The TT had a torrid birth into the automotive world thanks to some high-profile, highspeed incidents in Europe, and early models were recalled accordingly to improve handling at high speeds. ESP, a rear spoiler and suspension modifications were added, which subsequently found their way onto all TTs. From the outset though, the 222bhp Quattro TT has been the model to go for, boasting a larger K04 turbo, an additional sidemounted intercooler and dual-exit exhausts. It’s quicker to 60mph than the 180bhp versions by almost a whole second and can hit 151mph, which is around 10mph more than the lower spec cars. It may have been outdone since thanks to the 3.2ltr V6 model and the 240bhp Quattro Sport, but that’s not the end of the world as the 225s are nicely tuneable.
Due to the popularity of the TT, (which is largely down to the fact that its looks can appeal to both men and women, plus the Haldex four wheel drive makes it a useable sports car for the masses) you’ll be spoilt for choice on the second hand market – there are loads of them!
It’s worth noting that many of the 180bhp models have been played with, and later ones could even be had with a 6-speed gearbox, so you may end up with a 180bhp model with a very similar-looking spec to the 225 if you’re not careful. In truth though, this may only prove to be an issue if you plan on extracting big power via a larger turbo (the 225 has forged conrods and webbed casing around the block, making it a better base). Common consensus suggests both versions can handle around 350bhp on standard internals. As far as buying goes, in standard form, the 225 is the better buy, since that extra power makes for a much nippier car, while insurance and fuel economy is fairly similar. It may not be the most rewarding driver’s car in the world, but in poor conditions, the well-proven Haldex four wheel drive gives the kind of assurance through corners that makes the power totally accessible at all times.
There’s a certain image that has gone hand-in-hand with the TT, which may put you off owning one, but with more of them being tuned all the time, this potential is now overshadowing the IT consultant or WAG image that they’ve had. With some additional styling, they can even begin to look seriously hard, which should deflect any grief you get off your mates when you roll up in one.
AUDI TT 225 1999-2006
0-62mph: 6.4 sec
Top speed: 151mph
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Most commonly reported issues are worn anti-roll bar bushes, hesitancy on acceleration, which may be the MAF sensor, misfires due to the common failing coil packs problem of the 1.8T engines, and erratic gauges in the dashpod (a problem that should have been resolved under warranty). Aside from those, there shouldn’t be too much to worry about, although being turbocharged, the usual checks with such cars are wise. You may also want have a look at the service history and make sure the oil has been changed on the Haldex at the required two-year intervals, otherwise you may be in store for costly repairs in the future.
AUDI TT 225 TUNING
The TT is quite heavy and the Quattro Sport ditched the rear seats and added a rear strut brace, which is actually a pretty good modification for your 225. The best modification you can do to a standard TT is a simple remap though. It’ll take the 222 to around 260bhp and make it drive like you always wanted it to. To complement that, an exhaust system and panel filter are wise, and upgrading the brakes to V6 or Porsche calipers and discs at this point is worth doing. You can take the tuning much further though. Companies like TT Shop can upgrade the turbo to give anything from 325bhp to 400bhp, at which point you’d also want to be opting for mods like coilover suspension and a Haldex controller to keep the power down.
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