Another Sports Car (Probably) Bites The Dust As Audi CEO Hints At TT’s Demise

Two decades after the first generation hit the market in 1998, the Audi TT’s future is hanging in the balance. Not only won’t it morph into a four-door coupe, as previously reported, but it could be completely discontinued.

Autocar spoke to the brand’s CEO, Bram Schot, about the sports car, asking him what they have in store for it, and got a rather surprising answer.

“That’s a very good question. I think there’s a future for an icon, but I don’t know if it’s a TT. My heart bleeds when you ask that question!”, Schot replied. “I’ve got some things cooking, which could replace the TT, though not necessarily directly.”

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The reasons behind reevaluating the TT are the drop in sports car sales and Audi’s investment in electrification, mobility and new technologies. “Audi has to be really prominent in future, but electrification has to be financed. I cannot afford to be in every country, in every segment”, Schot remarked.

The automaker has enough time to decide on how to approach the TT. A facelifted version was introduced last summer and went on sale in Europe in the fourth quarter of the year. Unless they decide to suddenly pull the plug on it, the outgoing TT will remain in the market for a few more years.

The once burgeoning compact sports car segment seems to be in serious trouble. Apart from Audi, who’s thinking about discontinuing the compact sports car, Mercedes has already waved goodbye to the SLC with the Final Edition models. Presented at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, they pack a number of special features and will go on sale in Europe later this month, while U.S. custwill have to wait until next year.

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  • NO BODY ASKED FOR A FOUR DOOR TT, BEETLE OR MUSTANG.

    • Bash

      Agreed on the first two. but if they made a four door Mustang, and i mean made it so good, I might just consider it. think about it, they axed their big sedan, this is the best time to bring the 4 door mustang. wait, scratch that out, they Are actually making one, the Mach 1 EV I guess.

  • kachuks

    By replacement, he probably means bring it back as a crossover.

    • Belthronding

      Here we go

  • Six_Tymes

    The SUV craze… no end in sight, yet

  • Blade t

    This is not a surprise ..

  • driv3r

    Interesting that Audi can’t make the TT work despite it being based on MQB which must be the most cost-efficient platform to base any car on since its being used a million times a year by multiple Volkswagen brands.

  • Kagan

    You don’t need it when a3 looks better.

  • erly5

    Surely one of the benefits of platform sharing is the ability to spin off niche products without breaking the bank. Surprising then that the TT’s future is in doubt despite declining sales in this sector. At least BMW think it’s still worth the investment with a new Z4 on sale soon.

    • vantageman1

      agreed, there are sooooo many cars on that platform the TT is by far the most expensive with as much platform and badge engineering as VW Group does why not have a few Niche models like the TT. A replacement for he quattro coupe based off the S5 or a compact mid engine sports car like the Cayman wouldn be bad replacemens. Ive never owned a TT but Ive always admired them theyre good looking cars inside and out but they just never seemed to make alot of sense I guess as a daily.

    • Bo Hanan

      It should be a 4-Door coupe to take on the CLA. Missed opportunity by Audi as they have considered doing this and haven’t acted on it. I bet it would sell.

    • Astonman

      BMW thought it was worth the investment because they were able to split the cost with Toyota

    • It’s because Audi spent all their money on doing the interior to work on the exterior. The issue with evolutionary designs is that they eventually become stale. The original TT looked the bomb, whereas 20 years later, we’re still on that same design – there’s no excitement left in the way it looks anymore.

      Audi just didn’t try hard enough to progress the TT i.e. they’ve had previous generations to work on and improve the sports car handling, but they didn’t. BMW on the overhand did. Yes they may not have had a successive home-run of Z models but they constantly tried to push it in the right direction. You could argue Ford did the same with the Mustang which has taken this market by storm.

      • Matt

        The current TT’s handling is far superior to the last gen. There is only so much you can do with the platform.

        • It may be superior but it doesn’t mean it’s as good as it needs to be. With how much praise the Golf GTI and R get, there’s no reason why a car based on the same platform with the same mechanicals can’t be at least as good. When you’ve got competitors like the new Alpine, Mustang, Boxster and even the GT86/BRZ, brand prestige will only get you so far if you’re not willing to proactively improve the car up to the class standards.

          • Loquacious Borborygmus

            They couldn’t afford to reengineer a rwd chassis.

          • Even so. The FWD Golf GTI with the Performance Package is still a very worthy hot hatch. They could’ve easily done the same but ended up not doing the obvious. Audi just let the TT go stagnant. If it didn’t preview the Virtual Cockpit, there wouldn’t be anything worthy of mention with the car.

