Wednesday, 28 January 2015

New BMW 2 Series convertible coming to Australia

Summertime tends to mean convertible time and BMW are cashing in on the good weather with this, the BMW 2 Series convertible, available from the end of February 2015 in Australia starting at $54,900. Let's have a closer look at the specifications and those all important prices in more detail.
BMW 2 Series Convertible

What you need to know

First thing you need to know is that the 2 Series convertible will be available in 3 guises, 220i, 228i and M235i. The latter car being the most interesting if your of a spirited drive disposition, but more on that later. Standard features on the 2 are impressive, 8 speed auto box (no manual will be offered), drive experience control (eco, and sport modes etc), parking sensors, cruise control with auto braking and a rear view camera all come for free on the new 2. And that fabric roof rises or drops in 20 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h too, handy should you get caught in a sudden downpour. As mentioned pricing for the 220i starts at $54,900, while the 228i will set you back $68,900 and the M235i a hefty $85,800. All the cars benefit from BMW's clever TwinPower and Efficient Dynamics technologies meaning they can delivering both performance and economy, even the baby 220i is a seriously capable car, with 135kw it can dispatch 0-100km/h in 7.6 secs. The 228i ups that power figure to 180kw from the 4 cylinder while the M235i develop's an impressive 240kw of shove from the twin turbo charged straight 6 it shares with the M235i coupe and M135i hatch.
BMW 2 Series Convertible


Now power is all well and good but has lopping the roof off the 2 series hindered it's dynamics? BMW doesn't seem to think so, the convertible was engineered in tandem with it's coupe sibling meaning that extra strengthening was built into the car from the word go. BMW claim that the 2 series convertible has 20% greater torsional rigidity and 10% increased bending strength over its 1 series convertible predecessor. Low weight components, a low centre of gravity and a equal weight distribution are all other elements engineered into the little RWD convertible. This should all translate to better road manners and stability from the 2 series cab when the road gets twisty and as a bonus adds extra strength in the event of a crash, not that we want that to happen.
BMW 2 Series Convertible moving


Removing the roof has obviously dramatically altered the appearance of the 2 Series, and in my opinion for the better. The convertible sits lower, especially on the move and the wheels fill the arches nicely looking less like coasters under a sofa, providing you option the right wheels of course. Another bonus of the 2 is its size. Cars nowadays tend to get bigger with every generation due to ever more stringent safety targets, manufactures essentially have to make cars as cushion like as possible in case you bump into a pedestrian. As a result the 2 now occupies a floor space once filled by its bigger brother the 3 and in doing so the 2 convertible puts me in mind of the original E30 cabriolet of the 1980's. I still won't go as far as saying the 2 series is a beautiful machine but the E30 is an iconic BMW and not a bad ancestor to share a passing resemblance with.
BMW 2 Series Convertible roof action

BMW 2 Series Convertible roof action

BMW 2 Series Convertible roof action


Now having already discussed how increased structural rigidity benefits the 2's road holding lets see how the M235i takes the driving experience a stage further. As standard the M comes with a Sport+ plus mode setting on it's drive experience controller. This setting sharpens throttle response, stiffens the dampers, weights up the steering and quickens the gearshifts. M cars also get sports seats, leather steering wheel, 18 inch alloys, better brakes and a more aggressive skirt/bumper combo. All this should make the M235i an absolute hoot to blat down a lovely road with the sun setting behind.
BMW M235i Convertible roof down
M235i, just add kangaroos to the horizon and you could be in Oz

BMW M235i Convertible roof up
Twin exhausts make it easy to distinguish 

BMW M235i Convertible roof up
Looks like rain

But I cant afford one 

Well don't despair if the 2 Series price tag is a little out of reach, instead why not just go for something with that E30 resemblance I hinted at earlier for a tenth of the price? Why not just buy an actual E30 3 Series? Yes dynamically the world may have moved on leaps and bounds, so the E30 may be a little skittish on a bumpy road compared to a modern convertible and yes it's engine will by now have done a considerable amount of km's but does any of that matter? The E30 convertible was BMW's first big selling cabriolet; it looked angular, 80's and utterly cool and you could too if you buy one! Not to mention the ear pornography you could be treated too every day if you buy a 6 cylinder 323i. Like the one I've found below, only $3900 but it is over in WA.
BMW 323i for sale

