Tag Archives: 2001

a tribute to a fantastic car. my TT.

TOMORROW, i am picking up my new car.  After driving my 2001 Audi TT every single day as my daily driver for the last 8 years of my life, I am adding another car to my garage.  The TT now has 115k+ miles on it, miles that have been filled with life, moving, adventure, love, stress, happiness, sadness, soul, nostalgia, future, hope, satisfaction, worry, and time.  We forget how much we experience in our automobiles—and it is a special thing.  In the last 8 years I have owned the TT, i have lived in 8 different apartments.  The TT felt like more of a stable ‘home’ to me in my time of transitions.  When i got the TT in 2003, I was a medical student living in Chicago—-struggling to find my future, struggling to cope with my own stresses, unmarried, and to be honest; pretty lonely.  I have taken the TT to all settings of life, from the backroads of Brooklyn through forests in Vermonts to the sweeping race track turns of Road America.   I rarely get attached to material objects, and I rarely hold onto things more for a couple of years—-but the TT is an exception to my rules.   There isn’t a week that goes by where people don’t stop me to ask questions about the car,  every commute is accompanied by glances, staring, and admiration.  The car is still gorgeous, and unique in terms of iconic design in the modern era of plagiarism.  Most of all, every time i come home after a hard day at work—i park the car in my apartment building’s garage, lock the door, and always glance back at it in admiration of it.

My opinion of the car?  To me, the MK1 (first generation) Audi TT is one of the all-time iconic coupes.  Prior to purchasing it, i dreamt and fascinating about the car quite intensely.  Prior to owning it, I had never felt such attachment to a shape, a design, or any automobile.  In the 21st century—where cars are now churned out to be mass produced profit counters—-the TT represented a creative hurrah by duplicating the gorgeous concept car design into a production reality.  The interior of the TT is by all accounts one of the most expensive interiors ever put into a non-exotic production vehicle.   The humble beginnings off a shortened MK4 Golf chassis are nothing to be ashamed of—as the structure was reinforced, shortened, and optimized for the TT specifically.  The 1.8T engine which was placed in my 225’s bay is a uniquely reinforced engine which is like no other Audi or VW engine produced from that time.  Double intercooled, K04 (big) turbo, and beefed up internals, heads, hoses, and structures.  Easy to modify (my car is estimated at about 275hp after tuning), and easy to love driving—-adding a few simple modifications to the suspension (Koni shocks/Neuspeed springs/Neuspeed 22 inch sway bar) really make the car a total joy to drive.  I have timed my 0-60 runs between 5.0 to 5.5 seconds consistently. A borla exhaust has added a deep rumble, and the lightweight 18″ SSR Type C wheels have reduced the unsprung weight and increased the agility in handling.   The TT always puts a smile on my face, and I love the car more now than i did 8 years ago.  I have often joked with my wife that I would like to keep the TT for many many years—-and to be that old grandad who keeps a beautiful german coupe locked away in the garage—–it is looking more and more that this will be the case (hopefully!).

So long story short, I am keeping the TT tomorrow, and adding another family member. The TT will now become my ‘weekend fun car’.  This is the beginning of the “IEDEI Auto Harem”!  More details on the new car tomorrow—-but for right now I will just say that the new car is practical, handsome, very nicely appointed, and very fun to drive.  I look forward to revealing it tomorrow!

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the lost: BMW Z29 prototype.

I love prototypes which have been lost or aborted during their development—-they have a curious aura of mystery surrounding them, and blistering questions of “what may have been” and “where are they now”.  in 2001, BMW was working on a lightweight (2500+ pound) coupe with 300+ HP capable of 0-60 times of under 5 seconds.  Judging by the Toyota-like styling, and not-so-BMW-like design features and its MK1 Audi TT inspired minimalist interior—-it is very possible this car was merely a test bed for new technologies.  I don’t think the world will have a breakdown because it was never produced, however it can definitely be added to the list of mysterious prototypes which were tested and then dissappeared.  I’m guessing this car eventually morphed into the Z4 Coupe in 2006 and maybe used the carbon fiber technologies towards their M3 CSL.

Autocar article: http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/BMW-Concepts/248500/

BMW themselves eventually released photos of the car in 2010, as part of their 25th anniversary celebration of BMW Technik GmBH.

The two-seater sportscar was designed to be as light as possible through the use of high-tech materials.

The centre section of the car – from the front bulkhead to the rear bulkhead was a monocoque made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastics. The front and rear subframes were made of aluminium. The final prototype weighed just 1166kgs.

The Z29 was powered by the then-current 336bhp straight-six engine used in the M3, which gave the car a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.4 seconds.

The Z29’s unusual scissor doors never made it onto a production car, but the Z29 is said to have influenced the 2006 M Roadster.

However the project had its biggest influence on the 2004 M3 CSL, which used carbon-fibre, reinforced plastics for the roof panel, as well as various other body mouldings including the front bumper.

BMW founded the Technik GmbH division in 1985, with the intention of using as a think-tank to ‘develop and innovative, future-oriented and original overall vehicle concepts and sub-concepts away from the constraints of a specific series workflow schedule’. However, the board added that Technik’s objective should ‘always be to develop solutions that have the potential for series development.”

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