the potential of its sports suspension – which lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.39 in.) – to deliver uncompromisingly dynamic handling.
The Audi generates non-stop fun at the wheel as it speeds around corners like a go-cart with absolute crispness and precision, seemingly glued to the road. Any body roll is suppressed from the moment the vehicle starts to turn. The steering becomes more responsive and direct, and selective bracing of the wheels makes the self-steering more neutral.
For sport enthusiasts: two-stage ESP
The ESP electronic stabilization program is optimized for dynamic driving. A brief press of a button at lower speeds – e.g. when driving on snow chains – is all it takes to increase wheel slip. When the button is pressed longer, the TTS driver enters a second, sporty operating plane in which the ESP permits controlled sideslip angles. The brakes intervene somewhat later than in normal operation and the engine manipulation is suppressed.
The elastokinematic behavior of the chassis links on the TTS has been slightly modified compared with the basic technical configuration; sporty springs hold the body ten millimeters (0.39 in) lower. This built-for-fun Audi is equipped with the high-tech Audi magnetic ride as standard – the shock absorbers’ electronic control resolves the conflict between comfort and drivability.
The shock absorber pistons contain a synthetic hydrocarbon fluid in which microscopically small magnetic particles measuring between three and ten microns (a micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter) are enclosed. When voltage is applied to a coil, a magnetic field is created in which the alignment of the particles changes.
They arrange themselves transversely to the direction of flow of the fluid, thus inhibiting its flow through the piston channels. This alters the damping characteristic within a matter of milliseconds, much faster than is possible with conventional adaptive dampers.
The magnetic ride system’s control unit constantly monitors the properties of the road surface and the driver’s style, adjusting the response accordingly. The driver can change between the Normal and Sport modes at the touch of a button. In Normal mode, when the fluid is able to flow readily, the TTS offers a wellbalanced, comfortable ride. In the Sport mode it is uncompromisingly crisp, hugging the road; any hint of body roll is nipped in the bud. The steering response becomes even more precise and specific stabilization of each wheel imparts even more neutrality to the self-steering behavior.
An unladen weight of just 1,395 kilograms (3075.42 lb) for the manual TTS Coupe and 1,455 kilograms (3207.69 lb) for the Roadster version – low weight is the bedrock of both TTS versions’ dazzling performance. The power-to-weight ratio of 5.1 kg/hp (11.02 lb/hp) for the Coupe and 5.3 kg/hp (11.68 lb/hp) for the Roadster is a fitting reflection of Audi’s expertise in sports car construction.
The key factor is the design of both body versions. In each case, the forward structure is made from lightweight aluminum components assembled with Audi Space Frame technology (ASF) – a principle with which the brand kicked off a revolution in vehicle manufacturing in the early 1990s. Extruded sections, pressure die-castings and load-bearing aluminum panels together form a light, extremely rigid and ultra-safe structure that offers good vibrational comfort. On the Coupe, the seam between the roof and the side sections is welded by laser – this “invisible joint” gives visible expression to the extremely high standards of precision embodied by the Audi brand.
By contrast, the rear section of the floor assembly, the doors and the rear lid of the TTS are made from steel. This gives the car a balance that harmonizes perfectly with the quattro drive’s characteristics. 58 percent of the Coupe’s weight with manual transmission rests on the front wheels and 42 percent on the rear wheels. Thanks to this hybrid design, the Coupe bodyshell weighs just 206 kilograms (454.15 lb). This is comprised of 140 kilograms (308.64 lb) of aluminum (68 percent) and 66 kilograms (145.50 lb) of steel (32 percent); an all-steel structure would have weighed one and a half times as much. The body of the TTS Roadster weighs in at 251 kilograms (553.35 lb); it incorporates special components such as the steel bulkhead behind the passenger compartment and intensively ribbed side sills.
In the event of a rollover, passengers are protected by the windshield frame, which is reinforced with a super-strength steel tube, and the two rigid rollover bars with aluminum trim. The Roadster and Coupe come complete with front airbags that are activated in two stages, depending on the severity of an accident.
The belt tensioners and belt force limiters protect the driver and passenger. In a rear-end collision, the Audi backguard system uses the head restraints to support the back of the head. Both cars are equipped with head/thorax side airbags for protection in the event of a side impact.
The TTS Coupe and Roadster are assembled at the Györ plant; the ready-painted bodies arrive by rail from Ingolstadt. Györ serves as the home plant of the TT – the first generation of this sports car went into production in the city in northwest
Hungary back in 1998.
