Wednesday, February 4, 2015

15k: Dual Sequential Gravy: 2008 Audi TT 2.0 FSI

 If you ever get sick of rowing your own gears, there is German conglomerate called the Volkswagen Group that puts together an excellent alternative to the stick shift. They call it S-Tronic, but don't confuse it with the old Tiptronic (aka Tip"hang on, having a coffee break, will get to that gearshift when i'm done"tronic) slushbox system as the S-Tronic is dual-clutch gearbox that fires off gear changes like an LAPD officer shooting at dark shadows.  The end result is a satisfyingly aggressive manual shift experience that can be turned into a relaxing auto when you need to drink a cup of Joe, text on your phone, unlock handcuffs, read a book, do the things you normally do when you should be driving etc.  Find this 2008 Audi TT 2.0TFSI offered for $18,995 from a dealer in Rochester, NY via craigslist.


This generation of TT is said to handle much better than the previous Golf Mk IV based version which was an understeering pig.  Additionally the DSG drives like you'd want with the annoying exception of the kick-down switch at the bottom of throttle pedal travel.  If you are careful you can drive quickly without revving the pants out of the motor, but hit that kick-down switch and it'll instantly find the redline in the nearest gear. 


The 2.0 liter 4-banger under the hood was a marvel of technology when it was first released -- an all alloy DOHC 16-V engine turbocharged, intercooled and direct injected for around 200 horsepower.   Today this kind of engine is common place and most of the competition makes 250-270 hp, but back in the day VW/Audi was almost alone in their small turbo, small engine, with high compression approach.


Audi rules the world when it comes to interior design and quality -- and this TT with red/black setup is no exception.  You will enjoy every moment inside the TT from a comfort and function perspective...at least until things start to fail from age...but with only 50k miles on the odometer that will be someone elses problem.


See a better TT? tips@dailyturismo.com

13 comments:

  1. "...do the things you normally do when you should be driving"

    Ha! so true.

    Nice description, especially kick-down switch, but I wonder how they really drive.

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  2. Nice looking car. I especially like the dipstick! Just got rid of my '09 A4 with what I believe is virtually the same 2 liter TFSI, and coincidentally just got notice of a class action lawsuit in the mail (2009-2011 with engine code CAEB). After countless trips to the dealer and hundreds spent post warranty on my car I am cured of my fixation on Audi's. Maybe this '08 is different, as it was not included in the class action? Either way, the folks at Audi/VW have a big problem on their hands.

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  3. The reason the previous generation was an understeering pig is that when Audi first released the TT it was reasonably well balanced, but aerodynamics of the body made the rear get light at speed, and there were some very well-publicized Autobahn fatalities where a little lift on a sweeping bend sent the car into the guardrail at 140+. Audi recalled them all, stuck a spoiler on the rear, changed the springs and reprogrammed the stability control to make damn sure it would never break the rear loose under any condition. It destroyed the feel of the car. I'm not sure if the US ever got any of the pre-numbed cars or not.

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  4. The reason the previous generation was an understeering pig is that when Audi first released the TT it was reasonably well balanced, but aerodynamics of the body made the rear get light at speed, and there were some very well-publicized Autobahn fatalities where a little lift on a sweeping bend sent the car into the guardrail at 140+. Audi recalled them all, stuck a spoiler on the rear, changed the springs and reprogrammed the stability control to make damn sure it would never break the rear loose under any condition. It destroyed the feel of the car. I'm not sure if the US ever got any of the pre-numbed cars or not.

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  5. Can someone explain why the S-tiptonic is any different than your garden variety paddle shifter, auto gear selector, etc, besides just a faster shift? I have yet to be impressed with any manually operated auto car, paddle shift or not, it seems ridiculous to change gears manually and offers zero feel. At the very least, I would want a clutch pedal to control the gear engagement and a "gated" shifter instead of some silly + and - device. Why should I be interested in S-Tiptonic?

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    Replies
    1. The DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) is what has come to be known as an automated manual. There is no torque converter, no planetary gearsets, no bands, etc. At heart it's a synchromesh manual transmission but there are two clutches.

      On a 6-spd DSG the first clutch is linked to gears 1, 3, & 5, and the 2nd clutch operates 2, 4, and 6. Let's say you are hard on the gas in 1st gear - clutch 1 is engaged - but it has already pre-selected (or pre-shifted) 2nd gear on the other clutch. So when it comes time to shift, be it from driver input or shift controller, all the automated gearbox has to do is disengage clutch 1 while simultaneously engaging clutch 2.

      Why care? You get all the precision of a manual but with much faster shift times and no clutch pedal. Some people like it. Lots of manufacturers have their own version of the DSG now, not just VW/Audi.

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    2. Don't forget those tranny flushes every 40K with that special fluid drawn from the veins of pregnant mermaids! I test drove a 2012 TDI Jetta and I really wanted to be hard on the tranny to see if I could tell the difference, but I held back. It felt just like a regular auto to me, but I didn't do my own shifting. Personally I'm not sold on the idea.

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    3. TGM -- I'll be honest, I am a dyed in the wool manual man and you'll have to pull the floor mounted gearshifter from my cold dead hands...but...BUT...I've driven a few MkVI Golf based cars with the DSG and lemme tell ya -- its good. Really good. Shifts like an F1 car -- fast, makes a cool BLART noise AND is just about perfect, except that it drops you into first if you come to a complete stop, it doesn't hold the gear if you miss the shift, and throttle tip-in will cause it to downshift, all of which I would not have in my paddle shifted car. If I am too stupid to downshift when I get to a stop the car should try and start in 5th gear to remind me what an idiot I am. If I want the car to shift for me, I leave it in auto mode. I understand some of the Porsche DSG systems are more "racey" and will bounce off the revv limiter, but I haven't driven a modern Porsche DSG. On a side note, I understand that the Lexus ISF slushbox is just about the best slushbox in the business and fires off gearchanges like a DSG.
      Vince DT E-i-C

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  6. I'm sold on every idea that DT gives me which is why I have 6 corvairs and 8 Fieros sitting on my front yard.

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    Replies
    1. hang on, you still need an E34 M5, a Roadmaster, a Volvo P1800, a Volvo 240 wagon with a Chevy 350, a Jag XJ6 with a Chevy 350, a Klown Kar, a Datsun 510, a Citroen DS, a Plymouth Reliant, a Robin Reliant, a Volvo 1800ES, a Buick Invicta, a Pontiac Aztek, a Subaru SVX with manual trans swap, a 2002, a 164, a 900, an El Camino, a Ranchero, and a Dodge Dude - did i leave anything out?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I think there was also some sort of do it yourself pontoon amphibious vehicle that I am supposed to build in my spare time.

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  7. I've gotten to valet a really worn first gen TT. It was scruffy to say the best but the engine/transmission was perfect. Would I own one before the kids were out of the house? Nah... Nevertheless a sweet ride. You have to be your own mechanic to justify German luxury; pricey when knew... ridiculous when over 200k miles. One day the siren song of a 3 series BMW made before '96 will entrap me, until then cheap JDM RWD luxury for me please.

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