Monday, 26 January 2015

Bruce's Car of the Week: Mercedes Benz S-Class

As it's Australia day and nothing screams Australia quite like a big lazy V8 engined sedan. So this weeks car, you guessed it, has a V8, seating for 5 and has a boot almost as long as it's bonnet, only being my blog, it had to be a great big German. My car of choice this week, in complete and utter contrast to last weeks Morris Minor, is the Mercedes Benz S-Class, a bargain luxury barge.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Silver

Choices, choices 

I discovered quite quickly after picking the S-Class that choosing one model in particular to hone in on is no easy task. S's have been around since the late 70's going through 6 generations, older ones are most certainly classics while newer used ones are still cars you wouldn't think twice about using every day with price tags nudging $400,000. Throughout the decades they have been powered by all sorts of engines, from 6 cylinders to V12's resulting in a so many letter and number combinations stuck to the boot you'd be forgiven for thinking I was giving you a algebra lesson if I wrote them all out in sequence, what is S320 x S500AMG for example! None the less I settled on the W220 generation S, in particular the S430 because it's got a ruddy big 4.3 litre V8. Built from 1999 until 2006 W220's fall neatly into the realm of not being too old to be reliable daily transport, but old enough to have taken the major depreciation hit already, leaving behind a car seriously worth considering if you fancy some cut price German excellence.
Mercedes Benz S-Class W220


Mercedes, with the S-Class range, have always been pioneers when it came to mass producing technology that would over time filter down to our more mundane family hatchbacks. Pre tensioning seat belts, airbags and anti lock brakes for example where all S-Class features long before other manufacturers started using them. The S has always been thee car to turn to if you want a glimpse at what your Kia hatch will have in it in say, 10 years time. This means of course that getting your hands on a late 90's early 00's W220 is not going to leave you short changed in the safety and tech departments, most of the stuff this car featured has only just now trickled down to bottom end of the car market. Reassuring to know if you plan on using it daily with the family on board, the big Merc will keep you just as safe as a new car will. Here is the crash test footage from 1999
Mercedes Benz S430L front

Mercedes Benz S430L rear


I could easily go on and on about the build quality, refinement and general ambiance of the S-Class being nothing less than superb, however I suspect there's enough people on the internet already signing it's praises. So I'll just say that personally I have been a passenger in one and it was, quite simply, wonderful. Quiet and smooth yet adequately powerful when you wanted to get some distance between you and the guy behind, and that was just the S320 with a V6, the S430's V8 has substantially more punch, 205kw to be precise. I could also list here the range of features the W220 came with as standard, although I fear the internet might run out of space before I finish. So instead I'll just list the highlights. They include Airmatic suspension which self levels for optimum comfort and control, distronic radar guided cruise control, essentially cruise control which radar locks onto the car in front and keeps pace with them. There's also in car television, LED brake lights, 8 airbags, ventilated seats to keep you cool and self closing doors. Have a look here for a full rundown.
Mercedes Benz S-Class interior
You can make the seats in an S go seriously "gansta"
 Happy Australia day everyone, it's a holiday I don't quite understand yet but one that this country loves. It was probably not the best day to tell you to go and buy something distinctly German, but at least if follows an Aussie recipe and doesn't it make a more interesting choice than a Lexus?

Go get yourself one

The car I've picked this week is a S430L, the "L" meaning it has the lengthened wheelbase for even greater interior space. There are 20 photo's of the car with one importantly showing a very packed service book and many receipts, proof that this car has been cared for. It's also only had 2 owners since 2000, looks immaculate and has a rather nice set of AMG wheels fitted to it. Rego is due to run out unfortunately, however you are getting a lot of car for the money and as the seller points out this car would have cost over $200,000 when new. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Super Cheap Euro's

I think it might be time for another round of super cheap Euro. I scour the internet for potentially your next European car in Australia, with current rego, for ridiculously low prices. As before I can't vouch for the actual hands on condition of these cars, I just go of some motoring intuition, read into what the adverts say and base my opinions on that. The reason; though I'm sure your aware by now is, just to continue proving my point, that European cars in Australia need not be as expensive as people would have you believe.

I've picked different cars from last time to show some diversity, although I have still included a classic Alfa as I'm drawn to the flaky Italians for some reason. All the ads date from the last couple of days but of course the older they get the less likely the car will be available. In saying that most cars are for sale for at least a month before they reel someone in. More info on the models listed can be found by clicking the link in the cars name.


Praised in its day for being one of the finest handling hatchbacks around the 33 uses a 1.5 litre boxer engine to hurry it along. Deep down it was a good engine and car, but unfortunately Alfa's electrical systems in the 80's blighted the 33's reputation. The small matter of rust also consigned most Alfa's of this vintage to the wreckers yard prematurely, so it would appear this ones a well cared for survivor.

