British springtime presents a rather unique set of challenges to the convertible buyer. Days of glorious sunshine can be followed by rain, sleet, hail and snow, sometimes all within the same half an hour period – so how exactly are you meant to prepare for every eventuality?
Well, it just so happens that our latest long-termer, the Audi TT S Roadster, has arrived as this most meteorologically awkward time of year, like a ray of sunshine to brighten up any gloomy days (especially in the fetching Vegas Yellow hue we chose); and, if it can cope with the worst April showers, it should be a perfect companion over the summer months, too.
Fortunately, we’re happy to report that during our first month and initial thousand miles in the TT S, affectionately dubbed “the turbo banana” by my colleagues, it has hardly missed a beat, whether we’ve been in shades and sunscreen or sheltering from the harsh elements.
You might – reasonably - ask why we decided to choose what is currently the quickest model in the line-up (an even faster five-cylinder TT RS is due later this year) as surely the pleasure of having a drop-top is all about cruising along while trying to look conspicuous?
Granted, you can have the TT Roadster with either a 1.8 or 2.0-litre petrol with a six-speed manual ‘box – but with modest power outputs and only front-wheel drive. The danger of being embarrassed by any number of power-crazed hot hatches, or pushing into understeer on a slippery road was enough to force our hand: we definitely needed quattro.
That argument became even more convincing once we looked at the specs. Trying to kit out a standard S line model with all the necessary equipment (Super Sports seats, the Open-top driving package, larger wheels etc) soon pushed the price up to the same level as the TT S, which gets a good chunk of the kit you’d definitely want in your Roadster already thrown in.
The moment KU16 MPE rolled into the car park, I knew we had made the right choice. It looked glorious in yellow, and the sporty details that are unique to the ‘S’ give the TT an aggressive presence that ensures that no one is likely to mistake me for a hairdresser.