Dwindling demand the major factor.
German luxury marque Audi have revealed that while their TT sports car has quite the fan following, not very many of them are actually buying the sharply-styled coupé. Slowing sales in key markets are signalling a change of taste, with the current-generation model failing to live up to sales precedents set by the outgoing model. So Audi’s had a rethink, and decided that maybe upping the practicality (and subsequently the door count) might be the best way forwards.
“If you set falling demand against rising costs, it’s obvious Audi cannot sustain its present course in the medium-term. Instead, there has been intensive consideration of the coupe & convertible in the compact segment.” — Anonymous Audi Boardmember
The comments were made to UK publication AutoExpress.
Audi first toyed with the idea of a 4-door TT back in 2014 with the unveiling of the TT Sportback Concept. While the reactions to the concept weren’t overly positive, Audi remained set on the idea, until the Dieselgate scandal hit a couple of years later and demanded that the greater Volkswagen Group take on some austerity measures, including the shelving of non-essential projects, like the TT 4-door.
In its transformation from compact-coupe to 4-door coupé, the Audi TT will grow quite a bit. The wheelbase is expected to grow by some 120mm, with overall length up 290mm, and width to grow by 60mm. Further, the pure-ICE powertrains of the current TT will be shelved, in exchange for mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions instead.
But it’s been 8-years since the concept was first shown, and the worst financial hits from Dieselgate have been weathered. As such, the 4-door (or 5-door?) TT will not only make production, but will do so within the next two years, directly replacing the coupé that spawned it. Only question now is, how does Audi intend to ensure the TT Sportback differentiates itself convincingly from the A5 Sportback, for example?