A mid 80's 4 wheel drive performance Alfa Romeo? What could possibly go wrong? Looking in a little need of TLC cosmetically the seller says this Alfa 33 runs well. The car appears to be fully original and even comes with a full set of 5 Alfa Speedline alloys. Details like this make the car more collectable and given it's relative rarity already this little Alfa could prove to be an investment opportunity for the right enthusiast. It's so cheap it might be worth a punt if your in Victoria.

1985 Alfa Romeo 33 Quadrifoglio Verde, $950


Not keen on the Italian? How about another Mediterranean offering, this time from Seat. A company that only existed in Australia for 4 years (95-99) before poor sales forced them out of the market, a few cars survive though and I'm pleased they do. In Europe Seats are commonplace and for good reason, they offer people on a budget a car of VW quality for less. (VW have owned 99.99% of Seat since 1990). Seat nowadays is seen as the fun, youthful arm of the VW group, it's just unfortunate that Australians didn't see that in the late 90's, things could have been a whole lot different.

This is a Seat Toledo and by the looks of it a rather well cared for one, red cars have a tendency to fade in the Australian sun and the fact this one hasn't shows its been loved. Essentially a Mk2 Volkswagen Golf under the pretty Giugiaro styled body the Toledo has solid mechanical's and with proper maintenance posses the ability to just go on and on. This ones done a poultry, by VW standards, 226,000km's, plenty of life left in this rarity yet.

1995 Seat Toledo, $1500



Ok maybe Mediterranean flair is not your bag, so lets go further north to Scandinavia, the home of Saab, a car company that when they were not bankrupt the Aussies seemed to quite like. The Saab 900 I've picked is a car that GM hoped, by providing Saab with the already tried and tested GM2900 platform could save the company a lot of money in the mid 90's. However the innovation first, worry about the cost later nature of the Saab boffins meant the platform was so heavily re-engineered you cant really call it a GM product in Scandinavian clogs anymore. It is very much it's own car and a good one at that as back in the day the number of awards the 900 won was staggering.

There isn't a great deal to say about the 900 S I've picked, mainly because the advert amounts to 6 words! But let me try anyway, the wheels for starters might not be to everyone's taste but the tyre tread looks reasonable, there could be money in selling them on if you could pick up a set of cheap steels to put on it. The bodywork from the 2 pictures doesn't look too bad either, nothing a weekends polishing couldn't sort out I'm sure. Although the real selling point of this car has to be that 10 months NSW rego and relatively low km's.

1997 Saab 900s, $1500


I think I've saved the best super cheap Euro for last though and rather unsurprisingly its a German, the legendary Mercedes Benz 190E. Now I say legendary because if you've been to any continental European city in the last 25 years the chances one of these was your airport Taxi was pretty dam high. These cars, of which over 1.8 million were produced, literally do not die, I went to the Mercedes Benz Museum last year where they actually have one on display that a cabbie gave back to Merc after he racked up over 1 million miles without major mechanical failure. The white one I've picked, showing just 282,000 km's is barely run in by comparison!

Now this car in particular is an Australian delivered 180E, a parred back 190 that allowed Mercedes to dip under the pesky Australian luxury car tax and ultimately sell this car at a reduced rate back in the early 90's. The 180 did away with such frivolities as leather seats and electric windows to avoid taxation. At the time this might have annoyed buyers but nowadays I cant help think this means less things to go wrong on what is already a bulletproof car. This one appears to come from a loving family who've owned it over half its life and got it serviced by Mercedes specialist, the body work looks immaculate as does the interior, so you can't ask for better really. 3 months South Australia rego left too.

1992 Mercedes Benz 180E, $1500

I hope I've given car buyers out there in Aus something to think about again when it comes time to look for a second hand motor

Monday, 19 January 2015

Bruce's car of the Week: Morris Minor 1000

This week I'm going old school and British, two things that in the car world immediately strike fear into even the most seasoned mechanic. However fear not, as I think this weeks car could be an exception to that rule, let me guide you through the world of the Morris Minor 1000.
Morris Minor 100 Saloon, UK

Aussie made

Often ridiculed as Britain's VW Beetle only less national socialist, I actually have a bit of a soft spot for the Minor and it would appear the Australians do too. In the post war 1950's the British car maker did rather well Down Under, Rule Britannia's cars were so popular in fact that the British Motor Corporation (BMC) built factories in Melbourne and Sydney. From British blueprints and some imported parts Australia started making it's own BMC cars, the Minor being one of them.
Period Morris Minor advertisement
The boy is so transfixed by dads new car he's not noticed he's dislocated his knee, ouch 

