Audi TT tyres
Style and design were the words most readily associated with the original version of the TT, launched in 1998. It stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb against the conservative-looking Audi range of the time. Indeed no other car before or since has looked similar. Clever marketing rapidly established the car as a symbol of its time. The central role the car would play in the film About A Boy, which starred Hugh Grant at the very height of his box-office powers, certainly did it no harm, either. It was a car which didn’t really compare to any others and didn’t really need to. It was as much a style statement as a car, one which proved massively popular.
In its newest guise, the ground-breaking style aspect of the TT has moved from the outside to the inside. A new LCD-based ‘virtual’ instrument display ups the ante in the style stakes and will ensure the popularity of this version of the car. New models share their underpinnings with the VW Golf and Audi A3, so technical efficiency and economy shouldn’t be an issue. The car market may have moved on since 1998, yet the TT still occupies pole position within its own small sector within that marketplace.
Being a small and light car with nimble handling and balance, the TT has always delivered performance to go with its style. It has always been best suited to a tyre which gives a high level of grip. This is important for reasons of safety as well as performance. A tyre with high levels of wet grip offers shorter stopping distances and better roadholding as well as benefits in terms of driver feedback and cornering control. In contrast, the fuel economy ratings of different tyre options have proved a less important factor when choosing tyres for a TT. Though this car can offer excellent mpg figures, especially when fitted with a diesel engine, it is first and foremost a stylish sports model.
Dunlop’s SportMaxx range has proved etyres’ best-selling tyres for the TT. These tyres feature a very distinctive tread pattern which delivers what Dunlop calls a ‘motorsports level’ of grip. Interestingly, they are often factory-fitted by Audi to the A3, with which the TT shares its chassis and many components. These tyres also happen to have good ratings for fuel economy, making them a great ‘all-rounder’ choice for the TT.
Of other tyres from premium brands, both Continental’s SportContact range and Goodyear’s Eagle F1 Asymmetric tyres are very popular with TT drivers. The latter is very much a sports option, suitable for high-performance models and offering great support in demanding driving. In contrast, the SportContact is more of a premium everyday sports tyre, offering durability and reliability in all driving conditions. Hankook has recently announced a deal to supply many new TT models with its Ventus tyre, which will make these a popular replacement choice in due course.
Bridgestone tyres represent a further premium brand choice to suit the TT, with Audi-approved versions available throughout the range. Nexen and Kumho tyres have proved popular alternatives and are available at a slightly lower price point.