Since it broke onto the scene in 2000, the Audi TT has consistently impressed us with its distinctive design and weather-beating, all-wheel-drive traction. Traditionally less impressive has been the car's performance, but there's a lot to like on that front with the 2018 Audi TTS, too.
In TTS guise, the car comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Quad exhaust tips, aluminum exterior accents, aero enhancements and more aggressively bolstered seats with contrast-color stitching round out the upgrades over the regular TT.
Besides its styling, the TTS is also distinctive in the way it lines up in the marketplace. It's smaller and lighter than similarly priced coupes such as the BMW 240i and the Mercedes-Benz AMG C43. However, it's not as roomy inside as those cars. Audi also offers viable alternatives in its own house: the related S3 sedan or the bigger S5 coupe. You might even consider the Volkswagen Golf R, which is the hatchback version of the TTS and S3.
Ultimately, buying a TTS still comes down to how much you like the car's styling. But at least with the 2018 car, you'll know that it's got the performance credentials as well.
In a nutshell, the 2018 Audi TTS coupe is a sportier, more powerful variant of the normal TT. It technically offers seating for four, though the backseats are so small that even children might find them too confining. It's offered in a single, well-equipped trim level with few available extras. Motivating the TTS is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (292 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque) that delivers power to all four wheels via a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The extreme TT RS is reviewed separately.
The Audi TTS' standard features include 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension (compared to the regular TT) with adaptive dampers, LED headlights and taillights, automatic wipers, heated and power-folding side mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and keyless entry and ignition.
Inside, you get a virtual gauge cluster (in lieu of a central display screen), Audi's MMI infotainment system with touchpad capability and voice control, automatic climate control, LED ambient lighting, a tilt-and-telescoping sport steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles, Audi Drive Select adjustable drive settings, leather and simulated-suede upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment and power side bolsters), folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD/DVD player, an SD card reader, satellite radio and two USB ports.
The TTS has three optional packages. The Technology package adds blind-spot monitoring, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Audi Connect telematics (with 4G Wi-Fi hotspot capability and online services) and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. The Black Optic package adds 20-inch wheels and high-gloss black exterior treatments. The S Sport Seat package adds upgraded leather upholstery and additional leather trim.
Red-painted brake calipers, 20-inch wheels and two-tone upholstery are the only stand-alone options.