Instantly recognisable 

Visually the series one Minor's were something of a revelation in a world of prewar running boards and sideways hinged bonnets. When they appeared in 1948 with a one piece front end incorporating the headlights they looked like a car from the future. Series two cars, the ones built in Australia had the lights moved higher to meet US legislation, but still the Minor remained a cute well proportioned little car.
Series 1 Morris Minor with split windscreen and low headlights
An early Minor with low headlights

The oily bits

Blessed with wonderfully simple mechanics and barely any electrical components Minors proved ideal for the rugged Australian bush and importantly bush repairs. They proved too that without Britain's nasty rain and salted roads they could stand the test of time. Take into account they went out of production in 1971, the sheer number of 50 year old plus Minors for sale in Australia goes some way to proving how durable they can be with some loving care. A full technical review of the Minor can be found here.
Morris Minor 1000, pictured in NSW with Roo guard
An Aussie Minor ready for some Roo bashing 

Addressing the concerns

Understandably though the prospect of such an old car might put some off, well fear not. Australia's apparent love affair with the Minor has resulted in a number of specialists popping up to keep your aging Minor going. From modernisation that will help keep your Morris up to speed with 21st century road conditions to spare parts, anything is possible and crucially easily available. Check out some of these specialist to see what I'm on about and then have a look at my car of the week, a snip at $4000. &

Morris Minor 1000 for saleLike any car of this vintage it's important to have a well documented history. This little Minor certainly does, the seller has written an extensive advert for the car which proves how well cared for and loved it has been. They have also been honest about the few little jobs that need doing, another plus point and further proof of how honest the seller is. For $4000 with current rego this car could be the perfect first step into the world of classic cars for someone or a weekend cruiser just to enjoy. Plenty more available of course, just search Morris Minor on

1960 Morris Minor 1000, $4000

photo credit's:,       

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mercedes Benz C450 AMG announced

10 years ago, if you were in the market for an all wheel drive, unnecessarily rapid estate car your only real choices were a Subaru an Audi or bizarrely a Jaguar X-Type. Things are a little different now though and manufacturers whom once upon might have turned their noses up at the prospect of building an AWD car (BMW) are clambering over one another for a slice of this niche fast wagon market. And the latest addition makes a pretty strong case for itself. This is the new Mercedes Benz C450 AMG 4Matic.
Mercedes Benz C450 AMG stationary
C450 tries and fails to hide behind potted furs

The Numbers

Lets start with some numbers, 273kw, a 5 second dash to 100km/h, a 2996cc twin turbo charged V6 and an official economy figure of just 7.7l/km. Impressive stats given that we haven't even heard what the no holds barred new C63 AMG is going to deliver. Realistically speaking this C450 should be all the fast wagon you'll ever need. The engine is without doubt impressive with Mercedes planning to release more cars with this power plant over the coming years, cars that will fill the gap in their range between run of the mill 4 cylinder models and seemingly physics defying power house AMG models. Mercedes way of describing this is "More emotionally inspiring AMG sports models will follow". Just keep it simple Benz, you want more poweeer!
Mercedes Benz C450 AMG bonnet up
Only two turbo's you say?    

The "Emotion"

The word emotional is actually used a lot in the press release for this car, from describing the way it drives to the way the switches work and even to describe how the car double decluctches on downshifts in Sport Plus mode. Personally I don't want my 273kw super wagon making me teary eyed when I'm downshifting for a tight left hairpin, that just sounds dangerous. No what I'd rather is that my new car made others emotional, with envy perhaps, or just plain scared when they saw it rumbling passed. The latter, I think, Mercedes have pulled off.  The new C450 looks superb especially in black, on those optional 19 inch light weight alloys. Subtle yet effective AMG bumpers, skirts and quad exhausts give the C450 an aggressive menacing appearance without being too in yer face. Merc didn't have to do too much, it's not as if the standard C-Class was an ugly duckling in the first place. The interior of the C450 is another masterstroke. If you compare my review from last year of the new Mercedes Benz C200, the difference's in the 450's interior will run to some sports seats and red stitching. No bad thing as the C's cabin was pretty much perfect as is.
Mercedes Benz C450 AMG rear angle

