On the road, the TT is as reassured as it ever was, with an abundance of grip that allows for confident cornering at sufficiently high speeds. It’s agile and happy to change direction, while always staying controlled.
We noted that the new seven-speed gearbox was a welcome improvement on our first drive of the more powerful TTS on the Isle of Man last year, and that rings true here as well, especially in manual mode. It is much more willing to shift up and down with a flick of a paddle, with none of the hesitation of the old six-speed unit.
The TT may now be outpaced in a straight line by the top hot hatchbacks, but still manages the 0-62mph sprint in a very healthy 5.2 seconds – 0.2s faster than the similarly-priced BMW Z4 sDrive30i. That it does so in a manner that’s largely free from drama is what will irk purists.
The turbocharged four-pot sounds agreeable enough, shows little lag and is responsive right through the rev range, but achieving high speeds simply isn’t as entertaining as it can be in other sports cars.
This is partly down to the progressive steering, which while precise, is ultra-light and feels ever-so-slightly muted at speed – even after experimenting with the five different drive modes. Less enthusiastic drivers will appreciate this point-and-go approach, but it’s unlikely to please those searching for true engagement.
Sat on 19in wheels, the ride errs towards firm, though is sufficiently capable of cruising through town comfortably. Adjustable magnetic dampers are an option, though they weren’t fitted to our test car.
Inside the cabin, the TT is as classy as ever, with heated front seats and enough space in the rear ones for adults to just about squeeze themselves into. The rear hatch is still practical, with a segment-leading 305 litres of boot space – 712 if you drop the back seats.
The driver-focused dashboard eschews an infotainment screen in favour of Audi’s virtual cockpit display. The all-digital instruments are just as customisable as before, and while the oversized dial you control it with isn’t as straightforward as a touchscreen, it’s still one of the best systems you’ll find in the class.