2001 Audi TT Roadster (1.8 liter engine)
Sold and Exported
The Audi TT Roadster Mk 1 (Type 8N) Quattro
A Rag Top Convertible with Turbo Charging and AWD Gives You a Supercar Roadster
I remember when I drove a beautiful Audi TT on the track in England. It was the 1.8 liter version (8N chassis type) similar to this TT that we sourced at the Japanese used car auctions for a customer in the United Arab Emirates who just imported the car himself via the port of Jebel Ali.
Recently, we have exported a number of good, clean, used top end cars from Japan to the UAE (you’ll find the UAE used car import rules here). Cars like this spectacular Lamborghini Huracan:
(Read more about him here.)
Our customer’s TT that we are looking at in this article is the Roadster version, and it has Audi’s highly successful All Wheel Drive (AWD) system; whereas “my” Audi TT on the track was the more humble base model with Front Wheel Drive (FF). But I can certainly say that it was no “humble” machine at all. I’ll tell you a bit about my experience with that machine in just a moment, but first let’s talk about this Mk1 Audi TT Roadster, which is also the 8N chassis type, and let’s kick off with the whole “should I buy a roadster / convertible / soft top car?” question.
Roadster? Just Do It.
My present car is a convertible, a Mazda Miata / MX5 (NB-2 chassis type)
and, before I got him, I sort of agonized about whether to buy a roadster type car or stick with something more “sensible.” Sure, I’d had “open” cars before: a Toyota MR2 with a t-top roof,
I’d had a Subaru Sambar van that had a sliding glass opening roof (the Sun Sun Roof),
I’d even had a 1980 Suzuki Jimny with the full canvass body.
Talk about an “open” car; he didn’t even have doors!
But a proper roadster with a cloth top that folds away made me hesitate. I worried. I worried about vandalism to the soft top. I worried about rain leaks. I worried about chassis stiffness. I worried about roll over. What a worrywart I was.
Then I got some good advice: “Dave,” I was told. “Just do it. You only live once on this rock, so grab some joy for yourself. Every man should, at least once in his driving career, have a convertible and have a V12. If it doesn’t work out for your lifestyle, you can always sell the car. Roadsters hold their value in the second hand car market. Just do it.”
So I just did it. I bought a roaster and have really enjoyed it. I have not yet sold it and have no intention to. (I have not yet taken the second half of that advice, to buy a V12 car, but I’m sure that, when the time is right, Matt and Yoshi and the guys here at Japan Car Direct can get one for me from the auctions or from one of the Japanese used car dealers that we partner with.)
A Good Condition Audi TT From Japan. 100,000ms? That’s Nothing!
This Audi TT Roadster that went to the UAE is a very nice piece of kit and is a fine example of how nice mid grade cars can be from the Japanese used car auctions. He’s in quite good overall condition, the only things of note were a stone chip mark on one headlight cover, a scratch on the door mirror, a small bit of underbody rust, and minor scratches and wear to the interior. I won’t go crying to Mommy about any of these little things. Nope. And while he’s not a low, low mileage car, he’s not a high mileage, half-dead bucket either. He’s a very clean unit with years and years left on him. Check out these pics. The body:
and take a good look at the interior, all that fine skin!:
But, in Japan, people have this weird thing about 100,000kms. If a car has 100,000kms on him, he’s “old” and needs to be retired. And I think to myself: “Huh?! 100,000kms is only about 60,000 miles. That’s not “old” at all. When I was living in England, I couldn’t afford any car that had LESS than 100,000 miles on him. And those cars all gave me many years and many miles of service.
I was car hunting again on the weekend (time of writing: Summer 2023), looking for a simple used hatchback for my wife and, in conversation with the used car dealer, who, himself, also exports used cars from Japan) he remarked: “Oh, if a car is approaching 100,000 kilometers, I just arrange to export it. Some Japanese seem to break out in a nervous sweat when their car starts to approach 90,000kms. They start to look around for a new vehicle to spend their money on. It’s silly. People outside Japan are much more sensible about how long a decent car lasts these days. A hundred thousand kilometers is nothing.”
