Audi is increasing its focus on electrifying volume cars, and in the next phase, several unconventional models are to join this lineup. But amidst the accelerated carbon-neutralization efforts, the direction of the Audi TT and other current niche models is not straightforward.
To remain relevant to Audi’s carbon-neutral future, the Audi TT, which recently turned 25, will need to become a battery electric vehicle (BEV). Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi, has confirmed that the company is developing new concepts and they will be electric. Keeping some of the existing niche products profitable may call for radical changes to their body styles as well, as discussed in this story.
No direct successor planned for the Audi TT
Audi officials have said that there’s no plan to launch a direct TT successor, where the body shape and positioning is preserved. Hoffman told Auto Express that the company wants to launch new, “very emotional cars” but a direct TT successor isn’t the solution, the British publication said in a report on October 2022.
In March 2022, Hoffman told Auto Express that a battery-powered Audi TT “is not easy to handle.” Moreover, he suggested that the company may use the opportunity to launch a new type of replacement with different positioning.
Other company officials have voiced similar opinion. During Audi’s annual general meeting in 2019, Bram Schot, the previous Chairman of the company’s Board of Management, said that the company would replace the TT with an emotive electric car at the same price. In an interview in October 2020, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told auto motor und sport that the TT is unlikely to have a direct successor.
New concept to preview the Audi TT successor
Talking about the Audi TT successor at the company’s annual press conference in March 2021, Hoffmann suggested that we may see a new type of concept as its preview in the future. He said:
The Audi TT is really a very special model for the Audi brand, and we are very happy about the fact that it’s so popular with customers. The Audi TT has a very high share in its segment, however, in a shrinking segment. At the moment, we are closely analyzing what this means for a TT successor, but we are working to create a really emotional sports car successor concept, and I will be happy at one of the next of these conferences to tell you a bit more about it.Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi (Audi Annual Press Conference 2021)
Here, Hildegard Wortmann, BoM member responsible for Sales and Marketing, Audi, indicated that the company will continue selling the current-gen Audi TT for some more time. She said:
One has to clearly say that the Audi TT is our sporty design icon and naturally it’s been an important model that supports our image and it will stay so for the next few years. We have so many plans for the product upgrade with a new equipment line, competition plan, we have special model Bronze selection with Audi Sport GmbH. So with all of this, we will make sure that for quite a while it will remain really attractive.Hildegard Wortmann, BoM member responsible for Sales and Marketing, Audi (Audi Annual Press Conference 2021)
Influenced by the Audi activesphere concept?
Audi has presented the brand’s future design direction with a trio of Audi Sphere concept models in 2021 and 2022: the Audi skysphere, Audi grandsphere, and the Audi urbansphere. An Audi activesphere concept will join them in 2023.
Auto Express says in its October 2022 report that the TT successor will be a larger model. Hoffman had already suggested to it that the TT successor could have a new body style, saying that the TT wasn’t in high demand initially and that Audi wants to surprise its customers that way again.
Perhaps, the Audi activesphere concept debuting in 2023 will serve as the preview of the next-gen TT. Auto Express is also indicating that the rugged, crossover-styled two-door coupe could be the precursor to the TT replacement in its October 2022 report. The production version could have a more practical, four-door body, broadening its appeal.
Auto Express sounds confident that a compact, four-door grand tourer with a more aggressive roofline than the A3 and A4 has a place in the future lineup. It speculates that the new electric car, which could replace the TT and A5, could use modules of the MEB and PPE platforms.
The TT is an emotional nameplate with a strong fan following, and many look to the used car market to realize the dream of owning it. Back in Ingolstadt, Audi must have held frequent discussions about its successor. As Audi goes all-electric with the e-tron sub-brand across segments, and sales of two-door cars plummet, it could be difficult to continue the TT beyond 2023. The four-ringed brand is working on something more practical and future-proof, a model with much greater sales potential. We’re confident that Audi’s successor to the TT will be just as captivating and thrilling, perhaps even more so!
Featured Image: Audi TT offroad concept used for illustration purpose; Source: Audi