Audi TT gets the ax ahead of an electric overhaul of automaker's lineup
27 May 2019 - Autoblog
Aging TT will make way for more EVs
A little more than 20 years after the stylish coupe debuted, Audi is preparing to kill off the TT. Currently in its third iteration, the TT will reportedly be replaced eventually with an "emotive" electric vehicle that will be priced in the same ballpark.
The third-gen TT was introduced in 2014, so it is getting on a bit. Earlier Audi TT coverage has had a slight sense of uncertainty about the model's future — some speculation touted a possible four-door coupe replacement. But now that the cat is on the table, the TT will step aside to make room for more electric Audi vehicles. According to Automotive News Europe, Audi's decision to focus on sustainability means it has to ax a number of models that no longer justify their presence in the lineup. With competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz SLC, formerly known as SLK, also giving up the ghost, the sporty two-door segment seems to be shrinking even further. Out of the three similarly priced sporty Germans introduced in the late 1990s, only the BMW Z3 will continue to have a successor model in the 2020s.
Audi CEO Bram Schot stated: "In the medium term, we want to have the strongest range of electric models among premium competitors." The new strategy will consist of 20 full-electric vehicles in a 30-strong electrified lineup by 2025.
Other models facing complete re-evaluation are the A8 luxury car, which Schot says could well go full-electric, and the R8 supercar. The R8 was last updated last year, and the A8's most recent refresh took place in 2017 — with a timeline like this, these models could see a complete electric overhaul by 2025, or in the R8's case, end of production.
Ultimately, shelving the TT might end up being a blessing for it. When the first generation was originally shown, its uncompromising yet minimalistic design received critical acclaim and served to secure it the status of a future classic. Later cars have been more dynamic to drive, and there has been a touch more power, but their design has not been as pure. If there will be a spiritual, electric successor to the TT, Audi will now have the time to completely rethink what the model stands for, and this could result in a very attractive design. Unless it will turn out to be another four-door coupe crossover, of course.
But before the TT leaves the stage, there will be at least one special edition, the Quantum Gray Edition. This is due to Audi embarking on a new digital internet sales initiative next month in conjunction with its dealers. It didn't provide many details on what that initiative entails, but the TT Quantum Grey Edition has been selected to be the pilot model for the endeavor.