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Can the Audi TT compete with the Porsche 718 Boxster ?

The current generation Audi TT Roadster is far improved over the previous generations, making it proper sports car as opposed to just a stylish roadster. The new TT is sharp, dynamic and, most importantly, fun and is by far and away the best Audi TT yet. However, is it good enough to tackle Porsche’s brand new 718 Boxster?

The Porsche Boxster has always been at the top of the roadster segment, as its steering, handling dynamics and fun factor were always far superior to anything else with a drop-top roof. However, one of the key components to the Boxster’s success was its naturally-aspirated flat-six engine that wails and howls as it approaches its redline with a noise that keeps its driver begging for more. Now, though, that component is missing from the Boxster, as the 718 comes with a choice of four-cylinder turbocharged engines that make a sound more akin to that of a Volkswagen Beetle. So now that the Boxster is weaker than ever, is this the Audi TT’s time to take the lead?

Porsche-718-Boxster-images-10

Maybe not, actually. Despite its lack of thrilling engine noise, the 718 Boxster is still a mighty car to drive, with sharp steering and perfect handling dynamics. Its mid-engine design is also superior, in terms of its driving experience, to the Audi TT’s front-engine layout. However, the Audi TT is no joke. It too is sharp and dynamic with excellent performance a fun driving experience. The last time we drove a TT, we were incredibly impressed with how much fun it was to drive.

Also, the Audi TT comes with a distinct advantage, as the Roadster variant costs $10,000 less than the standard 718 Boxster, with a $46,000 base price compared to a $56,000 starting price. That’s a big difference, especially considering that Porsche’s near a la carte pricing style for its options will put ¬†standard Boxster nearing $65,000 just to have the same options as the Audi TT comes with as-standard. So even the the Boxster is just a bit sharper and a bit more dynamic, the Audi TT comes in as a bargain, as it’s still fun, good looking and fast while being considerably cheaper and better equipped.

2016 Audi TT Roadster (US-spec)
2016 Audi TT Roadster (US-spec)

Overall, we can’t say if one is better than the other, as we haven’t driven the Porsche 718 Boxster just yet. However, it’s likely that it’s the superior car, in terms of driving dynamics. But if the Audi TT can be close, maybe 8/10ths of what the 718 Boxster is, and cost significantly less, it’s possible that it can become the better value.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.