When Audi delivered the 2015 TTS Competition Edition to my driveway, I wasted no time in hopping in for some immediate seat time. Eager to see what it was about this car that made me more excited than Jay Lenos’ audience used to be, my girlfriend came along with me for the first drive. After asking lots of questions about the TTS’ power, pricing, target customers etc., she asked me what we were going to do if it snowed. I explained that even though it had 19-inch rims, it had good winter tires on it and one of the best all-wheel-drive systems to boot, so we’d probably be Ok.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi TTS Competition Edition.

  • 2015 Audi TTS Competition Edition
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    265
  • Torque @ RPM:
    258
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Price:
    50000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Audi TTS Competition Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Audi TTS Competition Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Audi TTS Competition Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Many people seem to have the misconception that performance cars can’t be driven in winter. All you need to do is take a look at all the performance cars hibernating through winter in their owners’ garages to know believe those people are right. Then again, you only have to drive the Audi TTS to know those people are wrong.
It is a stellar winter performer. In fact, when it did eventually snow, I took it out to an empty parking lot to see if I could get it out of sorts. I couldn’t.

Audi’s famous Quattro all-wheel drive system (matched with those good winter tires) made sure the TTS stayed focused on where I wanted it to go. From the outside, you can actually see the system at work, giving traction to the wheels that need it. The end result is a little car that was able to run circles around all the CUV’s that were struggling in the snow. Despite the TTS’ low-slung ride height, I didn’t encounter any issues with the trim grazing against ice and snow – though I will concede that you would likely encounter problems with 7 inches or more.

Interior

2015 Audi TTS Competition Edition Exterior
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With heated seats and automatic climate control, there really is no reason not to drive the little brute during the winter months, although at this price point I would expect a heated steering wheel to at least be optional.
Before the snow came, I was also able to see how the TTS would perform on bare pavement, and the Quattro system is key to good fun here, too. It allows the TTS to effectively get the power down to all four wheels.

The Competition Edition is Audi’s final hurrah before the newly redesigned TT debuts in 2016. It adds the not-so-mellow yellow paint (called Imola Yellow) along with bespoke 19-inch wheels, a fixed spoiler, contrasting yellow stitching on the seats and, "1 of 500" badges on the inside doors. That’s right, the Competition Edition is a limited production car, which means it’s a rare sight on top of being eye-catching. But the overall look is still modern despite being a old design. The shapely TT debuted its second-generation looks in 2006. The Competition Edition adds flare akin to the now-dead TT RS. And that isn’t a bad thing.

Inside you’ll find typical Audi quality and design. Everything feels premium and everything is largely where you would expect it to be. One unexpected thing was the lack of a rear-view camera. Happily, reversing the old fashioned way is relatively easy thanks to a large rear window, but the sloped design makes it difficult to see cross-traffic.

Likewise, the rear seats should be used as a place for putting your bag, not your friends. My 5-foot, 1-inch friend spent a 10-minute ride in the back and she said her head was hitting the rear window. That said, it is technically possible to fit a baby car seat back there.

I mostly kept the rear seats down, which created an unexpected amount of cargo space, thanks to that hatch’s large opening. Some performance cars don’t have nearly as much room, which makes the TTS a palatable daily driver.

Drivetrain

2015 Audi TTS Competition Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The TTS produces 265 horsepower and 258-pound foot torque from a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Don’t think for a second that there is a puny exhaust note coming from that four-banger though. The TTS provides lots of grunt when you open up the taps, which by the way, happens with gusto depending on which mode you are in.

In normal drive mode, the TTS seems a bit hesitant to get off the line and the fantastic dual-clutch automatic transmission seems to want to up-shift at the first possible moment in order to conserve fuel. Eventually it will clue in that you mean business and will allow the turbo to catapult the TTS forward. This hesitation can be off-putting at first, but all you need to do is find the letter ‘S.’

In Sport mode, the TTS gets a noticeable change in personality. Out goes the hesitation and fuel-efficiency-first mode, and in comes a stiffer suspension, more responsive throttle and more direct steering. The end result is an already capable performance car transformed into a more track-ready runner. The slight understeer you can feel in normal drive mode is eliminated, as is body roll. The gear changes feel quicker as well. And boy is that a good transmission, and this is coming from a hardcore manual-transmission advocate. The shifts are quicker than any human can shift and they are not jolting, unexpected or delayed.

The downsides to S mode are few: The ride quality certainly suffers (as will your spine) and you will feel every bump and imperfection in the road.

Conclusion

2015 Audi TTS Competition Edition High Resolution Exterior
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But the feeling you get driving TTS down a twisty rural road would make frequent visits to your chiropractor worth it. There’s something completely balanced about it. That’s why I love small performance cars. They are nimble, poised and close to perfect when carving corners.

Anyone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder should give it a try because a car like the TTS, in its bright yellow paint, would surely be a cure. And in the end, isn’t that what driving is all about? Feeling an emotional connection with a car?

After the week spent with the TTS, I left with the same excitement I had before I even drove it. I can only assume the upcoming third generation will be even better.

What do you think?
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