Audi TT

Where the name of the Audi TT comes from

Car review: The Audi TT on the Isle of Man

Teaser: According to Jan Weizenecker it’s one of the last adventures on this planet: the tourist trophy on the Isle of Man. Why the name of the Audi TT derives from the popular motorcycle race and during which curve Jan was happy to be sitting in the all-new TT and not on a two-wheeler.

Audi TT fährt durch die Landschaft auf Isle of Men
The Isle of Man lies between England and Ireland and is the ideal place to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Audi TT.

You surely know the Isle of Man. Nearly everybody has heard of this picturesque island in the Irish Sea, but nobody really knows where it is located. How can I explain this phenomenon? The Queen is the representative head of state. Nonetheless, the little island between Ireland and England is one of the remaining tax havens this world has to offer. How that is possible? The “Manx” (as the islanders call themselves) have their own government and are neither part of the United Kingdom nor the European Union. And that’s why they’re the legislators. There is no trade tax paid here. If it doesn’t fit, use a bigger hammer.

Isle of Man: Speed knows no boundaries

This location is one of the few places in the world that know no speed limits on country roads. This attracts the horsepower junkies. The Isle of Man is home to the Tourist Trophy (TT), the infamous motorcycle race that has been taking place on the island since 1907. A driving oasis that attracts around 40,000 guests every year. 20 million pounds stay on the island after the drivers, teams and spectators start their journey home. But why is the TT so famous that the image of a whole island lives on that popularity?

Rennstrecke Isle of Man

Isle of Man - a driving oasis for all the horsepower junkies, where there are no speed limits.

One of the few remaining adventurers on this world: The Tourist Trophy (TT)

There aren’t a lot of true adventures left in this world. The Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man is one of those left. It is the oldest, most famous, most dangerous and probably most controversial motorcycle race at that. The drivers race through 300 curves, just a few millimeters away from houses and stone walls. Across dangerous hilltops, bridges and next to the abyss. It’s nice that the public streets are shut off during the race. One round consists of 60 kilometers track. Six rounds are accomplished with 210 kilometers per hour – on average. Drivers drive up to 310 kilometers per hour on straight tracks such as the “Sulby Straight”.
Who brakes loses. And one that has slowed down rarely, is the 42-year-old Richard “Milky” Quayle. One of three locals that were able to win the race until then. That was in 2002.

Motorrad fährt Kurve auf der Rennstrecke
The Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man is one of the most famous motorcycle races, but also the most dangerous.

Legendary winner of the Tourist Trophy: Richard Milky Quayle

Everyone on the island knows his childlike face that is instantly likeable. Milky is probably the most experienced driver when it comes to this track. Back when Milky hit a wall at an infamous spot at Ballacraine, he was driving at a speed at around 250 kilometers per hour. It’s a wonder that Milky is still alive. Because ever since his 16thbirthday, he has been spending every pennyfor gasoline, driven more than 10,000 rounds here and experience and survived around 50 accidents. The majority of them could have cost his life.

After one specific race, he went into a coma for six months. While drinking a beer in a dark, smoky pub at the food of the Mountain Course, he proudly tells me about his body full of scars. With even more passion in his voice, he talks about his fourteen-year-old son that will soon start with motorcycle driving. That’s when you really start to ask yourself if that guy is somewhat insane.

Richard Milky Quayle: Racing is his life

Is he of sound mind? Does he need a guardian? Neither. Milky’s life consists of this race. He is a true adrenaline junkie that calculates what he does, knows the risk and accepts it. He doesn’t maximize the days of his life, but the life in the days he has.

Milky und Jan im Gespräch
Despite numerous fatal accidents that happen every year on the race track, the Isle of Man – Milky's happy place. In conversation with blogger Jan Weizenecker.

A truly living man and with a life motto in his own way. I envy him in that aspect. I ask him what makes the race so dangerous. His reply: If you divert more than 10 centimeters from the racing line, it’s not about winning or losing, but about remaining alive. Since the Tourist Trophy existence, 254 drivers have lost their lives. Nearly every year there are deadly accidents. Anyone who now throws up his hand in shock, should also avoid alcohol, cigarettes, the Nordschleife, your household or parts of the A5. For Milky it’s still his happy place – despite all of the sad events. And for Audi the event that named a model. The TT – in the style of Ewald Kluge’s win on a DKW.

Limited anniversary model “TT 20 Years“

That’s why there is no better place for the 20-year anniversary and for introducing the facelift of both the third TT Coupe generation and the roadster. For the birthday celebrations, there is also the anniversary model “TT 20 Years” that is limited to a number of 999 vehicles”. With the moccasin interior, it’s a tribute to the original TT.

