Audi’s third-generation TT is by far and away the best iteration of the car. We sampled the Audi TT awhile back and were blown away at how improved it was over the previous generation. It’s also good enough to genuinely compete with some of the best sports cars in the world. While it’s not quite as good as a Porsche 718 Boxster, it’s good enough to rival nearly anything else. Especially, the Audi TTS. Which is exactly why Motor Trend put it up against the Alfa Romeo 4C.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is a very interesting car. If you aren’t familiar, the 4C uses a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and body, a 1.8 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission all wrapped in a gorgeous Italian design. It’s a stunning car, one that gets your blood pumping. It even sounds like a mini Ferrari. And it’s quick, getting from 0-60 mph in around 4.3 seconds, thanks to its 237 hp. So, can the calm and sophisticated Audi TTS take down the exciting and exotic Alfa Romeo 4C? Motor Trend finds out in this latest Head 2 Head video.
In many ways, the Audi TTS is the anti-car to the Alfa Romeo 4C. While it also uses an exotic chassis, as the TTS is made from aluminum, it’s around 700 lbs heavier than the 2,500 lb featherweight Alfa. It’s also packed with incredible technology, such as Audi’s latest MMI and Virtual Cockpit, while the Alfa Romeo has an aftermarket stereo as standard and no power steering. The Audi TTS also uses a turbocharged four-cylinder, like the Alfa, but it’s a 2.0 liter turbo-four with 292 hp. And, while both cars use a dual-clutch transmission, the Audi uses a seven-speed wet dual-clutch gearbox while the Alfa uses its six-speed dry clutch unit, which cannot shift as quickly or as smoothly.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is clearly a very flawed car, one that has no technology, has an interior seemingly made by Fisher Price and has almost no practicality to speak of. However, it’s immensely good fun to drive. Its lack of power steering means that you feel every single nuance in the steering. It’s beautifully linear and incredibly fun. However, it can be somewhat tiresome at really low speeds. But hit a fun twisty road and the 4C comes alive, becoming one of the most fun cars you can buy today.
Drive the Audi TTS just as fast and as hard and you will be rewarded as well, just not nearly to the same extent as the Alfa. The TTS’ steering is completely numb, but its pinpoint precision make it very sharp and dynamic. The ride is also far more comfortable in the TTS, but still firm enough to be sporty and fun. The TTS has more power, but its extra weight makes it a touch slower. However, as a daily driver, the TTS is the far superior car. It might not be as thrilling as the Alfa Romeo 4C on a back canyon road, but it’s still very fun and much better on every other road.
When put on the race track, with pro-racer Randy Pobst at the wheel, both cars turn in very similar lap times, with the 4C coming in just three tenths of a second faster. So while canyon carving might be the 4C’s forte, the Audi TTS is equally as capable. In the end, both Jason Cammisa and Johnny Leiberman feel that the Alfa Romeo 4C is the better sports car because a sports car is supposed to be flawed and compromised so it can be more fun to drive. And they’re right, it’s the better sports car. While the Audi TTS is a fantastic car to drive all the time, when it comes to sporty driving, it’s just not as good as the 4C. But I’d still put my money down on a TTS.