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2002 Audi TT quattro 225 ALMS Edition

You could be forgiven for thinking that the VAG 1.8 liter turbocharged motor was the go-to motor for the company in the late ’90s and early 00s. It appeared nearly everywhere in the U.S.; the Golf, Jetta, GTi, GLi, Passat, Beetle, Audi A4 and Audi TT all received the forced-induction unit. And that was just in the U.S.; go to Europe, and you’d find many more models and even other companies with the venerable motor. You’d also be forgiven for thinking they were all the same – however, a pause for thought would tell you they couldn’t be. First off, there were the drive train configurations; the Golf-based variants have their engines mounted horizontally, while the Audi A4-based cars have them longitudinally. Then there is the output that was available from the factory; the 1.8T started with 150 horsepower and ended with 240 horsepower in the highest output TTs. Immediately, you’d think they had just turned up the boost, but in fact there were a host of changes to the 225 horsepower motors to help sustain the increased pressure. There are, in fact, no less than 13 distinct versions of the 1.8T from that generation. All shared the same basic structure; cast iron block, 20 valve head with a single turbocharger; but details including injection, computers and engine management and breather systems vary in between each of the models. The Audi TT was the only one to offer various engine outputs though; available in either 180 horsepower or 225 horsepower versions, the later of which was pared with a 6-speed manual and Haldex viscous-coupling all-wheel drive. Though heavy, they were nonetheless sprightly thanks to the turbocharged mill. I’ve said for some time now that I think these will eventually be more collectable as they were an important part of the development of the company, yet few remain in good shape. Were I going to get one, I’d opt for one of the 2002 special edition coupes; the ALMS edition, launched to celebrate the American Le Mans Series victory by Audi’s R8 race car. Available in two colors, Misano Red with Silver Nappa leather or Avus Silver Pearl with Brilliant Red Nappa leather, they were mostly an appearance package but also received special 18″ “Celebration” alloys and were limited to 500 examples:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi TT quattro 225 ALMS on Craigslist

Year: 2002
Model: TT quattro 225 ALMS Edition
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 142,000 mi
Price: $7,500

Audi TT ALMS Quattro Coupe 225HP 6 speedLimited Edition 4 wheel drive Turbo New brakes and rotors New Tires New Haldex and controller BOSE Stereo system Great condition Garaged car New factory engine, A/C ice cold, Excellent condition, Fully loaded with all the goodies, New tires, Non-smoker, Title in hand, Well maintained,
Call or text for more info

Of the two, it will probably come as no surprise to most of the readership that follow my posts that I prefer the Avus Silver Pearl examples. I think the red leather really stands out, and Audi itself would offer the same option (with Oxblood instead of Brilliant Red) in the even more limited 2003 S8, still my favorite from the time. It seems more common to find the Misano Red than the Avus; no surprise given that many sporting for these TTs were looking for a showy option. The ALMS package, though really just a set of special colors and bigger wheels, commanded a serious premium over standard TTs – it was about $4,000 extra over a fully spec’d 225 quattro, making the price a hefty $42,000 and change though they were fully loaded with the optional Audio and Premium packages which included Xenon lights and heated seats. As part of that premium, you also received a likely discarded by most year’s membership to the Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), Certificate of Authenticity, Commemorative sticker and a copy of 2001 Le Mans 24 Hours – as a future collectable, it would be really neat to find one with the original extras intact but good luck finding them! Like all TTs, though, the residual value has dropped and these are now quite affordable future classics that are easily maintained and cheap to run. While this particular example has slightly higher miles, it’s avoided the common mod-happy tuner crowd that snaps these up and remains all-original. The seller also claims the car is well maintained; with new brakes, new tires, a freshened all-wheel drive system and a claimed engine replacement, the miles seem to have been lightly tread in this example and it appears to be in very good shape. At $7,500, it’s quite affordable, too. All in all, it’s a car that you can have a lot of fun in, drive in all conditions, and feel a bit special in your commute while still getting over 30 m.p.g. when you go easy. It’s not a Cayman, but then I’d argue that I think it looks better than a Cayman. It may be the modern Karmann Ghia, but is that really a bad thing?



  1. Buzz
    Buzz March 12, 2015

    Other than dead GCFSB link, craigslist shows a nice car with high miles…probably not unreasonably priced…a tick high on price based on the miles, but maybe right if the maintenance checks out – new factory motor? Why?. Like you, Carter, I prefer the silver over red, and think these are future classics that can be driven every day until that discovery is made by others.

  2. Carter
    Carter March 12, 2015

    Buzz, I’m not sure on the motor but I know my ’02 Passat got factory engine work because of the sludge problems around 40,000 miles. Our reader John spotted another TT ALMS that had the same thing – replaced factory engine. Could be the sludge problem that was common in the 1.8Ts for a bit when they didn’t spec synthetic oil.

    Re: dead link – we migrated servers and it looks like a few posts in the middle were lost.

  3. Carter
    Carter March 12, 2015

    Post is back up! Thanks for your patience.

    Comment from Paul T that was lost:
    Comment: Had one in grey over red nappa. Always got positive comments. Car ran extremely well – I had to spend very little on mechanicals over the four years of ownership. Tires and synthetic oil was all that was needed. Light clutch, very comfortable seats, plenty of room as long as your hobbies exclude golf. Inexpensive to insure. I would look at another later car with the ‘S’ package, and chip the engine.

    This is not a super-car. But it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. You bump your head on the roof-line; you twist your knee a little getting in and out, but that’s part of the charm. The NY State Police were well acquainted with the car, particularly on Rt. 28 in the lower Adirondack Mountains.

  4. Buzz
    Buzz March 13, 2015

    What a coincidence. Identical car with identical miles, but on the West end of the country.

    Between the 2, I’d pick the Atlanta car for it’s maintenance/new motor and originality. But in ALMS version, I’m still partial to the silver over red. John, like you, I had one, and now sorry I sold it.

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