The optic changes in all TT models are of a delicate nature. The single frame is a little flatter, the front and back rocker panels are rather distinctive, there’s a new diffusor and the colors cosmos blue for all TTs, as well as a special kind of grey, pulse orange and turbo blue for the S line sport package. Why should you change an icon too strongly anyway? Never change a winning team.

Audi TT
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Audi TT, there is a limited edition model.

An ideal companion thanks to the quattro drive

The TT seems to be the ideal companion for a fast tour across a little shut-off part of the Isle of Man racing track – on the Mountain Road from Ramsey up to Creg Ny Baa. Thanks to the quattro the improved rocket accelerates excessively.

After my first kilometers on the race track, Milky asks me what is was like for me. Brilliant! Even though the track is constituting a public danger, you can forget about the left-hand traffic for a moment. What’s less imaginable is the ride on a cannon ball with two wheels. With more than 300 kilometers per hour.

I lean into the next curve and feel a little turbo lag while speeding up the mountain that can be easily overcome by shifting up the steering wheel’s paddle or by a little step on the accelerator paddle. A speedy experience that can only be trumped by super sports cars or motor cycles.

The power of the TT: cornering dynamics

Many can do the “straight-ahead” thing. The power of the TT are clearly the cornering dynamics. It is extremely agile in various bends, just like a freshly sanded knife. The quattro engine contributes a major part to that. The new seven-speed double-clutch transmission of the TT fits the engine so well that we always think we’re driving in the right gear.

At this location without a speed limit on the street, the TT feels truly at home. Its chassis is tight, but not too hard to make you feel every single bump the island has to offer. Thanks to the magnetic ride chassis and the progressive steering the TT is in its characteristic curve in terms of steering line, suspension, motor sound or step on the gas and transforms into a reserved companion during cruising or a snappy sports car in the coupe version after a push on the selected drive switch.

Rennstrecke Isle of Man

Test drive on the race track: A speed experience that can only be surpassed by super sports cars or motorcycles.

Its biggest advantage in comparison to Milky’s motor cycle becomes clearly visible. The four wheels never lost their connection to the road at the same time – an aspect that may make the TT driving experience less spectacular than on a moped, but nonetheless, you’re significantly safer on the dangerous Mountain Course compared to driving on two wheels. What is personally difficult for me, because there are a lot of beautiful curves, but I don’t want any of them to be my last one.

That’s what the TT myth feels like

There are no speed cameras or radar controls on the Isle of Man. Back when the Manx had to decide on a speed limit, the result was unanimous: rejection. The TT is too profitable. But you can’t deny that this is one of the most dangerous and simultaneously most thrilling locations of the sport’s world. With every breath, you inhale the myth of passages like the Braddan Bridge, Greeba or Glen Helen, you become a little more focused and you grab the steering wheel a little harder with your already moist hands. On the Isle of Man, they’re proud of the two TTs.

Isle of Man: Ideal location for Audi TT anniversary

Where else would Audi celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Audi TT, if not at the place after which the model was named. The track where the annual Tourist Trophy takes place allows its test riders to drive the model without any speed limit.

For the Audi TT driving test, part of the Tourist Trophy race track will be closed off.
The local Richard Milky Quayle won the race on the track in 2002.
A picturesque race track on the Isle of Man - this is where the Audi TT feels at home.

For the Audi TT driving test, part of the Tourist Trophy race track will be closed off.


The local Richard Milky Quayle won the race on the track in 2002.


A picturesque race track on the Isle of Man - this is where the Audi TT feels at home.

Audi TT Roadster
Audi MediaCenter

The new Audi TT – an update for the design icon

Twenty years after the series premiere of the original TT, the third generation of the Audi TT is receiving a comprehensive update. The design icon takes the stage with a sporty and refined exterior design, higher-powered engines and an extended scope of standard equipment.

Read more

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Katie Fogg

7. August 2018 um 15:43
Hi, is there an official date for the Audi TT's birthday? Thanks Katie

Stephanie Huber

9. August 2018 um 9:22
Dear Katie,

the market launch of the first Audi TT was in autumn 1998 - that's why we celebrate the 20th birthday of the Audi design icon this year. And also why the third generation of the Audi TT is receiving a comprehensive update this year. But there's not one special day, that marks the birthday of the TT.


Stephanie from the Audi Social Media team

Consumption and emission figures of vehicles on this page:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.3 – 6.0; Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 166 – 137. Fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures given in ranges depending on the tires/wheels used //