The 2020 Audi TTS is the mid-tier performance version of the basic Audi TT. It’s powered by a 288-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that sends power to all four wheels via a lightning-quick 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Though a roadster version of the TTS is offered in Europe, the vehicle is only sold as a coupe in North America. In theory, the coupe offers room for four via a two-by-two seating configuration, but in reality the back seat of the TTS isn’t exactly suitable for, well, anyone.
While we enjoy its design and performance credentials, the TTS — and the greater TT line as a whole — faces an uncertain future, as Audi and its parent company, the Volkswagen Group, are shifting their focus toward electric vehicles and SUVs and therefore have to allocate resources away from low-volume niche offerings such as the TT. Rumblings from within the company are that the TT will either have to go away or evolve into a much different vehicle with wider appeal to justify its continued existence within the company’s ever-changing lineup.
Still, as it stands today, the TTS offers a great balance of power and sophistication, and buyers will be drawn to its attractive profile, which is really unlike that of any other vehicle on sale today, save for the much larger and more expensive Audi R8. The TTS’s particular appeal comes in the form of increased performance and a more aggressive demeanor when compared to the base TT — though if it’s maximum performance you’re after, you’ll want to look to the top-of-the-line TT RS, which we’ll review separately, as we will the regular TT.
What’s New for 2020?
The TTS is pretty much a carryover for 2020, adding only an alarm system and a new exterior color, Pulse Orange. See the Audi TTS models for sale near you
What We Like
- Sharp design
- Sharp handling
- Sharp acceleration
What We Don’t
- Cup holders are small
- Interior storage is weak
- Lacks the name recognition of competitors
- No TTS Roadster version
The TTS uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 288 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters. All-wheel drive is standard. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2020 Audi TTS at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Audi TTS is offered in just one trim level and with just a few available options.
Standard on every TTS are 19-in alloy wheels, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, full LED lighting, an automatically deploying rear spoiler, quad exhaust tips, heated windshield washer nozzles, keyless entry and ignition, selectable driving modes, automatic climate control, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, heated front sport seats, diamond-stitched leather and Alcantara upholstery, heated/power folding/self-dimming side mirrors, a self-dimming rearview mirror with a digital compass, a rearview camera, a 12.3-in digital driver information display that Audi calls its Virtual Cockpit, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, 50-50 split-folding rear seats, ambient LED cabin lighting, a storage drawer underneath the front passenger seat, wireless charging, a signal booster, Bluetooth connectivity and a 9-speaker audio system with HD and satellite radio, two USB ports, two SD card slots and an auxiliary input.
An available Competition package includes 20-in Audi Sport black wheels, a TT RS rear spoiler, red brake calipers, gloss-black exterior accents, an upgraded steering wheel, Audi Sport carbon fiber trim pieces, Nappa leather seats and leather trim throughout the interior. There’s also a standalone Black Optic package that adds just the black exterior trim, and a standalone S Sport seat package that comes with just the upholstery upgrades.
Finally, an available Technology package adds navigation, blind spot monitoring, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and a 680-watt, 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Luggage space in the coupe is 12 cu ft. The small rear seats fold to create a little more cargo area.
Neither the Audi TT nor TTS has been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The TTS’s only two driver assistance features are blind spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors. Front, side, side-curtain and knee airbags protect occupants, while all of the mandatory stuff — such as traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes and a rearview camera — is there.
Behind the Wheel
Just like the regular TT, the TTS offers a great cabin with a healthy array of leather and metallic finishes. In an era where most vehicle dashboards are dominated by large center infotainment screens, the TTS forgoes one altogether, and the only things that appear on its center stack are three air vents and a few buttons for things such as the hazards and parking sensors.
The TT and TTS still come with an infotainment system — it’s just routed through the large 12.3-in Virtual Cockpit display in the vehicle’s gauge cluster. This means that things such as navigation maps and directions, media and vehicle information are presented under the gauge hood. That’s great for the driver, but not so much for the passenger. So much for having your co-pilot input the directions to dinner.
Compared to the regular TT, which is already a fun little sports car, the TTS offers more power, better acceleration, slightly nimbler handling and an overall more aggressive demeanor. Thanks to its AWD system, the TTS delivers excellent grip, and its dual-clutch transmission rifles off shifts with astounding precision. Zero-to-60 mph comes in 4.4 seconds.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Volkswagen Golf R — The Golf R utilizes the same powertrain as the TTS but offers an available manual transmission and immense practicality thanks to its hatchback design — all at a price tag that undercuts the TTS by up to $20,000. The Golf R takes a sabbatical for 2020 while Volkswagen readies an all-new model, but a leftover 2019 model will do the job nicely.
2020 Mazda Miata RF — While it isn’t in the TTS’s league when it comes to power and luxury, anyone in search of a fun driver’s car should check out a Miata, as it remains the world standard to this day.
Used First-Generation Audi R8 — Used 2008-to-2012 R8s are currently listed on Autotrader for as little as $58,000. While the ownership experience will be much different with a used midengine supercar, sometimes you just gotta scratch that itch.
The TTS is a sleek, fun performance car that also offers excellent handling and great acceleration. Because the car has attractive curves and an iconic shape, buyers interested in the TTS should really value it for its unique design, as there are better performance cars out there for the money. Still, it’s a fun little car from a segment that’s getting smaller as the years go by. And with slow sales leaving the TT and TTS with an uncertain future, we aren’t taking either model for granted. Find an Audi TTS for sale