Audi TT to be axed in 2023 for 'emotional', electric replacement

Audi is rethinking its iconic TT sports car – and this mini e-tron GT could be the direction the firm takes

Audi TT render

Audi's style icon for more than two decades, the TT, is set to be axed when production of its current generation ends in 2023 – and the car will be replaced by a new style of “emotional” model that will be larger, and could well have four doors.

Audi’s senior management team has been engaged in heated discussions over the TT’s future for more than three years.

As recently as 2019, the company’s then-technical boss Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler explained that the brand was exploring different battery packaging to see if it could still offer a compact all-electric sports car.

However, Rothenpieler’s successor, Oliver Hoffman, has now confirmed to Auto Express that this solution has been ruled out and suggested that Audi will use the switch to an all-electric car to rethink the positioning of its smaller sports model.

“We want to add some very emotional cars to our portfolio,” Hoffman said, “and we have some really good concepts. But a direct follower for the TT is not the answer. We can’t just say ‘We’ll do the TT in an electric way.’ Frankly speaking, to have a TT with a battery is not easy to handle.

“Instead, we are asking: ‘What are the right emotional cars for us at Audi?’ and we want to fascinate. With the TT we surprised our customers. They said: ‘What is this?’ There was no demand for a TT when we launched it. And this is what we want to do again, to surprise our customers. 

“We’re working hard on this concept and I’m really happy to work with [Audi CEO] Markus Duesmann. We’re pushing hard and hopefully we can surprise with it.”

Audi TT render

Audi sources have suggested that the TT’s indirect successor will be a larger model – and that dwindling sales of smaller cars, and two-door vehicles in general, are responsible for the TT’s demise as we know it.

Our exclusive images show how Audi designers could take these principles, along with cues from EV concepts such as the recent Grandsphere, and apply them to create a mini e-tron GT – a car with four-door practicality, but cloaked by a more aggressive roofline than the likes of the A3 saloon and A4. Even so, it will take careful positioning to make such a vehicle distinct from the forthcoming A4 e-tron, which is expected to have sleeker looks to give Audi a direct rival to BMW’s i4.

The timeframe involved also presents Audi with opportunities and challenges on platform choice. The logical option for a car of the current TT’s size would be the same MEB architecture as the likes of the VW ID.3 and Audi’s own Q4 e-tron. But the firm may choose to wait and base its new arrival on SSP, a unified set-up that mixes elements from MEB with the components from the PPE architecture that will underpin the likes of the Q6 e-tron. This could offer greater flexibility on battery packaging.

The third and final-generation TT will have had an extended shelf life by the time its production ends, lasting up to nine years instead of the usual seven. It is conceivable that its nameplate will be dropped entirely, reflecting changes in size, market trends and overall approach, as well as powertrain.

Check out our preview images of the new Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept here...

Recommended

Audi TT review
Audi TT Coupe - front tracking
Audi TT

Audi TT review

The Audi TT backs up its head-turning looks with an engaging drive and plenty of tech
3 May 2022
Top 10 best sports cars 2022
Best Sports cars - header
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best sports cars 2022

From the Mazda MX-5 to the McLaren 720S , these are the 10 sports cars that we think are the best on sale
28 Jan 2022

Most Popular

15 Tesla Supercharger sites open to non-Tesla vehicles in the UK
Tesla Supercharger
Tesla

15 Tesla Supercharger sites open to non-Tesla vehicles in the UK

Pilot scheme to open up Tesla-only charging network to all electric cars lands at selected UK locations
18 May 2022
Shell and ABB team up to deliver world’s fastest electric car charger
Shell charger
News

Shell and ABB team up to deliver world’s fastest electric car charger

New Shell and ABB-developed Terra 360 EV charger can add 62 miles of range in less than three minutes
16 May 2022
New 2022 BMW 3 Series facelift revealed with updated look inside and out
BMW 3 Series - front
BMW 3 Series

New 2022 BMW 3 Series facelift revealed with updated look inside and out

The BMW 3 Series' mid-life update features a revised design and improved technology, but we’ll have to wait until the next generation for a full EV
18 May 2022