For the Audi Sport TT Cup, quattro GmbH has developed a visually as well as technologically attractive sports car for racing, the Audi TT cup. It immediately proved successful in its debut season and benefits from the technological innovations of the production model – particularly in terms of lightweight design.
The body shell of the Audi TT racing version consists of aluminum and carbon fiber. The highly complex material mix marks the next evolutionary stage of the Audi Space Frame (ASF). The body is so light that it can be adopted for racing nearly unchanged from the production line in Győr. “We can make it lighter by another 20 kilograms by making racing-specific modifications,” says Detlef Schmidt, Technical Project Manager for the Audi TT cup. This ensures that the Audi TT cup that tips the scales at 1,125 kilograms is a lightweight and extremely agile car. The 228 kW (310 hp) two-liter four-cylinder TFSI stems from the production car nearly unchanged. Only the crankcase ventilation has been modified for the higher centrifugal forces that typically occur in racing.
By means of a so-called Push-to-Pass function the drivers can briefly boost the engine’s output by 22 kW (30 hp) for overtaking maneuvers by pushing a button on the steering wheel. A blue lamp in the windshield indicates the boost activation. LEDs in the rear side windows show how many times the driver can still use the additional power. The number of available boosts is defined by the regulations. The four-cylinder TFSI engine and the six-speed S tronic transmission have been adopted from the production car nearly unchanged as well. An active differential that is electronically variable from the cockpit ensures optimum traction at the front axle.
The safety concept of the Audi TT cup is unique in its class, with Audi Sport drawing on its long-standing experience in motorsport. Every TT cup has a safety seat that is also used in the new Audi R8 LMS race car. The fire extinguishing system is used in Audi’s GT racing, DTM and LMP programs. In addition, the Cup race car has an FIA-certified safety fuel tank with a capacity of 100 liters, plus side impact protection with a Kevlar impact protection plate, plus crash foam in the driver’s door. Maximum safety and stiffness is also provided by a steel roll cage specially designed for the Audi TT cup which is welded to the bodywork.
Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a direct-shift dual-clutch transmission. The six-speed S tronic, which has been specifically tuned for use in racing, is operated by shift paddles on the steering wheel. Accordingly, the Audi TT cup only has two pedals, used for acceleration and braking.
An active electro-hydraulic Haldex limited-slip differential provides optimal traction at the front axle. It can be electronically adjusted by the driver from the cockpit. Three different settings are available. A high-resolution central color display, which – similar to the new Audi virtual cockpit of the production TT – shows all the key data is centrally located in the driver’s field of vision.
In terms of aerodynamics the Audi TT cup is a genuine race car as well. A large front splitter provides downforce at the front axle, balanced at the rear axle by a rear wing with a long rearward projection. The engineers have optimized the cooling air ducts for racing. The optionally available LED headlights of the production TT give the race car a distinctive face.
The development of the Audi TT cup began in June 2014 and the rollout took place on the Spanish race track at Castellolí. At the end of January 2015, the preparation of the race cars for the inaugural season began. Before its first race, the TT completed the intensive test program on various European race tracks that is typically run for all new Audi race sports cars – including a 30-hour endurance test in Aragón, Spain.
For the 2016 Audi Sport TT Cup, the developers optimized the race car once more. “The Audi TT cup is a genuine race car, ideal for rookies, yet challenging to drive,” says TT Cup coach Markus Winkelhock. “You can immediately tell that you’re sitting in an Audi and can recognize the close kinship to the brand’s other race cars.”