You would be seriously challenged if you were to say that the VW Beetle and Porsche 911 are not the two most recognised German classics? .. now why did we go and say that. Let the banter commence!
Whether you think the above statement is true or not, we believe there is an altogether more modern classic challenger on the horizon, the soon to be iconic series one Audi TT.
A car which inherited most of its running gear from the VW Golf Mk4 the first generation Audi TT still turns heads today with its unmistakable shape and lightning-quick performance. So how much longer will it be before these brilliantly engineered cars become on the radar of shrewd classic car enthusiast?
When these cars were first produced in 1998 they had everything to challenge its rivals such as the VW Golf GTi and the BMW Z3. With four-wheel drive, aircon, leather, and 16in alloys as standard, even the base specification did not disappoint, and with its trusted German build quality, the Audi TT is a great buy and dead cheap too!
The Audi TT was available with high or lower power output 1.8 turbocharged engines, namely the 225 and 180bhp respectively, the 225 being recognisable by its classy 17in wheels. The convertible roadster arrived in August 1999 and in 2003 a lower output 150bhp engine was launched, but this only had front-wheel drive as opposed to four, why Audi did this only they would know.
The 225bhp version is a delight to drive and it’s our opinion the best one to have due to its configuration, the power to weight ratio, balance and road holding can only be described as second to none, simply great value.
Like the Golf GTi 1800, the 225bhp TT is not the rarest model and like the Golf VR6 is to the 1800, the much sort after TT is the 3.2 V6 which was introduced in September 2003 and subsequently revamped completely in 2006.
The 3.2 V6 sounds great and is very smooth but like the VR6 it had a heavier feel, and just didn’t seem to respond like the 225bhp model even though by this time the car was made lighter. The VR6 engine produced 247bhp which came as standard with the Quattro four-wheel-drive system. In July 2003, a new six-speed dual clutch transmission – dubbed the Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG), which improved the acceleration through much-reduced shift times, was offered, along with a stiffer suspension.
If you are considering buying a S1 Audi TT you should ask yourself, do you want a driver’s car, a car you will use regularly then we suggest you go for a 225 model with good history, there are plenty around. If however rarity is part of your thinking and as well as enjoying your car but keeping an eye on your investment then it has to be 3.2 V6.
Price wise where are we?
As Mk4 Golf prices are slowly firming up, the early TT is an absolute bargain. Unbelievably, T, V, W, X or Y plate are now changing hands for as little as £1,500. That’s outrageous considering its list price new was £26,875.
Currently, the 225bhp models don’t fetch much more than the 180s so we highly recommend you go for this model. For the rarer 3.2 V6 we have seen them advertised for as less as £3,500 but like any purchase of classic cars, we’d recommend paying closer to £5,500 for a good, low mileage with full comprehensive history car.
Finally, the Audi TT could soon be the future classic car to purchase and just imagine in ten years time we start our Blog ‘You would be a liar if you were to say that the VW Beetle, Porsche 911 and Audi TT are not the three most recognised German classics’
Until next time
Peace & Love