The new TT S uses a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit making 306bhp between 5800 and 6200rpm, and 280lb-ft, which arrives at only 1800rpm. It’s said to be good for 0-62mph in 4.6sec. The M235i uses the N55 six-cylinder inline powerplant with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology which generates maximum output of 240 kW/326 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, and accelerates the BMW M235i Coupe from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.0 seconds.
Porsche Cayman is powered by a 2.7 liter naturally aspirated engine producing 275 horsepower and 213 lb-ft (289 Nm) of torque.
So which one is a better ride?
A surprisingly pliant ride, decent fuel economy, two reasonable boots and a generous-sized fuel tank make the Cayman a surprisingly usable sports car – but it’s a sports car nonetheless. It wins this test because it’s easily the most intoxicating car here to drive, and that’ll always clinch an Autocar verdict where performance cars are involved.
But losing to the Porsche won’t ruffle many feathers for the TT’s creators. Losing so narrowly to the M235i, despite having done enough to outclass its key competitor on cabin ambience, performance, practicality and handling precision, will rankle – but that, despite the preamble to this story, is where we’ve ended up. The TT has come a long way but evidently still has some maturing to do before it can maintain the interest of people keen to look past esoteric design and bald performance numbers for the soul of a true driver’s car underneath.
Price £39,964; 0-62mph 5.7secs; Top speed 165mph; Economy 33.6mpg; CO2 192g/km; Kerb weight 1405kg; Engine 6-cyls horizontally opposed, 2706cc, petrol; Power 271bhp at 7400rpm; Torque 214lb ft at 4500-6500rpm
BMW M235i auto
Price £36,080; 0-62mph 4.8secs; Top speed 155mph; Economy 37.2mpg; CO2 176g/km; Kerb weight 1545kg; Engine 6-cyls in line, turbocharged, petrol; Power 322bhp at 5800-6000rpm; Torque 332lb ft at 1300-4500rpm
Audi TT S
Price £38,790; 0-62mph 4.9secs; Top speed 155mph; Economy 39.8mpg; CO2 164g/km; Kerb weight 1440kg; Engine 4-cyls in line, 1984cc, turbocharged, petrol; Power 306bhp at 5800-6200rpm; Torque 280lb ft at 1800-7500rpm