The Audi Driving Experience is an interesting way to connect with customers and engage them with the sporty offerings from the company with this event’s showstopper being the all new TT coupe.
The 2015 Audi TT is quick, stylish and practical while being very sporty to drive
The ‘Audi Sportscar Experience’ is the famed Ingolstadt based manufacturer’s initiative to give its customers a taste of motorsport excitement with its performance car lineup. With the 2015 TT having arrived in the Indian market, customers were given an exclusive chance to drive or call shotgun in the new two-door sports coupe. While the 2015 Audi TT was the showstopper at the event, customers were also given a chance to experience the Ingolstadt based manufacturer’s more performance friendly offerings including the RS5 coupe and the S6 sports saloon which we took to the track. After a couple of laps, here are our impressions from the event.
2015 Audi TT
Our first drive for the day was the newest eye candy in town, the ‘2015 Audi TT’, the four-seater coupe in its third generation has strikingly improved in appearance, performance and drivability as it continues to impress on all fronts. The TT comprises of the wide and imposing single-frame grille flanked by LED DRLs and a sculpted front hood which together make for a sharp design language that does grow on you with time. The side profile retains the silhouette from its predecessor but with new alloys while the rear has lost the curves in favour of the angular LED tail lamps and a retractable spoiler. Another change is with the dimensions of the 2015 TT having grown shorter in length by 20 mm while the wheelbase has increased by 37 mm. This has surely made the coupe a lot more agile than its predecessor which was noticeable on the circuit.
Stepping inside the all-black cabin which although not the roomiest, does come with some brilliant touches like the rotor-styled air-con vents with an inbuilt display and the Virtual Cockpit that is a real joy to use with different functionalities including navigation maps and infotainment system on offer. It also ensures that driver distraction inside the cabin is minimal with everything within the driver’s field of view. It is also something that as an owner one would like to show off more often given the sheer practicality that it offers. We certainly would like to see it being adopted sooner on the entry-level Audis as well.
Coming to the comfort, the 2015 Audi TT’s compact dimensions haven’t really affected the comfort levels. The sports seats offer a snug fit and will hold you right under hard cornering while there is enough headroom as well as legroom at the front to accommodate the tallest of us in reasonable comfort. The rear seats though are another story altogether and is certainly best suited for kids, because adults simply won’t be able to fit.
Power comes from the 2.0-litre TFSI motor that offers a lot of grunt for its size, belting out 230 HP of power and 370 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed S-Tronic automatic transmission. In the few laps that we managed to do with the new TT, the sports coupe felt seamless in power delivery with the naught to tonne figure coming up in almost 5 seconds. The compact dimensions allow you to step into the corners hard while the flat-bottom steering wheel (a progressive unit) responds precisely to inputs. Just point and steer! A special mention goes out to the exhaust note that is particularly impressive and gives you a sportier feel than it actually is.
That said, we did exit the 2015 Audi TT with a wide smile. The sports coupe offers a striking balance between being the corner craving, agile as well as a growling performer on the weekend and can also be the sedate daily driver for the weekdays.
Audi’s feisty two-door coupe the ‘RS5’ never fails to impress with its massive presence and a spellbinding exhaust note. Painted blue with Audi’s sporty livery, the RS5 made its presence felt almost immediately amidst the new TT and the S6 saloon. In fact, while most folks at the event were checking out the novel TT, everyone made sure to turn around every time the RS5 was revved, hard or not! Power on the two-door coupe comes from the monstrous 4.2-litre TFSI V8 engine with 444 BHP of power and 430 Nm of torque, paired to a 7-speed S-Tronic transmission. The big highlight of this motor is that it’s naturally aspirated and has a redline of over 8000 RPM.
With that kind of power, the Audi RS5 is intimidating on the track. There is massive amounts of power to control and this is where the Quattro system comes in, punching out power across all four wheels while keeping the coupe sedated. We had most fun on the straight though where we floored the accelerator on the RS5 to see 0-100 km/hr coming up in under 4.5 seconds and the braking performance is equally fast as we needed to immediately enter the grid within the restricted speed limit.
On the inside, the RS5 is a familiar place to be in with everything within your arm’s reach. The coupe comes to life with the typical V8 grunt and the sports seats hold on to your tightly and is really more of a sign that is telling you about the kind of power you will be messing around with. Once again, the rear seats don’t offer the best of legroom but aren’t as bad either. Average-sized adults can be accommodated easily. In terms of ride quality, the RS5 is stiff and that is a compromise you happily make for the brilliant driving dynamics the four-ringed beauty has to offer.
The Audi RS5 is the outlaw in this lineup. It makes a lasting impression with the brutish look, wants to be heard with the massive exhausts and definitely does not have any qualms about it. However, it also comes with a dash of practicality with two extra seats at the rear but they are best for children. In layman terms, you could drop your kids off to school in the RS5, but we would suggest you hit the track first.
The first car we drove on the circuit, the Audi S6 is as much about luxury as much it is about performance. Based on the A6 saloon, this performance derivative has power coming from the 4.0-litre V8 TFSI engine that produces 414 BHP of power and a mighty 550 Nm of peak torque. Save for the ‘S’ badging, there isn’t much that will tell you about the notorious powertrain under the hood, which is why this is the sleeper in Audi’s performance lineup.
The Audi S6 is long and we mean by a huge margin for a performance car. But that is because of its saloon attributes with ample legroom on offer at the front and rear. The cabin is equally quiet inside with not much to convey about the sporty credentials, especially at the rear. At no point do you feel you are inside the cabin of a performance saloon, unless the gas pedal has been pushed to the maximum. The S6 is also softly sprung courtesy of the air suspension for those who seek outright performance and is evident when cornering hard. The softer setup though makes for an impeccable ride quality that will keep the cabin sedated even in the sporty Dynamic mode.
Doing the 0-100 km/hr sprint took us a little less than 5 seconds and it was also the most noticeable on the S6 amidst the other two performance cars with the shift in power most apparent inside the cabin. Having said that, the S6 is a very powerful daily driver’s car. It’s not outlandish and trying to make a statement. It is an out-and-out performer and an occasional entrant on the track, giving you impressive feedback from that V8 motor. But, what it also turns out to be is the regular saloon that will take you to office and back driven by the chauffeur on weekdays.
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