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Hagerty Employee

Audi TT or Ferrari Testarossa? For Wayne Carini, it isn't even close | Hagerty Media

When the editors of Hagerty Drivers Club named the cars to be featured in the annual "Bull Market" issue, the list included two cars with which I am intimately familiar: the Audi TT and the Ferrari Testarossa. When the TT first appeared in 1998, it was the unusual shape that drew me in.
Pit Crew

I'm not sure what the point of your comment is. It is an opinion piece after all.....
Pit Crew

512 drives waaaaaaaay better than an early TR

Why would you choose a tarted up golf over a flat 12 beats me
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable


Seems it was clear in the opinion piece. And maybe because he’s out for a fun drive, and not out to impress  pretentious neighbors. 


I like the TT and have looked at a few but haven't bought one yet. The Testarossa on the other hand is pretty but out of my league.
Intermediate Driver

I have a similar story. I sold my 2008 Corvette (that I bought new) in 2012 and bought a new GTI that I still own as my daily driver. The GTI is a more fun, more satisfying car to drive on a daily basis. But hey, to each his own.

I first saw the car in Paris when I was there for work in summer of 1998, a pre-production example sitting out on a bridge for PR purposes. I was smitten, but it was not even close to fitting into my young family’s budget. A year or so later, my brother bought an early US-market import (a 1999?), which I got to ride in and drive on freeways around Detroit. The AWD was awesome for winter and the car was so engaging to drive: like an earlier Porsche, but glued to the road. However, with both of us over 6’, we found it cramped — and after his twins arrived, well, Car City suddenly became Minivan City... and I never bought one myself, after a bad experience with an Audi in the early 2000s, and growing teenagers to move around. Ah well.

Intermediate Driver

Thanks for the great story - always enjoy your writing. When the TT arrived, like you, I immediately thought of the 356 and early 911's, even though the engine was forward, vs. aft. I then realized for 1/2 911 money, you could have something special. Haven't owned one due to our one vehicle needing to do many things the TT couldn't do, but certainly on my retirement radar! Oh, and even when new, I wasn't a fan of the Testa Rossa's styling - after the beautiful Dino's, 308/328's and early Ferrari 12's, it just didn't seem to fit the Ferrari mold. Stay safe everyone.

I see the Audi as a Golf R with a $10K+ premium. Have you noticed that the R only comes in the four door configuration? If it came as a two door, it would compete with the Audi and buyers would save a bushel of $$$$. Audi also gets the good stuff (higher hp, better trans) a year or two before VW to further influence buyers. For my money, I feel the BMW m roadster with the S54 engine (2001 & 2002), or both the older and newer m's, puts the Audi to shame.
Pit Crew

Agree 100% with your opinion of the Audi TT. I picked up a higher mileage 2002 roadster last year (225 hp Quattro) as another summer car. Lovely cruiser and decent on a twisty road. I like both the exterior and interior design quality. Despite being almost 20 years old, to me it still seems fresh and the overall fit, finish and tightness are still very good.
Intermediate Driver

Unfortunately Audi has not seen fit to continue with a manual gearbox.
I'd love to get a later model bit the paddles just don't do it for me.
Intermediate Driver

I completely get Wayne's point. By choice, my daily driver is a 2001 Audi Quatro 6-speed (my second one). I have owned a Porsche 993 C2S and SAAB 900 SPG turbo and the TT is a better street car than either one for a sporting driver. The P-car had track suspension, roll bar, 5-points & I used to track it ... but it was not pleasant on New England roads. The SAAB was a wonderful daily driver for 10+ years but the TT has the advantage of 10 years newer design & all wheel drive. Here is the test:
You have to run 4-errands and then drive 60 miles in marginal weather. 3 sets of keys ... which keys do you grab?
Still have my 2001 TT, still love it. I could easily afford a new P-car, Ferrari etc. but none would pass the "keys" test.
New Driver

Wayne is right on with the TT. I’ve owned a 2001 and now a 2008, and they both are beautiful pieces of design. They are a blast to drive on a country road. That’s what sports cars are all about! Right?
Pit Crew

Had a TT Quattro coupe and modded it to churn out roughly 240 hp. Sitting in it felt like sitting in a chopped top coupe, and I dubbed it my little hot rod. But mine was my daily driver and it was showing too many of the high mileage maladies like sagged headliner, failed gages, and recurring CEL's so I passed it along. I tried to go back to a classic Brit car, but the turbo bug has bitten so I just bought another TT, this time a 225hp Roadster. Great handling, and really cool Teutonic styling. If the Golf is a modern day bug, then the TT is the Karmann Ghia.

These two cars are very different tools.

The Audi is a great car built on a general platform that makes up an every day driver.

The TR is a specialty tool that is high maintenance and is made for a specific task. At this point the Ferrari was still a high up keep car and the challenge was not yo buy it but to buy one and afford to keep it on the road. Not change timing belts and you dream becomes a nightmare.

I thing a better comparison is the R8 and how a exotic became the daily driver.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

Agree @hyperv6 . 
In short….the Ferrari you spend 2 hours fixing something for every hour driving.

The Audi you pull into your garage after a 3 hour drive…then go inside and have lunch. 

New Driver

I instantly admired the TT while studying industrial design in the mid 90s when the TT was introduced. 20+ years later I could finally afford a few of these as daily drivers, hobby tinkerers and fun track cars. I have 2 for now and will have more when driveway and wife allows. I recently shot a DIY low budget design documentary for me industrial design transportation students as COVID made it a challenge to physically see and examine my TTs. Link here if you wish to view:
New Driver

I had a TT and loved it but wanted to move up so I made the mistake of a Maserati. That didn't long and it turned into a 2012 Audi A-5 Quatro which I have loved 9 years. With some modifications - an APR KO4 turbocharger, APR Intercooler, K&N air cleaner and a stage 3 performance tuning I'm pushing 354 HP. With the A-5 I have room for the wife and dog and great handling and performance. I think when I die I will request to be cremated in it.