As a variation on the theme of the Audi TT Coupé presented with such success at the German Motor Show (the “IAA”) in Frankfurt, Audi followed up quickly at the Tokyo Show with the first public showing of the Audi TTS Roadster, also based on the same quattro running gear as the Coupé.
One of the most captivating ideas of Audi’s young, avant-garde team of designers and engineers thus developed into what could almost be regarded as a small model programme all its own.
Apart from its open body styling with fixed, integral roll bars over which a fabric soft top can be stretched tent-style, certain other major components of the TTS Roadster differ from those in the TT Coupé: distinguished by the “S” in the “TTS” badging, the roadster’s engine is a concept study for a powerful sports version of the 1.8-litre turbocharged unit with five valves per cylinder, developing 154 kW (210 bhp) and with 250 Nm of muscular torque for vigorous pulling power. The Roadster has larger, 18-inch, wheels, side-panel air outlets from the engine compartment and leather-covered sports seats with thong lacing that suggests baseball gloves. The “plus two” seats at the rear have been deleted to provide space for stowing the soft top. As in all Audis, two airbags are a standard safety feature.
Every detail, both visual and technical, has been scrutinised to eliminate the unnecessary and create an effect of substance and maturity. The sense of the absolute which the Audi TTS Roadster conveys is emphasised by the use of aluminium for body elements, by the fundamental character of the interior equipment and trim and of course by the impressive performance data: acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in about 6 seconds, top speed in the region of 240 km/h, average fuel consumption by the standard test method below 9 litres per 100 kilometres.