Mercedes Benz C450 AMG front angle

Mercedes Benz C450 AMG interior

Mercedes Benz C450 AMG interior

The Technology 

Driving dynamics and the ability this car possesses to hold on when the road gets twisty is something Mercedes are very proud of. Honestly there are far too many systems to list that keep the C450 facing forward at frighteningly high rates of speed. The most notable being that 4Matic all wheel drive system with rear biased torque split and AMG Ride Control adjustable suspension. At the flick of an emotional switch the driver can custom make their perfect driving set up.  Having personally tested Mercs 4Matic system in a CLA45 AMG I can assure you the stuff works! I swear it's some sort of electro mechanical witchcraft, the systems seemingly unflappable and always able to get you out of trouble even if you drive like an utter twit. Rest assured the C450 AMG will be a serious weapon when road conditions allow, come to think of it with 4Matic it'll be a serious weapon in the middle of a monsoon too.
Mercedes Benz C450 AMG moving front angle

Mercedes Benz C450 AMG moving rear angle

You'll have to wait

The only downside, bar the inevitably hefty price, is the wait until you can get one. It will be released in the spring of 2016 in the UK with Australia probably having to wait a little longer. There is a worry of course that it won't make it to Aus dealers at all, but the chances of that are pretty low given the Aussie appetite for fast German metal, just look at Audi's RS brand sales figures.
Mercedes Benz C450 AMG badge close up
Confusingly badges nowadays give no hint to engine size

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Sports utility vehicles (SUV's) are a big deal in Australia, you lot just cant get enough of the them. The ability to drop the kids off at school during the week and traverse a swollen billabong at the weekend really seems to click with Aussie buyers. Increasingly though car companies have been taking the humble SUV and crossing it with a coupe in a bid to make their mud pluggers even more fashionable. The results, its fair to say have been alarming, the BMW X6 a case in point. Never the less, now Volkswagen have had a go, this is the Cross Coupe GTE shown at the Detroit motor show this week and as someone who doesn't care much for SUV's, I actually think it looks pretty good.
Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE


The car follows on from 2013's CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupe concepts and will mark the start of VW's SUV product offensive when it goes on sale in 2016. Designed by VW's North American design studios the Cross Coupe also previews VW's new SUV design language which unlike other SUV come coupe's on the market is actually rather good, in fact the Cross Coupe GTE is quite a handsome beast. Flared wheel arches, wide grill, lots of straight lines and a generally boxy appearance give the GTE a purposeful look, like it could actually do some off roading if you asked it too. Measuring 4847mm in length it is only a few mm's shorter than a Touereg but thanks to a low roof line looks considerably more compact, a neat trick, hopefully the car will change little on its journey from concept to production. The rather lovely and suitably huge wheels might also make it to production.
Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE
Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE

The Oily bits

As well as previewing VW's future design language the GTE also showcases the companies commitment to hybrid drive systems. Powering the GTE is a 3.6 litre direct injection V6 accompanied by 2 electric motors, one at the front, one at the back. All combine to produce 360hp and enough torque to propel the GTE to 100km/h in 6 seconds, before going onto 209km/h. This strikes me as a power train designed to keep American petrol engine buyers happy though. Expect the 3.6 litre V6 to be replaced in other markets with a more sensible turbo diesel engine or smaller TFSI unit, combined with the electric shove these engines will still provide all the performance you could ever need with even further reduced fuel consumption figures. All cars will have auto boxes, most likely DSG's. 

The Technology

The Cross Coupe GTE is a technical showcase too, providing the driver with a number of driving modes. 5 are available, E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Offroad and Battery Hold. The first mode is self explanatory, it allows the car to run on electric power only up to 32km's, Hybrid meanwhile maximises both power sources to get the most possible range out of the car and GTE does it's best to turn your SUV into a sports car. VW point out that the Offroad mode though is key to buyers, so they have gone to great lengths perfecting this set up. Sub menu's can be selected in Offroad to tailor the car for sand, rocks, sludge, gravel and snow, each one setting up the car a little differently. Things like the gearing, suspension and torque delivery are all altered depending on the mode. The most interesting fact about the GTE though is it's lack of prop shaft to the rear wheels, this car get's it's 4WD capabilities by wire instead or electric cardan shaft to give it it's proper name. The engine only ever powers the front wheels with the rear electric motor powering the rear when 4WD is needed. But what if the car needs 4WD when it's batteries are out of juice I hear you cry? Not to worry, in this instance the engine will power the front wheels freeing up the front electric motor to generate charge for the rear. Voila, the rear wheels have drive without the need for a drive shaft, this saves weight, bettering fuel economy and increases cabin space. 
Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE


