Audi Gives Its Very German Roadster A Very German Update

Audi TT 5AudiA fun-loving piece of German automotive sculpture.

The Audi TT has been around since the late 1990’s and adds a peppy, insouciant character to the German automaker’s otherwise rather sleek, Teutonically cool (some might say severe) lineup.

Two new versions are slated to appear at this week’s Paris Motor Show. But don’t expect anything crazy. That’s would not be acceptable at Audi.

The new TT will moderately upgrade the familiar TT vibe, while the TTS is a little something for the enthusiasts: 306 hp and a 0-6o mph time of less than 5 seconds.

The cars aren’t radically refreshed, but they are holding down the vee still vanna have fun category for a carmaker (owned by Volkswagen) whose vehicles are a triumph of design and engineering and minimalist luxury over more offbeat automotive ideas.

That said, the new TT and TTS continue a sculpted-from-a-block-of-steel impression that many Audis exude and that serves as a sort of unifying aesthetic for the brand.

Who loves these cars? Car designers love these cars.

As updates go, the TT and the TTS add a bit of aggression in the overall context of extremely dignified improvements.

Both rides will go on sale in Europe before coming to America in 2015. Pricing hasn’t yet been revealed.

The TTS Roadster is a hot little number: 306 hp empowers a 0-60 sprint in under 5 seconds. Audi's all-wheel-drive keeps everything under control.

The TTS retains the refined yet muscular proportions that the Roadster has always been known for.

A car like this needs to look glued-to-the-ground and ready for action on winding roads. But nothing too crazy. Even though it's yellow. We are German, after all.

The previous generation TT was no less solid and certainly didn't lack a sense of purpose.

Of course, while the earliest generation of the TT Roadster wasn't exactly an insubstantial set of wheels, it did embody a bit more fun and bit less...menace.

See what I mean? This is the regular TT Roadster, which comes in 183hp (diesel, Europe only) and 227hp (gas) versions. But it stares you down just as effectively as its more ferocious sibling.

There's no debating the pure joy of open-air motoring.

This is cool: The TT and TTS Roadster both get a new instrument cluster that departs from old-school analogue gauges. It can look like this...

Or like this. See how the GPS navigation map takes over the entire center display, where the speedometer and tachometer are normally located.

For comparison, here's the previous generation's now desperately antiquated way of delivering information to the driver. Dials? Needles?

Longtime fans of the Audi Roadster will in all likelihood not be disappointed by the new versions.

But the Audi TT and TTS aren't the only groovy drop-tops hitting Paris this week...

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