          • Loquacious Borborygmus

            Unfortunately there just doesn’t seem to be made in affordable coupes anymore.
            Such a shame.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Mr Schot, if there is a future for an icon kill the TT if you like but at least keep the R8 !
    Although it’s the same platform and engine as the Lamborghini Huracan, Audi cleverly engineered the R8 so it can more comfortable and daily usable with better visibility than the Lambo.
    The Huracan’s replacement will keep the glorious naturally aspirated V10 and add hybrid power, so the R8’s future hybrid as well even if it needs to borrow the V8 Biturbo from the RS6 and RS7 to differenciate itself from its Lamborghini sister.
    And all the rumours about a full-EV next generation R8 are complete bullshit because the technology for an EV supercar isn’t ready yet. Audi showed an R8 e-tron EV but never make it to the road and Porsche (as part of the same Volkswagen group so they’re share a lot of R&D) admitted than the technology necessary to build a full-EV 918’s successor would be available only by 2025 or 2026. They’re talking about a hypercar showcase not a regular supercar.

    • driv3r

      VW and Porsche only started sharing some R&D with PPE platform and to a certain extent V6 and V8 engines. That’s it. Zuffenhausen/Weissach and Ingolstadt certainly don’t love each other. Audi is left with no responsibility for any platform once the MLB goes out and the whole Volkswagen Group is left with MEB (VW guidance) and PPE (Porsche guidance).

      The R8 is a halo model that gets even less recognized nowadays and sharing parts with the Huracan is too little to make it viable financially and marketing-wise.

      As it is just being reported in Germany: Schot is putting everything under a viability check: From future models to production capacities to work force… Audi is far away from sticking to its claim “Vorsprung durch Technik”. Currently they don’t know where they are going.

      • Daniela Wolf

        PPE is mainly developed by Audi.

        Audi got 30 000 devs, Porsche 4000 just saying.^^

    • Daniela Wolf

      R8 will live 4 more years…..

  • Bash

    This is what we want!

  • Danny Boy

    It too damn expensive!!!! Man….if this car was 10k less and as is , it would be a hit. I personally love it, in fact, plan to purchase one by August. Just hard to justify that 65 and 75k price tag. Now i can become I love it, but the average buyer…nope!

    • Dylan Wentworth

      Better buy it before the only option is a crossover equivalent that costs even more money but is slower and handles like a school bus

      • Danny Boy

        Lolol you’re absolutely right! I’m working on it rite……now!

  • StrangerGP

    Yep, that one would’ve been cool. It feels like Audi was afraid to take risks with the current TT so they introduced a model looking like the last generation only with new technology on board.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Of course cars with personality must die.

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Hmmm. That’s a slightly tarted-up A3.

  • Danny Boy

    Dude, not even the golf is doing well! And honestly drag was the best thing that ever happened to the Golf. It wasn’t an easy nor cheap dragamation! HaIm getting onevery soon!!

  • KRogers86

    I personally think that they played it too safe with the styling, and should have taken more risks to help differentiate it from the MkII version. I also think they priced it too high, especially considering they built it on the cost-effective MQB platform (not some expensive and exclusive platform).

  • “No, it doesn’t handle like a Porsche, but not much really does!” Well, actually the examples that I mentioned very much sway in that direction. Even a 4C and Elise do – this is the reason we still talk about them because of how great they ate to drive. I’m actually yet to read a review where the TT has had significant praise for it’s handling characteristics and / or talked about it being “fun”. Whereas the Golf in either GTI and R, may not be the best hot hatch but they drive with the conviction of a sporty pretence. The TT is a long way down that list. Heck, I’m sure people would back me up if I said an MX-5 was 10x better to drive.

    You’re right about the Z4 though. Oh, and the SLC. Funny how the Germans struggled the most to capture the essence of a sports car. They all became complacent. This is largely due to the fact they dominated the market space. Yet when the GT86 / BRZ arrived and then the MD MX-5, Mustang and now the Apline, it rejuvenated a lot of what was missing – I personally haven’t seen this much excitement for this sector in god knows how long. Enough for Mr Clarkson make the GT86 the only Toyota he’s crowned as his car of the year (2013).

  • Wandering_Spirit

    You’re right on the price. But they killed the Scirocco too without even updating it. They keep the Golf going. It sells of course. But the point is, cars with too much personality don’t sell in our times.

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