2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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Review and photos by Russell Purcell

Audi’s TT Coupe was launched in Canada as a 2000 model and joined by its topless cousin, the TT Roadster, a year later. The car quickly carved a niche for itself as automotive enthusiasts embraced the sporty coupe for its unique styling and proven mechanicals.

The Lineup

Unique Styling

The TT Coupe features unique styling and although it remains basically unchanged since its introduction, it still commands the attention of all who see it.

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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The TT’s round body and chopped passenger compartment give the car a profile that reminds me of a golf club. This is no doubt the result of endless hours in the wind tunnel, as both devices need to cut efficiently through the air.

The car’s exterior lines are very clean, with just a hint of a chin spoiler, half-moon wheel well flares and a near-vertical tail fin to hint at the car’s sporty nature.

Understated Luxury

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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On the inside, all the retro styling elements that made the original car unique are still evident: art deco interior door handles and pulls, round vents, and large round-faced gauges. Sporty alloy pedals with rubber no-slip inserts give the cockpit a competition look, as does the pop-up fuel-filler cap on the rear flank.

The TT’s sport buckets are cloaked in sumptuous leather and offer exceptional support when the road gets curvy. Effective side bolsters hold you in place and are padded well enough to remain comfortable even on long trips.

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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Unfortunately, the seats are not power adjustable, which reveals the TT’s VW heritage (its platform is shared with the Golf/Jetta/New Beetle). Adjustments are typical Volkswagen: travel is set via a front-mounted lever, while height is set with a side-mounted ratchet-type lever. For a car in this price range I would expect power operation, at least for the driver, but this may be on the menu for the car’s eventual redesign.

As is the case with all Audi automobiles, materials and build quality are excellent, as is the placement of important switchgear and instrumentation. Innovative features like a hinged aluminum cover embossed with the TT logo to protect the high-end CD/AM/FM stereo head unit are simple in design, and give the cockpit an uncluttered feel when in place. Five perfectly-matched speakers deliver their melodious cargo to your ears as they turn the curvy 2+2 into a dedicated listening chamber.

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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The list of available options is short, but includes navigation, a premium audio system with six-disc CD stacker, HomeLink controls, and larger 18-inch alloy wheels. Buyers can further customize their rides by selecting from a palette of nine exterior colours ranging from traditional choices like black, silver, and red to fresh shades like Imola Yellow or Papaya Orange. The TT Coupe’s leather interior is available in three attractive colours allowing for further personalization, but the popular ‘Baseball-optic’ seating with the external glove stitching is only available on TT Roadster models.

What’s in a name?

Audi has a long sporting history that dates back to its beginnings, first as an independent company and then as part of Auto Union. When it came time to pen the sportiest of Audi automobiles it was important to select a name that would reflect the car’s purpose. The name TT stands for “Tourist Trophy”, a storied automobile and motorcycle race that was first held in 1905 on the Isle of Man. To further develop the car, as well as develop technologies for its other road cars, race-prepared Audi TTs campaigned in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series in Europe. Even overseas, the mantra “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” holds true.

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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If you are going to name a car after a racing event it better handle, and the TT Coupe offers a refined ride and dynamic handling in a compact package. The surefootedness of all-wheel-drive keeps the car tracking exactly where you point it, no matter what the road surface or weather conditions throw at you.

My test car came fitted with the standard lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels wearing all-season rubber. Early TTs proved unstable at higher speeds on Germany’s Autobahn, but the addition of an active rear spoiler and some hidden revisions to the car’s chassis aerodynamics have blessed the car with exceptional road grip, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the tires to break loose or skitter. And believe me, I tried.

TT Performance

My test vehicle was a Brilliant Black TT Coupe 225 fitted with the ever-popular 1.8-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. This capable power plant generates 225 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough to shuttle this compact machine from 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. The turbo spools quickly and quietly, so power is immediately on tap with each blip of the throttle.

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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The TT 225 is only available with Audi’s six-speed manual transmission, while the V6-equipped TT 250 comes fitted with the company’s all-new Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). This five-speed automatic features a driver-selectable “sport” mode and Audi’s wonderful paddle shifters on the steering wheel. As far as auto-manual gearboxes go, this one is a treat.

The brushed aluminum pedals are nicely placed for heel-and-toe application, and the short-throw six-speed manual gear lever is within easy reach. The pedals wear narrow rubber ribs to keep wet shoes from slipping off their faces, and an enormous dead pedal acts as a foot rest when cruising.

