Production of the Audi TT started in 1999, and the car was only known internally within Audi by the name “Typ 8N”, but it later became known as the First Generation TT, as a second, improved model of the car was produced and developed from 2006 to present. The TT name came from the famous “NSU TT” small rear engine of the 1960’s, and does not mean “Twin Turbo” for the record. The Audi TT was the first presented in a concept car design at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show but it was then decided that it should be established within the coupe class in 1998. J Mays and Freeman Thomas originally designed the car, both of Volkswagen’s California design workshop, with Martin Smith designing the bold and innovative interior. And it originated in the class of the 2 door roadster, and the 2 door luxury sportscar, with either a front wheel drive or four wheel drive, and a front positioned engine.
The first thing people noticed about the car was that it obtained a couple of design patterns from earlier vehicles, the complete appearance was thought to be definite and unique. The design appeal of the First Generation TT consisted of a its smooth-curved body, rounded bodywork, the distinctive use bare “anodized aluminum”, and no definite show of bumpers, the car was light-years away from the current styling trends that beseeched the market at that time. Despite all of the car’s curvaceous outlines, it does not improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle; in fact the “drag coefficient” is actually very high at 0.35. A small number of changes were performed to the TT apperance wise, so it didn’t vary much from the showcased concept car, except the addition of finely re-profiled bumpers, and “back quarter-light windows located behind the doors”.
The Audi TT foundations were based intensely on the “Volkswagen A4 platform”, which came from the “A platform”, which was also used in the Volkswagen New Beetle, Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf/ Rabbit, SEAT Leon, and the Skoda Octavia. The proportional blueprint of the TT is made up of a width of 1764mm (69.4in); a length of 4041mm (159.1in); wheel-base of 2422mm (95.4in); and a height of 1346mm (53in). The car also possessed a fuel capacity of 55 litres (14.5 US gal/12.1 imp gal).
The car was initially obtainable with an engine with capacity of “1.8 litre Turbo I4” which consists of a “Turbo-charged inline four cylinder, 20 valve” motor that overturned either “180PS (178hp or 132kW) or 225PS (222hp or 165kW)”. The 225PS engine owns a bigger turbo-charger, an extra intercooler located on the driver’s side, fabricated connecting rods, and other mechanically internal modifications, all proposed to increase turbo boost from about 10 psi to peak at 15 psi. In 2003, the original layout of the four cylinder range was given a boost with the 3.2 litre VR6 engine, which outputs 250PS (247hp or 184kW). The First Generation TT engines were mounted crosswise, with optional front or “quattro” all wheel drive with the smaller engine, but came standard in the 3.2 litre version. The TT transmission came with 4 different formats; a 5 speed manual; a 6 speed manual; a 6 speed automatic; and the later enhanced 6 speed DSG.
In late 1999, early 2000 the First Generation TT had its load of problems because eyebrows raised as questions grew about the car’s poor handling as the tally of fatal accidents piled up. The car was deemed unstable when cornering at high speeds, due to “throttle lift-off oversteering”. It was imperative that Audi rectify the situation as quickly as possible by altering the problem by changing the suspension settings to increase under-steer, and adding a rear wing spoiler to lower lift. These changes helped the problem, and gave the car back its reputation.
Sales-wise the First Gen was a huge success, both in commercial and private markets, as the car reached a public, which had not been considered beforehand. The customers that filled the market were mostly, young people and women in particular that bought Audi TTs. There was even a long waiting list for it both in the US and the UK, where it was something of a fashion item. The car was distinguished for it elegant flair and improved offering, as the acclaim were stacked on it as the car was highlighted in the sought after “Car and Driver” magazine’s distinguished “Ten Best List” for both 2000 and 2001. In addition, it was also nominated for the “North American Car of the Year”.