The Audi TT heralded in an exciting new design era for the German brand when it was first launched 25 years ago, but now the compact sport car has been discontinued.
Audi confirmed in a post on its German Instagram page this week that the last unit had rolled off the assembly line in Györ, Hungary.
Over 660 000 of the compact coupés and roadsters have been produced since the very first TT hit showrooms in 1998.
Named after the Tourist Trophy (TT) race on the Isle of Man, where Audi’s forebears NSU and DKW achieved great success on two wheels, the Audi TT saw the first light of day in concept form at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Reaction to the show car was so positive that Audi decided to create a production car as close to the concept as possible.
Looking back on the first-generation model, Audi designer Torsten Wenzel said: “To us, the greatest praise was when the trade press noted appreciatively that little had changed from the study to the series model, although we did, of course, have to adapt several details due to the technical specifications for the series version, including the proportions.”
Sharing its platform with the Volkswagen Golf 4 and A3, the first-gen TT was fitted with a 1,8-litre transversely mounted turbopetrol engine, with outputs ranging from 110kW to 176kW, driving either the front or all wheels, employing quattro in the latter case.
A 3.2-litre V6 version arrived in 2003, offering 184kW and a dual-clutch (S tronic) transmission for the first time.
Audi launched the second-generation TT in 2006, complete with softer curves and a more conventional look, moulded around the now familiar Audi “Singleframe” grille design.
Its predominantly aluminium Audi Space Frame body helped reduce weight by up to 90kg, while a 2,0-litre turbopetrol engine option became available alongside the aforementioned 3,2 V6.
2008 saw the introduction of the TTS, with a 2,0 TFSI petrol engine tuned to produce 200kW. This was to be eclipsed just a year later by the first-ever TT RS, which introduced five-cylinder turbo power and a heady output of up to 265kW.
The third and final generation TT hit the scene in 2014, sporting a sharper design, further weight reduction of 50kg, and a more digitised cabin complete with the Audi Virtual Cockpit we know so well today.
With the V6 engine gone, the four-cylinder turbopetrol motors were upgraded, while the TT RS took its five-cylinder loveliness to the next level with an output of 294kW.
Sadly, this all comes to an end with the discontinuation of the TT this year.
Previous reports have indicated that its place in the line-up could be taken up by a new electric SUV with charismatic lines.
“Audi may be reorienting towards electrification as it pursues its aim of becoming a leading provider of sustainable mobility, but the same passion for progress and innovation that gave rise to the TT remains firmly rooted in its ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ ethos,” the carmaker says.
“Thankfully, that means history of the kind made by this particular masterpiece of automotive design looks set to regularly repeat itself.” – IOL Motoring
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