Sad. But it’s not like we didn’t see this coming.
The sports car is an endangered vehicle. This is fact. And for a quite a while now Audi has been hinting at the TT being the most obvious car to face the chopping block should push comes to shove. With Audi and its parent company Volkswagen bets more and more on SUVs and electrification, a standalone small two-door coupe is left most vulnerable.
Bram Schot, Audi’s chairman, took the opportunity during the company’s annual general meeting to make the car’s death official, with plans for a potential replacement outlined as being fully electric and ‘emotional’ but with a vague-ish timeline as to when we can expect this successor.
While the sentence is confirmed, Audi has not revealed when the production of the TT will cease, though considering this 3rd-generation model has been around since 2015, that it does have a few more years left in its cycle.
In terms of impact, the TT is one of those cars that was more than the sum of its parts. Though never really all that great to drive, the first generation TT was conceived to be a car for a younger generation with its curvy and rather futuristic design. When it made its 1998 debut, jaws dropped and Audi was suddenly desirable.
With regard to its possible replacement, the car will likely share the same MEB platform as Volkswagen’s ID.3 hatch considering the company is positioning that as the Golf for the EV generation and that the TT had always been developed atop the Golf platform.
There’s little else to extrapolate from except to say that the electric sports car will likely also maintain styling cues established by the TT. It will also be much more accelerative thanks to its electric motors than any TT current on sale with exception perhaps to the TT RS.
Once it comes time for TT to permanently depart the Audi portfolio, the R8 will also be left in a precarious position. Audi has also hinted that the V10 supercar might soon not have a role to play in the automaker’s future plans, and that the possibility of replacing it with a fully electric alternative was not only likely, but previewed with the PB 18 e-tron concept.
Indeed the R8 and its legacy will live on in the Lamborghini Huracan and its successors, but even supercars are threatened by the tightening regulations and pressure to conform to expectations of lower emissions and fuel consumption.
Right now the Lamborghini Urus most clearly portends this sea change, being the first to be turbocharged and likely to feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain in the near future, just as its cousins the Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga already has.