The construction of the TTS has the added major benefit of optimizing
distribution of the axle loads and reducing the vehicle’s total weight. The Coupe’s body weighs a mere 206 kilograms (454.15 lbs), of which 140 kg (308.65 lbs) is aluminum and 66 kg (145.51 lbs) steel. In the case of the TTS Roadster, whose body incorporates special reinforcements, the figure is 251 kilograms (553.36 lbs). All in all, the manual version of the Coupe weighs in at just 1,395 kilograms (3,075.45 lbs), equating to a power-to-weight ratio of 5.1 kilograms (11.24 lbs) per hp. The Roadster’s weight of 1,455 kilograms (3,207.73 lbs), meanwhile, corresponds to a ratio of 5.4 kg/hp (11.90 lbs/hp).
The Audi TTS instantly stands out as the dynamic flagship of the TT model line. One of the design highlights is undoubtedly the headlights – newly designed bixenon units featuring a horizontal strip of white LEDs that serve as daytime running lights. The single-frame grill in a platinum gray finish is embellished with slender chrome strips, while large air intakes in the restyled front apron add to the striking look.
When viewed in profile, it is not only the large 18-inch wheels that stand out; the widened, deeper door sills are equally eye-catching. A muscular rear bumper, a gray-colored diffusor trim, plus two sets of twin tailpipes protruding from the left and the right inject the vehicle’s tail with a sporty character all of its own. The spoiler on the TTS extends automatically when the speed reaches 120 km/h (74.56 mph) and retracts again when it drops back to 80 km/h (49.71 mph).
Both the Coupe and the Roadster measure 4,198 millimeters (13.77 ft) long and 1,842 mm (6.04 ft) wide; the hard-top TTS is 1,345 mm (4.41 ft) in height, its open-top counterpart 1,350 mm (4.43 ft). The Roadster features an electrohydraulically operated soft top which opens and closes in twelve seconds, even on the move at speeds below 50 km/h (31.07 mph). The soft top incorporates a large glass rear window and folds in a "Z" shape. Neither a tonneau cover nor a cover flap is needed. Extra matting between the headlining and the outer skin improves insulation, and an electrically extending/retracting wind deflector shields the occupants’ necks from drafts when the hood is down.
A compact, muscular body that appears to be straining at the leash even when stationary, an expressive nose end, a prominent tail and of course the famous aluminum tank cap – the Coupe and Roadster have engaging, charismatic styling. Bold lines serve to emphasize the highly dynamic character of the TT. The front end is dominated by the large platinum gray single-frame grille that sports a silver and red TTS badge. The front apron has been reshaped; the air inlets have been made larger and extend uninterrupted across the entire width, their abruptly downward-pointing corners reinforcing the striking look. The lower edging panel, or blade, is painted in the body color.
The redesigned headlights combine bi-xenon units with LED daytime running lights, a major safety innovation from Audi. The twelve white light-emitting diodes on each side are arranged in a straight line along the lower edge of the housing, combining with the plastic wings to give the brand an unmistakable design feature. The headlights are more than just lights – their design elevates them to the status of miniature technical works of art.
When viewed in profile, it is not only the large 18-inch wheels which stand out; the widened, deeper side sills are equally eye-catching. The exterior mirror housings are in gleaming aluminum. A chunky rear bumper, a diffuser trim in platinum gray and a TTS badge help the TTS make an even more imposing exit. The twin tailpipes on the left and right hint at the potential of the most powerful four-cylinder engine in the Audi range.
As on the TT, the spoiler of the TTS extends automatically at a speed of 120 km/h (74.56 mph) and is retracted again at 80 km/h (49.71 mph); in conjunction with the smooth underbody, it reduces lift. The Coupe boasts a drag coefficient of 0.31 with a frontal area of 2.09 m2; the Roadster achieves cD = 0.33 (with the soft top up) with the same frontal area.
Both cars measure 4,198 millimeters (165.28 in) in length and 1,842 millimeters (72.5 in) in width. The Coupe version of the TTS stands 1,345 millimeters (52.95 in) tall and the Roadster 1,350 millimeters (53.15 in).
Audi provides a choice of twelve body colors. The solid colors are Ibis White, Brilliant Red, Brilliant Black, Solar Orange and Imola Yellow. The metallic hues bear the names Ice Silver, Sahara Silver and Condor Gray, and the pearl effect paint finishes are Meteor Gray, Phantom Black, Deep Sea Blue and Sprint Blue. Solar Orange, Imola Yellow and Sprint Blue have been created exclusively for the TTS.
The TTS Roadster’s soft top is available in beige, black or dark gray. It incorporates a large, heated glass rear window and folds down in a Z-pattern when the roof is open, making a lid or tonneau cover unnecessary. An electro-hydraulic drive opens and closes the soft top in twelve seconds at the push of a button, even when on the move at speeds of less than 50 km/h (31.01 mph). Additional matting between the headlining and outer skin provides outstanding soundproofing and thermal insulation, and an electrically extended and retracted wind deflector reduces draughts at neck level with the soft top open.