Fab looks and Golf-based mechanicals mean there’s lots to love
It’s a looker isn’t it? The Mk 1 TT showed that Audi could produce a car that looked remarkably like the concept drawings. However, this was no pie in the sky affair, the aluminium bodywork was based on proven Golf Mk 4 mechanicals.
Under the bonnet was a 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine, with either 178bhp or 222bhp. This fed through to a four-wheel drive system that pumped power to the front wheels unless slippage was detected. It was a quick car, but some crashes soon after it was launched led to a recall, with cars being retrofitted with ESP and a rear spoiler.
That was in 1999 and by 2001 the range was joined by the Roadster, which was badged as a 180 or 225, the numbers referring to the PS output. Two years later, the VR6 quattro Coupe and Roadsters appeared. These pumped out 247bhp from the 3.2-litre engine, and fed it through the then-new and very quick-changing DSG dual-clutch auto box. This was joined in 2004 by a six-speed manual option.
The TT was now a properly mature GT car, but the image took a bit of a hit with the 150 PS (148bhp) Roadster, complete with front-wheel drive only. That was in 2003 but in 2004 a higher-spec version, the 180, restored credibility a bit.
The quattro Sport came along in 2005, complete with Recaro front seats and no rear seats, along with 237bhp. There were ever only about 800 of this two-tone version brought into the UK and it’s the one that will probably appreciate in value more than any other variant.
Whichever version you buy, you’ll be getting a tough, proven, handsome and fine-handling Audi. You could get a really early one for about £1000, but £3500 to £4500 will get a nice 1.8T 180 with an 03 or 05 plate. Add another grand and you’re looking at 55 or 06 plates on a 180 or 190 or a year older 225bhp car.
Aluminium body and heavily protected chassis mean rust isn’t an issue but crash damage can be expensive to repair. Generally, TTs are pretty bulletproof, although as a fairly weighty car it can prove a bit heavy on suspension components. Clutches can last up to 100k, at which point they need replacing along with some suspension parts.