Gear spacing is well suited for enthusiastic play, and each shift is met with a pleasant bark from the car’s twin-outlet sport exhaust. To get the most from this car you have to blip the revs near the tach’s 6,600 rpm redline prior to each shift, and throttle response is immediate. The car feels stable at all legal speeds and seems happy to cruise at triple-digit speeds all day long. My time with the TT 225 coincided with a weekend trip through the mountains, where I experienced wide-open stretches of highway as well as substantial climbs and descents. The car performed flawlessly, even when faced with a sudden hail storm and later, slushy road conditions. The car builds up a head of steam with aplomb, while its brakes scrub off speed when needed without any drama.


2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
Click image to enlarge

While TT models sport the legendary Quattro badge on their tail and egg-crate grille, it is important to note that the system is different than that utilized by Audi’s other cars. The compact dimensions of the TT make mounting the regular Quattro system impossible, so a modified version of corporate parent Volkswagen’s 4-Motion system takes its place. The Haldex 4-Motion setup is still no slouch, as it uses a combination of computers and traction control devices to monitor wheel spin and braking dynamics invisibly in the background, stepping in whenever it senses trouble. Its prowess inspires confidence and more than makes up for the extra weight it adds to the car.

Safety First

As with all Audi products, safety was a top priority when designing the TT. As a result, the car sports ABS-equipped ventilated disc brakes for exceptional stopping power, while Audi’s proven Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and integral brake assist are part of the package.

Self-levelling Xenon headlights are perfectly placed, illuminating a path through the darkest night without the glare often associated with such high-output lamps. Audi has also chosen to outfit the car with dedicated front and rear fog lamps to ensure the driver has all the tools needed to operate the car in inclement weather.

Both the driver and passenger benefit from the latest next-generation airbags, as well as seat-mounted head and chest units.

TT Headaches

Now I didn’t want to put the blame for my physical discomfort on the TT as it would have been just as easy to blame the onset of a stiff neck on the guest bed where I spent several nights in that same week. But when my father, close to my stature at six-foot-two, also complained of neck issues after I took him for a ride, I knew the car was the culprit.

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
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Unfortunately, both ingress and egress pose a problem for taller individuals in the TT Coupe and, to a lesser degree, the Roadster. Due to the chopped roof line, which drops progressively from the windshield back, slipping behind the wheel is an athletic endeavour akin to Pilates. Once you throw your leg in and begin to drop your rear into the seat, you must bend forward at the waist and duck your head to clear the roof. After several days of bumping my head or knocking off my hat, I finally mastered the TT Tango and could quickly contort myself through the low-bridge opening. Individuals standing about five-foot-ten or less should have little trouble with the design.

Once inside however, the car seems spacious, as both head and leg room are abundant. Audi does not offer a sunroof in the TT Coupe as the roof is very short, so taller drivers do not have to compete for headspace with the usual machinery and panels associated with such niceties.

2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe
Click image to enlarge

The rear seating area is useless if you have legs, but makes for a great place to stow a gym bag or small packages. The rear seats offer 50/50 split seat backs that, when folded, offer a near flat, carpeted cargo area that increases the rear cargo capacity to a handy 527 litres.


The TT offers sporty performance and modern safety in a unique package that is unlikely to be mistaken for anything else on the road. There are a lot of competitors in its price range that offer more luxurious appointments, increased passenger volume and better performance numbers, but the TT is a car that was produced to break the mold. The TT offers those individuals lucky enough to take possession of the keys a way to express their individualism. If this is what you look for in a car you better act soon, as the second-generation TT is being designed as I write this, and early reports suggest that it will move to a larger platform to offer better passenger volume. The TT may become practical enough to lose some of its lustre.

Technical Data: 2005 Audi TT 225 Quattro Coupe

Base price $55,475
Options $1,190 (Bose premium audio package)
Freight $1,295
A/C tax $100
Price as tested $58,060
Type 2-door, 4-passenger midsize coupe
Layout Front engine/all-wheel-drive
Engine 1.8-litre inline 4, DOHC, 20 valves, turbocharged
Horsepower 225 @ 5900 rpm
Torque 207 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Tires P225/45R17
Curb weight 1465 kg (3230 lbs.)
Wheelbase 2429 mm (95.6 in.)
Length 4041 mm (159.1 in.)
Width 1856 mm (73.1 in.)
Height 1346 mm (53.0 in.)
Cargo capacity 306 litres (10.8 cu. ft.)
Fuel consumption City: 11.7 L/100 km (24 mpg Imperial)
  Hwy: 7.6 L/100 km (37 mpg Imperial)
Warranty 4 yrs/80,000 km
Powertrain warranty 4 yrs/80,000 km

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