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by Daniel DeGasperi

Come February, the 2015 Audi TT will be thrown into perhaps the most fierce sports car environment the 15 year old nameplate has ever seen.

Lobbing from $77,000, and eventually extending to $100,000 when the Audi TT S is added to the range late next year, the new Audi TT will have to compete with everything from the BMW M235i coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG to the Porsche Cayman at its top end.

So why would you buy a 2015 Audi TT? Here’s our 10-step guide to the third-generation new model.

2015 Audi TT 1

So the TT has always been a bit feminine, right?

Maybe not always. Audi admits the outgoing second-generation was a bit more feminine, but insists the first-generation was more gender neutral. Regardless, the third-generation aims to get back to more geometric shapes of the first-ever TT. The bodyside now has more angles in it than slender curves as before. Audi clearly says it wanted the new model to be more masculine. Read our Audi TT design and virtual cockpit deep-dive here.

But is it more practical?

In short, no. There’s a decent-sized 305-litre boot with a 50:50 split-fold rear-seat, but the back pews themselves still cannot accommodate adults – they’re a kids-only affair, unlike the roomier M235i and four-door CLA 45 AMG.

Okay, but it is an Audi, so it’s typically classy inside?

Yes, it is. The interior is a standout, as you’d expect. Audi says the top of the dashboard looks like the wing of an aircraft from above – and it does, drawing out from the driver’s side. There are also turbine-inspired circular air vents with climate controls inside them, and no centre screen at all. That’s right – none. Instead, the driver’s speedometer and tachometer forms a huge TFT that houses nav/audio/phone/apps. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t.

2015 Audi TT 3

What other tech can I expect?

As options, plenty. Beyond the TFT screen, there is also Audi Connect with LTE connectivity – meaning you can pilfer off your smartphone’s internet, or use a SIM inside the car to make calls and use apps such as Google and Napster. There’s also Audi Matrix LED headlights that can detect an oncoming car or car in front and turn off only the LEDs for the high-beam affecting the car in front – so you can drive all day with your high-beam on.

What about the ‘Golf in a pretty frock’ cliché?

There’s truth in every cliché, and the 2015 Audi TT is based on the same MQB architecture that underpins the Volkswagen Golf. But how’s this to blow the socks off cynics: the TT uniquely scores an all-aluminium body that contributes to a base kerb weight of 1230kg. That’s about the same as a base Golf, yet the base Golf doesn’t pack a Golf GTI-beating 2.0-litre turbo engine with 370Nm of torque. Nor does it get a clever all-wheel drive system.

Clever? Tell me more!

Well, the TT uses the same Haldex all-wheel drive hardware as featured in the Audi S3. But this is the first time Audi has created the software, and they’ve linked it with a steering wheel angle sensor that means when you have your TT quattro in Dynamic mode, the system will know when you’re turning into a corner and prioritise torque to the back wheels before you’ve even powered out of the corner. It is no longer a reactionary on-demand system, and Audi claim the new TT can perform “controllable” four-wheel drifts.

2015 Audi TT-17

So how do I get into this drifto new TT?

Well, the TT quattro will start at $80,000. It makes 169kW of power and 370Nm of torque, claims 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds and consumes 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres. It’s then a big step up to the TT S – around a $20K step – which is a lot to only get to 100km/h 0.4 seconds faster…

What if I can’t afford that?

Well, there’s the base model TT 2.0 TFSI front-wheel drive, but it’s only expected to be $3000 cheaper. It gets the same power and torque, but without launch control and all-wheel drive traction, can only get from 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds (though it consumes 5.9L/100km).

Why don’t I just buy an M235i or CLA 45 AMG?

Audi is still pitching the TT as a classy, more refined choice, but with newfound dynamic aggression. We’re not sure about you, but we reckon the M235i looks more like a two-door sedan than a proper coupe. Both it and the CLA 45 AMG don’t really have the designer-interior cache to speak of, but both are quicker in a straight line. The Benz even matches its all-wheel drive system. Tough question…

Have they pulled it off?

Read out 2015 Audi TT Review.