He’s exactly right, so this Audi TT, with 115,050 kilometers on the odometer has, in fact, only 71,490 miles on him; but in Japan, with many people here thinking he’s a high miler, he was sold to us for quite reasonable money. Our customer wins! He’s one of our classic “Winnermen.” (A term that our founder, Scott Bower, coined. Have a look at our interview with Scott here, here, and here. A fun and informative read.)
Is It a Ragtop? Is It a Supercar? It’s an Audi TT Roadster!
Yeah, Audi TTs are good sports cars. In fact, they really are crossing the line into super cars, especially when you’ve got the Quattro AWD system in them. Back in the old days, supercars were very often mid-ship cars, like this used Ferrari 512 here that we exported from Japan,
because, in order to put their massive power to the road, you wanted to have rear wheel drive and you wanted to have the engine over the drive wheels to give better traction in extreme acceleration situations. Of course, Porsche chose to do it with a rear engine, rear wheel drive layout, as in their iconic 911 series. Have a look at our Porsche 911 page here, and have a look here at this classic air-cooled Porsche beauty that we exported from Japan:
But with usable, practical, reliable all wheel drive systems (and Audi was a leader here), you could put a powerful supercar’s engine back up at the front and put the power to the road through all four wheels. Beauty Go! Zero to sixty in less than five or six seconds anyone? It’s pretty common among AWD supercars these days. An Audi TTS for example, with the 3.2 liter V6, like this one that we exported from Japan the summer before last,
will do that. He’s another good example of a quality, clean used secondhand Audi TT from Japan. Check him out on our main JCD website here.
And the silver TT Roadster that we are looking at now is himself no slouch. He’ll so 0-60 in under seven seconds; and with his AWD system he can power through a corner like he’s on rails!
I’ve had and driven and had rides in a number of AWD supercars (I wrote recently here about my experience in an AWD R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R), and they really are spectacular machines. AWD is an amazing system for you to put your power to the road and leave everyone else to suck your exhaust. Yeah!
So this Audi TT Roadster has all the class and sprits of the classic convertible, like a Jaguar E-Type,
but he’s got the modern sophistication and performance of an AWD supercar. He’s a really good combination of those two elements: the classy concept and styling of the open car, and the serious power of turbo charging and all wheel drive grip. No wonder these cars are so popular among motoring enthusiasts and all those guys and gals who have good taste and can handle big power. It’s a supercar roadster!
Delightful to Drive. Delightful Body. Total Babe!
My experience on the track with just the 2WD coupe version of the 8N chassis type Audi TT was delightful and eye opening. It was eye opening because I had never driven a car with sophisticated electronic stability control; and it was delightful because the Audi TT is just so solidly built and yet it does not feel too heavy. The good weight distribution of the chassis contributes to this. Handling was really good: precise and with no major body roll. Simply delightful.
And what a body! She’s a babe. In my previous look at Audi TTs I said that they have “delightful curves.” And they sure do; especially up close. I wonder if owning and driving an Audi TT is like dating a gymnast.
So take a look at the photos of this TT that we have here with this article. We’ve uploaded a good number of them to let you get a sense of the very nice condition of this car (which I can tell you went for a very reasonable price at the Japanese used car auction). You’ll see that she’s both clean and beautiful.
To hook yourself up with a supercar darling like this Audi TT Roaster, or with any of the gorgeous second hand performance machinery available for reasonable money in the Japanese used car market, just register here and we’ll help with the matchmaking.
PS: A note for our customers in the USA, Canada, and Germany: You’ll have noticed that this Audi TT is a Left Hand Drive (LHD) car. There are many good used LHD cars available from Japan and you can find out more about them on our Japan Car Direct website here, and you’ll find the used car import rules for these countries by just clicking on the country name above.
And one more happy point for the folks in the USA and in Australia: The Audi TT first came out in 1998, so these cars are now 25 years old and can be easily imported to America and Oz. (You’ll find the Australian used car import rules here.) For our customers in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand this is not an issue; nor is it a problem for Canada. In these countries (again, just click on the country name for the import rules) used cars don’t have to be over 25 years old for easy import.