Recent drive reviews have started popping up of U.S. market Audi TTs. The Coupe and Roadster models both got their time to shine and people are coming away impressed. Based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, which is shared with the Volkswagen GTI, the new 2016 Audi TT seems to be a proper sports car and the car that Audi had hoped the TT would be back when the first-gen debuted. This TT seems like it’s for real.
It comes powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine, making 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, which can hustle the TT to 60 mph from zero in 5.3 seconds (5.8 for the Roadster). That’s just a tick or two behind the BMW 428i. It also handles, brakes and rides fantastically, apparently. It also has a really lovely cabin with an awesome Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster. The jet turbine-inspired air vents, with the HVAC controls in the center of the air vents, really make the cabin look and feel simple, yet upscale.
So with the new 2016 Audi TT making some serious splashes in the segment, what is BMW going to do?
The current Z4 is just about Jurassic at this point, being seemingly the oldest car on the market today. So if BMW wants to compete with the new Audi TT, it needs to get moving on a successor, or it’ll be making a car to compete with the next-generation TT after this one.
We know that BMW is working on something with Toyota, but we’ve been hearing that for years now. We’ve seen no progress or heard and substantial evidence of such a car actually existing, just rumors of what might be. The Z4, when it was newish, was a really great car, it looked fantastic, drove well and had good performance. But this new TT, as well as cars like the Porsche Boxster, have really move the bar forward and make the current Z4 seem like a fossil.
The 2016 Audi TT does provide some hope for BMW fans, however. The biggest requirement for the upcoming Z4, from us fans, is a massive weight reduction. The current Z4 isn’t necessarily an elephant, but it’s not exactly a featherweight either. But the new Audi TT has all of the modern amenities, and more, while only weighing in at around 3,100 lbs for the Coupe. This is due to the lightweight MQB platform, so if BMW can use its newest CLAR platform in developing the Z4’s replacement, there’s a good possibility that it’s in contention for being lightest in class while still maintaining the comfort and amenities that BMW customers are accustomed to. The Audi TT does this and proves the BMW Z4 can too.
Hopefully, BMW brings us a replacement for the Z4 sooner than later, as other companies are bringing the heat. The Audi TT is just the latest competitor and it’s a damn fine one. So BMW needs to step its game up with the next Z4.