AN AFFORDABLE 2023 PLEASURE!
AN AFFORDABLE 2023 PLEASURE!
Audi’s design retro classic TT lived on from a 1995 show concept debut nearly 30 years ago to endure over three 1998-2023 production generations until recently. The last TT was made in November 2023 with a ruinously expensive edition of just 100 Nardo Grey TT RS Coupe iconic models in 400PS power format preceding that elongated death.
Since 2019, I have owned a TT Audi of the first generation in runout quattro sport format, marking termination of that original TT design in 2005-06. A total of 178,765 first generation TTs were made cooperatively between Audi Ingolstadt and their Hungarian Gyor plant. Britain took the majority of my limited production final edition: 755 of 1,168 manufactured were delivered to Britain with right-hand drive (RHD).
Key features of the quattro sport model covered reduced kerb weight (1,390kg), but in the TT saga that is not a major breakthrough as Audi went to a mixed aluminium and steel construction on the second-generation TT with lower kerb weights reported across the range. Additionally, there was a rasher of bonus power for this limited edition TT quattro sport. The 1.8litre 4-cylinder with 5-valves per cylinder technology, was boosted to 240 instead of 225 bhp from the previously most powerful 4-cylinder TT. Strong torque delivers rewarding acceleration between 2000 and 5000 rpm, very useful on British roads for safer overtaking. This version of TT was officially credited with 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds and 155 restricted mph. Recent fuel consumption tests using Esso’s E5 99 Octane returned 30.5 mpg, longer outings, deliver another 2-3 mpg while short runs see 26-27 mpg.
My version of Audi TT is not that rare compared with some of the rust prone 50+ years old mass production machines from Ford, Fiat and BMC-Rover, many now nearly extinct in the UK.
More miles, few bills deliver a content grumpy old man!
In the seventh instalment of this series, Jeremy Walton updates us with news of his quattro sport’s repairs, updates and miles munched.
TT went to Castle Combe several times in 2022-3, but it’s only ever been used on Bicester’s small airfield track once. Why? I have been generously allowed the Combe use of either a 1973 race Capri or business partner Peter Osborne’s MG TF
Since our last instalment, published 17th February 2023, my Audi TT quattro sport has over 11,000 capably rewarding miles in my hands of a believable 96,321 total. I am glad to say TT’s maintenance bills have been considerably lower in 2023.The only significant bill since my last report occurred at 95,408 miles when a conscientious service at my usual Auto Services (Warminster) specialist revealed that the sump drain plug was worn badly enough to require replacing. Less than £3, but when you think of the massive financial consequences of a malfunction here, you can see why I keep returning to this business.
Similarly, I incurred some extra labour costs with a request to remove relevant parts and inspect the timing belt, which had been replaced in my ownership. Yet again, I know what a clash of components neglecting this belt will lead to, often the reason that a previously loved high mileage vehicle becomes a candidate for the scrapyard. There is an occasional knock from the steering rack, but that is just a monitoring task currently.
On the same June 2023 annual service day, the TT faced a fourth MOT in my hands and passed with no advisories. The insurance rates obtained through a broker in July 2023 were little changed at a £350 annual premium.
Those central red pixel readouts for the trip computer and external temperature suffer the traditional Audi TT display hiccups and missing particles, particularly when the radio is asked to report a station at the top of the display. However, the situation has worsened recently as only the red needle of the rev counter remains glowing, meaning that those for speed, water temperature and fuel tank contents are absent. That does matter at night, speed I can cope with on the rpm reported, but I don’t like not monitoring water temperatures: the TT is well controlled, but ownership of a Lotus and a 1958 Sprite leaves me keen to see all is well!
One annual cost aspect of my TT ownership that remains really unwelcome and recurring is the rate of road tax for these and other vehicles in the same tax band who received a swingeing increase in March 2006. At more than £620 annually, this charge is made more painful in that if I had bought an earlier 2005-early 2006 example it would effectively be halved. I cheer myself up with the wide variety of classic car, aviation and family events it attends with a flair that leaves me enjoying all but the most time stressed trips.
Of those unpleasant trips, a recent small market town legal appointment a routine hour away, required an alternative route on the three occasions as the A303 was blocked. There was nothing for it but to forage cross-country along narrow and rumpled lanes at an uncomfortable time-disciplined pace for the equally stressed passenger.
On the plus side, after 4.5 years ownership, the TT has proved the most practical, individually stylish and depreciation-proof car I have owned. That it is also usually a very satisfying drive helps. There are flaws and this is no concours collector car in my hands, but for the price paid and the satisfaction gained, it appears as a bargain basement keeper.
To read from Part 1 of JW’s Audi story click
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