Compared to something like the R8, the Audi TT often gets overlooked. Not just from new, but from on the used market, too. However, the TT makes for a fun affordable sporty car. Or, in the case of this week’s Cars and Bids bargain, a 2002 Audi TT Roadster, a fun affordable sporty convertible.
A Mk1 Audi TT, whether Roadster or Coupe, is still an influential style icon
Today, Audi’s cars are known for their sleek and stylish designs. But that wasn’t always the case for the German brand. In the ‘90s it struggled to truly differentiate itself from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Automobile reports. But that all changed with the launch of the Mk1 Audi TT Coupe and Roadster.
Hagerty named the Mk1 Audi TT Roadster and Coupe ‘future classics’ for several very good reasons. The Mk1 TT was the first production car to use aluminum as an interior styling feature, not just for light-weighting purposes, AutoTrader explains. Its rounded wheel arches and lack of stand-out bumpers have also become standard practice in automotive design. Even now, the Mk1 Audi TT Roadster and Coupe are treated as triumphs of the minimalist Bauhaus school of design, Automobile reports. Plus, there was an optional baseball-stitched—seriously—leather interior.
Yet for its sleek looks, the 2001-2006 Audi TT Roadster borrows a lot from the contemporary Volkswagen Golf, Car and Driver reports. In standard form the convertible has a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 180 hp and 173 lb-ft, MotorTrend reports. And that power goes to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual and a standard limited-slip differential.
The Mk1 Audi TT Roadster was also available with AWD, which came with a 225-hp version of the four-cylinder engine. This trim came with a 6-speed manual that later passed to the less-powerful models, MT reports. And eventually, Audi offered the TT Roadster with a 247-hp 3.2-liter V6 and the second-ever production dual-clutch.
To be fair, the Mk1 Audi TT Roadster was never intended to be a direct Porsche Boxster rival, Car and Driver reports. The latter is the sharper sports car in the end. But even without AWD, a Mk1 TT is an “enjoyable” car to drive, Classic & Sports Car reports. And for its time, it’s a decently luxurious one, too.
The 2002 Audi TT Roadster on Cars and Bids
Sadly, the 2002 Audi TT Roadster currently listed on Cars and Bids doesn’t have the baseball-leather interior. But it does have leather upholstery, xenon headlights, and the upgraded Bose audio system with a 6-disc CD changer. And this TT Roadster only has one modification: a Kenwood head unit.
Admittedly, this 2002 TT Roadster isn’t a pristine example. The exterior panels have some rock chips, scrapes, and scratches. And the clear coat is starting to flake on one of the mirrors. There’s also some interior wear, and the digital instrument cluster screen has a few dead pixels.
However, the convertible only has 78,300 miles on it. And Cars and Bids notes the current owner just replaced the taillights and the oil. Plus, apart from the Kenwood head unit, it’s completely stock with a zero-accident history report.
What makes it a bargain worth pursuing?
As of this writing, this 2002 TT Roadster is listed on Cars and Bids at $4700 with three days left in the auction. Given its condition and mileage, that’s a bit below average. Mk1 TT Roadsters with similar mileage go for 50-100% more on Autotrader. And the average price for a contemporary TT on Bring a Trailer hovers closer to $10,000.
Admittedly, the seller notes that the timing belt hasn’t been changed. That’s a regular maintenance item for these engines, Motorious reports. However, other than that, Mk1 TTs are fairly reliable and stout cars.
And that makes this 2002 Roadster a Bauhaus bargain.
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