The avantgarde Audi TT was released back in 1999 – and today, special models are starting to see an uptick in their second-hand prices.
The sporty two-door featured the right amount of looks and flair to stand out in the wild era of car design that was the late 1990s and early 2000s, but it has also aged well enough to still be soft on the eyes 22 years later.
At its core, the TT was a Golf IV in a party frock – sharing most of its engines and platform underpinnings with the Golf and A3 at the time.
Its purpose: to take on the BMW Z4, the Mercedes-Benz SLK, and the more expensive Porsche Boxster.
The first-generation Audi TT only offered a single engine variant when it launched in South Africa.
The 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, turbo motor put out 164kW and 280Nm, which had Boxster-beating performance and Audi’s [Haldex] Quattro all-wheel-drive system for better grip.
It was available as both a coupe and soft-top roadster.
This car was later joined by a meatier-sounding 3.2-litre, narrow-angle V6 (from the original Golf R) and finally a limited-edition TT Quattro Sport – of which only 28 made it to South African shores.
A combination of sunny skies and relatively decent roads meant the TT soon became a popular everyday alternative for many drivers who would have settled for a small luxury sedan at the time.
History has shown that it’s often good versions of highly-popular cars that go on to become desirable down the line.
If this is the case, well-kept versions of the first-edition TT – particularly ones with elegant cognac-coloured seats and baseball mitt stitching – and the rare TT Quattro Sport could be the ones to have in car collections.
We take a look potentially-collectable Audi TT models below.
Audi TT 3.2 V6
Launched in 2004, the 3.2 V6 TT was the first car to introduce the VW’s dual sequential gearbox (DSG) – and when paired with the 184kW engine from the Golf Mk4 R32, it was hailed for its GT capabilities.
There were a handful of design cues to tell it apart, too, mostly associated with accommodating the new engine and its cooling needs.
It gained a new front bumper with more purposeful cooling ducts and a slightly more prominent spoiler, with a black leading edge, which was used to keep the tail down at high speed.
New, these cars carried a R65,000 premium over the 1.8-litre alternative.
Expect to pay around R130,000 for a clean one with 100,000+ km on it, today.
Audi TT Quattro Sport
Despite its neat package, power, and Quattro system, the standard TT was not the most exciting sports car to drive.
The TT Quattro Sport changed this.
Only 28 examples were brought to South Africa at the end of the model run in 2006.
With its two-tone paintwork – and unique 18-inch alloy wheels – there was no mistaking it if you were ever lucky enough to see one.
I only ever recall seeing two – none in the past decade.
Inside, the TT Quattro Sport received race-style Recaro seats, and an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, handbrake, and gear shift knob.
The rear seats were then removed to save weight, and a strut brace was fitted across the empty space.
As a result, the Sport shed 79kg over the standard car.
It used the same 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine as the standard TT, however, which was tuned to provide 176kW and 320Nm.
These 28 cars were only available as coupes in 2006 and sold for R380,000.