Inside the Cross Coupe is no less impressive, gone are the days of buttons, everything is controlled via a 10.1 inch touchscreen while a 12.3inch screen relays all the cars vital information. The whole cabin is wonderfully minimalist. When describing the interior there's also a slightly dull thing VW mentions that proves this cars almost production ready. A split folding rear bench seat and flat cargo floor are noted, no concept car needs this so the fact it exists shows this cars pretty much finished.    
Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE interior

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE, a coupe come SUV that actually looks good and also happens to showcase a bunch of clever hybrid tech, is there anything that Volkswagen can't do? I might be a little bias towards VW but seriously why can't other manufacturers produce such well rounded vehicles? This is an SUV you might actually want to own some day, no word on worldwide release dates yet, but production kicks off in the USA in 2016. 
Volkswagen Cross coupe GTE

Monday, 12 January 2015

Bruce's Car of the Week: Audi TT Mk1

Hairdressers car, posers car, just a Golf in a fancy frock. It's fair to say that the Mk1 Audi TT has taken a lot of flack over the years. However, have you ever taken the time to look past the preconceived ideas and see the car for what it actually is? Turns out its a bit of a design icon and despite its dynamic flaws I for one absolutely love it. And guess what, you can pick one up in Aus for less than a tenth of its original value.
Silver Audi TT 1.8T

When the TT was launched in 1999 I was just a kid, not even into double figures yet, but I knew there was something special the moment I saw it. The TT is without doubt a beautiful car, maybe not in a traditional Italian sense but certainly in a modernistic sense. Sharp clean lines meant it was immediately recognisable as an Audi while also pulling of the trick of not looking like anything else in their range at the time. Even now some 16 years after its release the Mk1 TT looks like it just rolled off the drawing board and as a result it's a vehicle likely to appreciate in value given a few more years. And that's just the outside, the interior is a separate masterpiece all by itself. It was minimalist before minimalist became a thing, at the time car interiors were sea's of nasty plastic, dull upholstery and far too many buttons. The TT introduced us to the world of aluminium tirm, soft touch materials and minimal clutter. It showed the public that car interiors could be both beautiful and functional in a mass produced car.
Audi TT interior with DSG gearbox

Unfortunately for the TT though the outwardly sports car image wasn't backed up by the cars actual driving experience. The media at the time was right, the Mk1 TT was essentially a Mk4 Volkswagen Golf under the fancy skin, probably VW's least sporting Golf ever. It meant the TT had a MacPherson strut front strut setup and a torsion beam rear end. Blasting down a twisting country road was not the TT's strong suit. Power in the base 1.8 turbo TT wasn't phenomenal either, mustering only 132kw it could get to 100km/h in a little under 8 seconds. A Lotus Elise rival the TT was not. However Audi did address performance concerns with the TT Quattro. Featuring a Haldex AWD system the rear torsion beam was replaced with a multi-link rear end and the 20 valve turbo motor was upped to 165kw a 6 speed gearbox installed and 2 seconds were shaved from the 0-100km/h time. The TT was now definitely sportier but still lacked the poise and precision of its predominantly RWD rivals.
Audi TT 1.8T Quattro

The use of familiar VW parts means however, that despite pricey appearances a Mk1 TT is a relatively easy and cheap car to maintain. And with regular servicing the turbo engines just go on and on.
Yellow Audi TT Roadster
To conclude, the TT managed to be daring and different in a very restrained Audi manner, it wasn't until the R8 that Audi managed to pull this trick off again. It might be a bit of a wet blanket to drive but who cares when you could look so darn cool behind the wheel. There's a reason all the posers bought one in the first place you know! I urge you to consider a TT, have a look at the few I've picked out.

Only a months rego left but a new clutch has been fitted, low km's for its age and it's a quicker Quattro car, this TT appears to come from a very loving owner. I don't know about the red leather making it more sporty, as the seller suggests, but it does certainly make it stand out. A very tempting car in classic Audi silver.

2001 Audi TT Quattro, $12900

Another Quattro, this time in blue with black leather. Detailed advert, almost like a review, tells me this owner is very fond of their TT. Should mean it's been well cared for, also has the optional Bose sound system installed. Long rego and low km's make this an equally temping TT!

2000 Audi TT Quattro, $10900

Higher km's and only a FWD car means this TT is an absolute bargain. Just been serviced and re rego'd which is a bonus and comes with a natty set of Porsche twist style 18 inch alloys. All in, not to bad a car for the money.

1999 Audi TT, $8500