The TT in Audi TT Surprisingly Doesn’t Stand for Twin Turbo

The Audi TT is a true luxury sports car brand. Their sedans and coupes are good in terms of performance and comfort, but not good enough in terms of handling. Of course, you can spend a fortune to buy an Audi R8 supercar, or you can opt for the more modest but still performing Audi TT. With Audi, you can find out a lot about a car thanks to its name and badges. The Quattro edition, for example, tells you that the car is equipped with Audi’s coveted all-wheel drive system. Logically, the name TT would mean, well, two turbos, but surprisingly, that’s not the case.

A small sports car

Audi makes sedans and coupes that offer so much power that you feel like you’re driving a sports car, and the Audi TT seems to be on the back burner. The Audi TT can be found on the used market at a very affordable price, but the 2021 models can go up to $73,000. It has just about everything you could want in a new sports car, but its name might lead you to believe that the car is equipped with two turbochargers.

A low-angle rear 3/4 view of a black 2002 Audi TT Roadster with its top down and radio antenna up 2002 Audi TT Roadster rear lowered 3/4 cars and commercials

Audi TT – Tour Trophy

Although the Audi TT has a turbocharger, its name sounds more like a European racing event. The Isle of Man, a small country that most people don’t often think about, lies between Ireland and England and hosts the Isle of Man TT, short for Isle of Man Touring Trophy, two weeks a year over 37.73 miles of winding mountain roads – a bit like the tail of the dragon, one of the most dangerous roads in the country.

According to Autoweek, the forgotten DKW built motorcycles in the 1930s to compete in the TT on the Isle of Man. They finished the race with a 250cc engine that consisted of a single combustion chamber with two pistons, and won with the same engine in 1938 with rider Ewald Kluge at the wheel. Later DKW participated in a merger that resulted in the company’s integration into Audi. So the name TT actually comes from motorcycling and not cars or twin turbines as many think.

A 2012 Audi TT on display at an auto show Exhibition of the Audi TT Roadster | Catherine Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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An underrated sports car

To me, the Audi TT has always looked like a younger version of the Audi R8, the brand’s flagship. The sleek design of the body lines suits the car well and sets it apart from rival models that have steeper angles and a more spectacular body style. These small, lightweight sports cars are masters of driving, and they are rare enough to retain a certain “freshness factor,” although you may be asked several times whether this car has a twin turbo just because of the name.

2020 Audi TT Coupé | Audi Audi TT Coupe 2020 Audi

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So the TT part of the Audi TT name may not refer to a super biturbo under the hood, but in a subtle and thoughtful way it refers to a part of the company’s history.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Audi TT a biturbo?

The TT, launched in 1998, is not and never has been a bi-turbo (the TT is traditionally named after the Tourist Trophy race), so there is a slight lag when you press the chrome pedal. The engine weighs less than its predecessor, but it is also used by the cheaper compact A3, which is a sedan.

What does TT mean in the Audi TT?

The Audi TT takes its name from the highly successful NSU motorcycle racing tradition and the British Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy). The Audi TT is the world’s first motor racing car … The Audi TT also follows the NSU 1000TT, 1200TT and TTS cars of the 1960s and takes its name from motor racing.

Is everything Audi TT Turbo?

The standard TT is equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 228 hp. The mid-range TTS has an upgraded version of this engine with 288 hp, and the high-performance TT RS has a turbocharged 5-cylinder with 394 hp.

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